Skizz Cyzyk - News Poster


Flashback: 2nd Annual Chicago Underground Film Festival: Award Winners + Full Lineup

The second annual Chicago Underground Film Festival was held in 1995, at multiple locations in the city, from Thursday, July 20 to Sunday, July 23.

The festival opened on July 20th at the International Cinema Museum with the film What About Me?, directed by Rachel Amodeo. Other highlights included a retrospective of the work of Kenneth Anger, who attended the fest and screened Fireworks (1947), Scorpio Rising (1963) and Kkk (Kustom Kar Kommandos) (1965) at the Congress Hotel, 520 S. Michigan, on Friday, July 21. Winnipeg filmmaker Guy Maddin also attended and screened films on July 23; while the Reverend Ivan Stang of the Church of Subgenius screened films on July 22.

Also, Charles Pinion screened the world premiere of his feature film Red Spirit Lake, which was preceded by the short film The Operation, directed by Jacob Pander and Marne Lucas. Other short films that screened were Desktop and a preview of Monday 9:02 am, both directed by Tyler Hubby.
See full article at Underground Film Journal »

Slamdance Film Festival Juries Revealed

The Slamdance Film Festival has unveiled jury members for its feature film competition programs for its 22nd edition during Jan. 22-28, Variety has learned.

Notable members include Steve Yu, director of “The Resurrection of Jake The Snake,” and Damon Russell, producer of “Before I Disappear.”

The festival, launched in 1995 as an alternative to Sundance, has included showings of such notable titles as Oren Peli’s “Paranormal Activity.”

Along with Peli, the best-known Slamdance alumni include Christopher Nolan, Marc Forster, Jared Hess, Lena Dunham, Benh Zeitlin, Seth Gordon and Lynn Shelton. Significant titles that debuted at Slamdance include “Mad Hot Ballroom” and Gordon’s “The King of Kong: A Fistful of Quarters.”

The Slamdance feature competition is limited to films made with budgets under $1 million and made by first-time directors. The awards will be presented Jan. 28 at the Treasure Mountain Inn in Park City, Utah.

Narrative features jury members include Russell,
See full article at Variety - Film News »

Slamdance Exclusive: Trailer For Sex Comedy 'Female Pervert'

  • The Playlist
Sexual humor is no longer just the domain of dudes. A new generation of women are lending their own spin to the foibles that happen between the sheets, and writer/director Jiyoung Lee is hoping to add her emerging voice with her latest feature film "Female Pervert," premiering at the Slamdance Film Festival. And today we have the exclusive trailer for the comedy. Starring Jennifer Kim, Skizz Cyzyk, Brian Cafferty, Joshua Mikel, Jesse Price, Kate McManus, Taylor Proctor, and Eddie Ray, the story follows sex-obsessed video game designer Phoebe, who looks to improve herself and fall in love. But as she starts dating, her perversions scare off prospective partners, and Phoebe is left to wonder if she can change, or live with her unique sexual interests. And some of those obsessions and how they play out can be seen in the trailer below, which gives a nice preview of Phoebe and her direct sexual manner.
See full article at The Playlist »

2014 Chicago Underground Film Festival: Official Lineup

The 21st annual Chicago Underground Film Festival, which will run April 2-6 at the Logan Theater, will be extra special this year. Why? Because Mike Everleth, the Executive Editor of the Underground Film Journal, is sitting on this year’s festival jury! And looking over the fest lineup below, he is incredibly excited to witness this visual extravaganza of revolutionary cinematic madness. (Other jurors are Brian Chankin, Therese Grisham and Alison Cuddy.)

Opening Night Film: What I Love About Concrete is the debut feature by the directing team of Katherine Dohan and Alanna Stewart and is a surreal suburban tale about a teenage girl who believes she is transforming into a swan.

