Sunday, May 29, 2005

Hidden Movie Gems

When traveling in unknown territory, it helps to have a knowledgeable guide by your side. Film critic Phil Hall serves that purpose admirably while taking readers on a journey through the expanding world of underground cinema in his book, “The Encyclopedia of Underground Movies: Films from the Fringes of Cinema,” published by Michael Wiese Productions.

“Today’s Underground Cinema is the ultimate hidden gold mine for the true cinephile,” writes Hall -- and he should know. For the past four years, he’s reviewed Underground Cinema productions for Film Threat (, one of the few film sites that include movies of this kind.

Covering the beginning of underground films back in the 1920s -- represented by the efforts of artists like Luis Bunuel and Salvadore Dali -- through today’s digital revolution, Hall deftly analyzes the movement’s horror films, documentaries, comedies, and gay-themed movies. Armed with a passion for film and an impressive writing style, he has created a book that’s not only enlightening but fun to read.

While “Encyclopedia” in the title might scare off some people, it shouldn’t. Although packed with tons of facts and lists, this book evoked more than a few chuckles from me. Hall’s unique sense of humor shines through, especially in his interviews with filmmakers like the Friedman brothers. According to Hall, the Friedman’s created one of the funniest underground films ever made. Hall claims their “Moving” mixes “equal parts Kafka and Beckett with healthy pinches of Abbot and Costello.” His amusing banter with the brothers during their interview emerges as one of the book’s many highlights.

This groundbreaking book will surely motivate readers to search out the hidden film treasures Hall mentions. (For further information, visit the publisher’s website at


  • I am a hopeless romantic out looking for some information on free romantic greeting card. Betty Jo, looks like you have put some work into your site. Well, it is about time I go back to looking for more information. Hey, thanks for the read.

    By Blogger Mary, At 10:16 PM  

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