Closing Night Film: Usama Alshaibi will be making his triumphant return to Chicago with his latest documentary, American Arab, a personal and sociological examination of what it means to be an Arab in a post-9/11 United States. This
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Filmmaker Skizz Cyzyk And Speck

Skizz Cyzyk says:

My cat Speck is named after Pee Wee Herman’s dog. My partner Jen and I got her in 1999, and suspect she’s part raccoon. Speck always has a concerned look on her face. She doesn’t like to be picked up, but I pick her up all the time anyway. After all these years, she’s finally starting to deal with it. When I’m in bed, she will sit on top of me as long as she can’t see my hands.

(Click photo above to embiggen.)

I have been making films since 1983. I have made a bunch of short films (Four Films in Five Minutes: A Trilogy, Little Castles, Star Spangled Babydoll, Managers Corner, Damn You Mr. Bush) and music videos (Meatjack, Beach House, Young Fresh Fellows). Lately, I have been making mostly feature-length documentaries.

Freaks in Love (co-directed with David Koslowski) is about
See full article at Underground Film Journal »

Slamdance Festival Unveils Jury Members (Exclusive)

The Slamdance Film Festival has tapped 13 independent film veterans to serve as jury members for its competition lineup.

“We are thrilled to have such independent filmmaking revolutionaries judging for our 20th Anniversary’s diverse slate of films,” said Peter Baxter, president and co-founder. “These exemplary jurors have embraced our motto of being a film festival ‘by filmmakers, for filmmakers.’”

The festival, launched two decades ago as an alternative to Sundance, will take place Jan. 17-23 in Park City, Utah at the Treasure Mountain Inn.

Jurors include Tom Hall, director of the Sarasota Film Festival; Matt Harrison, whose producing credits include “Kicked In The Head” and “Rhythm Thief”; Katie Mustard, producer of “The Console Wars,” “We’ll Never Have Paris,” “Shelter” and “The World Made Straight”; Alamo Drafthouse CEO Tim League; Herb Stratford, programming director at the Napa Valley Film Festival; inter-media artist Monteith McCollum and Andrew Edison, whose “Bindlestiffs” won
See full article at Variety - Film News »

2013 Minneapolis Underground Film Festival: Award Winners

The 6th annual Minneapolis Underground Film Festival, which was held back on Oct. 3-6, has announced their list of award winners, which includes eight films.

The biggest winner was the documentary Hit & Stay, co-directed by Joe Tropea and Skizz Cyzyk, that won the Largest Audience award. The film recounts the story of a group of Vietnam War protestors that broke into draft boards and destroyed records, which landed them in prison. Hit & Stay previously tied for the Audience Award at the 2013 Chicago Underground Film Festival.

Another winning documentary was Mondo Fuzz: Twilight of the Idles, which took the Experimental award. The film, a chronicle of the Austin, Texas garage rock scene, is directed by Andy Ray Lemon, who previously founded and ran the Austin Underground Film Festival.

Other winners include Jeffrey Ford and Brad Bear’s Where’s the Fair?, which won the Documentary award; Charles Pieper’s Last Remant,
See full article at Underground Film Journal »

2013 Minneapolis Underground Film Festival: Official Lineup

The 6th annual Minneapolis Underground Film Festival makes its move into October this year where it will be screening on Oct. 3-6 at the St. Anthony Main Theater. The fest, while screening new films from all over, does a fantastic job of screening movies by local Minnesota filmmakers.

Some of these locally produced films include Mark Nielson’s spooky road trip flick Land of Sky Blue Water; Adam Jacobs’ suspense comedy Weekend Hat, which was also produced entirely by high school students; Dave Ash’s sci-fi drama Connected, which is co-directed by Paul von Stoetzel, whose short film Twisted Sister screens before the feature; Donny West’s autobiographical documentary Dazzle (The Donny West Story); and Phil Holbrook’s drama Tilt. There are also loads of short film programs featuring work by local filmmakers.

Other feature films to be on the lookout for include Daniel Martinico’s L.A. nightmare Ok,
See full article at Underground Film Journal »

2013 Chicago Underground Film Festival: Award Winners

The massive 20th Chicago Underground Film Festival has come and gone and, surprisingly, the city is still standing!

But, in the epic event’s wake is left the exhausted bodies of several award winners, chosen by a three-panel jury composed of Mimi Brody, Frederic Moffet and Jack Sargeant; as well as a special award chosen by the audience.

Actually, the audience was so enamored of all the films screening at Cuff this year, they couldn’t make a decision of what they enjoyed the most. So, the Audience Award resulted in a tie between the feature film debut of Drew Tobia, See You Next Tuesday, and the anti-war documentary Hit & Stay by co-directors Joe Tropea and Skizz Cyzyk.

The jury gave the Most Visionary Award to the very personal documentary A Body Without Organs by Stephen Graves. And they bestowed the Lifetime Achievement Award on underground filmmaking legend Jon Moritsugu,
See full article at Underground Film Journal »

2013 Chicago Underground Film Festival: Official Lineup

The mighty and all-powerful Chicago Underground Film Festival has done the absolute unthinkable: Reached their 20th year of operation! How many underground festivals have accomplished that feat? None, until now! Well, “now” being March 6-10 at the fest’s new location: The Logan Theatre.

Obviously, there are a lot of people who have worked with the fest over the years to help make it last for exactly two fantastic decades, but, truly, there is one special person who has to be specially lauded for his tireless dedication to the advancement of underground film and its makers. Especially because Cuff hasn’t just been around for 20 years: It’s been fucking awesome for 20 years.

That person, of course, is Artistic Director Bryan Wendorf, who has been with the fest for the very first edition to it’s most recent, mind-blowing one. Year after year, Wendorf has guided Cuff into defining, challenging,
See full article at Underground Film Journal »

Film Pop 2011: ‘Freaks in Love’ – a great celebration of the band’s great energy and spirit

Freaks in Love: Alice Donut

Directed by Skizz Cyzyk and David Koslowski

USA, 2011

For those not familiar with Alice Donut, this is a documentary that charts their rise and fall (and rise again) in the underground music scene. The film bounces with enthousiasm, and does not have the usual doom and gloom feel of many music docs. There are pitfalls and “failures”, but this film, like the band’s music, seems to bounce and glow with joy.

The film is appropriately rough around the edges. It doesn’t go for the high-glitz and high-gloss look of too many talking heads docs. It is not only appropriate for this particular film, but removes any illusions of gloss over quality.

The interviews are not only relevant and vital, but exuberant and interesting. If the music itself was not so exciting (I will admit not being familiar with their work before seeing the film,
See full article at SoundOnSight »

Cashiers Du Cinemart Returns To Print And E-Newstands

Cashiers du Cinemart, the legendary cult movie zine that puts all other movie zines to shame, has returned with a brand new print edition that is available in a variety of formats, from an old school photocopied version to a glossy high-end print-on-demand version to an electronic Kindle edition and more.

After a four-year hiatus, publisher and editor Mike White has returned to the printed page as part of a wider “Print Is Not Dead” movement. In typical fashion of it’s earlier print editions, Cashiers du Cinemart #16 is a massive 100-plus page endeavor with contributions from numerous writers, including White himself, riffing on classic cult movies, taking apart mainstream films, analyzing obscure genres, interviewing filmmakers a ton more fun stuff.

This new print zine comes hot on the heels of the hit book Impossibly Funky: A Cashiers du Cinemart Collection, which gathered the best articles from the zine’s previous 15 issues,
See full article at Underground Film Journal »

2011 Film Pop Programming Includes Upside Down: The Creation Records Story, Pj Harvey: Let England Shake & More!

This year, Pop Montreal, an annual smrgasboard of concerts and music-themed films, celebrates its 10th anniversary. While the concert side of the equation is typically stacked (including, but not remotely limited to, a free Arcade Fire concert), the film portion is no slouch either. This year, film topics include legendary folkie Phil Ochs, The Replacements, Alan McGee and Creation Records, Aice Donut, and the Vancouver punk scene, among others. The fest runs from Sept. 21st-25th here in Montreal – the complete lineup and press release are below.

Montreal, August 11th, 2011 – Where music and movies make out in the dark: Film Pop returns. From September 21st to the 25th, as the Pop Montreal festival turns 10, Film Pop will once again resurface an always-pertinent array of underground musical films and captivating documentaries. Throughout the 5 days of the festival, Film Pop events will be held in 3 main venues: Blue Sunshine (3660 St-Laurent), the Pop
See full article at SoundOnSight »

Kickstarter: Mink Stole’s Do Re Mink

Mink Stole, the memorable star of so many John Waters films (Desperate Living, Female Trouble, etc.) is raising funds via Kickstarter to release her first CD, Do Re Mink.

Mink says the album is “a kind of memoir of my life in songs written by other people.” The musicians backing her on the CD is the Baltimore incarnation of her Wonderful Band and includes Scott Wallace Brown, Walker Teret and underground filmmaker/curator/journalist Skizz Cyzyk.

Songs on the album will include “No Nose Nanuck,” “God, If Any,” “Sometimes I Wish I Had a Gun” and — in homage to one of her best acting roles– “Female Trouble.”

The Kickstarter funds will go towards recording the album, paying the musicians and the pressings of the CD.

(On a personal note: Bad Lit absolutely loves that album name!)

Read More:Movie Trailer: I Am DivinePoll: What Is Divine’s Best Role?Book Tour:
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Book Tour: Impossibly Funky Does New England

Mike White, editor of the awesome cult cinema book Impossibly Funky, will be criss-crossing New England and Canada from May 27 to June 4 for a rip-roaring book tour that will include readings, signings, plus screenings of some of his favorite films.

The action begins on May 27 at Manhattan’s famed 92YTribeca with a startling double feature of Miami Blues and Shock Treatment. Miami Blues, the 1990 film starring Alec Baldwin, is based on a novel by Charles Willeford, one of White’s favorite writers and the subject of a chapter in Impossibly Funky. Shock Treatment is the oft-overlooked sequel to the ultimate Midnight Movie, The Rocky Horror Picture Show.

The tour will then make stops in Schenectady, NY; Montreal, QC; Huntington, NY; Brooklyn, NY and Boston, Ma before concluding on June 4 at the Cable Car Cinema in Providence, Ri with a screening of Black Shampoo, the 1976 blaxploitation picture that has served as major obsession for White.
See full article at Underground Film Journal »

Impossibly Funky: A Cashiers du Cinemart Collection

Before Google, there was Factsheet 5.

Factsheet 5 was a magazine published in the ’80s and ’90s that listed about a gazillion hand-produced, personal ‘zines in every issue. It came out a couple times a year and, if you were interested in zines, it was like discovering the Holy Grail each and every time.

You’d pour through each issue, highlight a couple zines that sounded cool, send off a couple of bucks to each publisher, then wait a few weeks for the goodies to arrive in your mailbox. That might sound like a long, irritating process in these Internet instant opinion days, but it was quite fun and it was one of the only ways at the time to commune with people who had similar interests as yours all over the country.

Back in the mid-’90s, Factsheet 5 was the way I was introduced to the seminal film zine Cashiers du Cinemart,
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Underground Film Links: September 26, 2010

So, I’ve been doing these links posts for awhile now and it’s been very encouraging that they’re some of the most viewed articles on the site every week. However, even more exciting and inspiring is that I’ve had several bloggers/writers contact me lately to tell me that my linking to them provides a bit of a bump in readers for them. It really makes me happy that my readers are actually clicking through and reading these fantastic articles on other people’s websites. I mean, obviously that’s the whole point of this project, but I didn’t know the actual result until recently. It’s nice to hear. That said, on with the show:

This week’s Must Read is an oldie, but a goodie. And by “oldie” I mean almost 50 years old. It’s Stan Vanderbeek’s 1961 manifesto “The Cinema Delimina” (careful: that
See full article at Underground Film Journal »

See also

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