UNDERGROUND USA: INDIE CINEMA OF THE 80’s – Cinefamily and Cinespia

UNDERGROUND USA: INDIE CINEMA OF THE 80’s – Cinefamily and Cinespia

Starting this weekend, the Cinefamily and Cinespia are presenting UNDERGROUND USA: INDIE CINEMA OF THE 80’s, running from February 18–April 16, 2016 on Fairfax. This exciting film retrospective celebrates the grassroots, punk rock spirit of truly independent cinema during its formative years.

The 40+ film, two-month retrospective celebrates iconic independent cinema of the past few decades.

Guest filmmakers attending in person include:
John Sayles, Penelope Spheeris, Wayne Wang, Alex Cox, Allison Anders, Lizzie Borden and Ross McElwee.

The season also features numerous brand new restorations, including Paydirt, Born In Flames, and Last Night at The Alamo.

The film retrospective launches this Thursday, February 18th, with a rare in-person three-day tribute to legendary Indie film pioneer and legend John Sayles — including a master class on screenwriting co-presented by the WGA Foundation — and continues through mid-April.

Other confirmed guests include filmmakers Robert Townsend, Richard Kern, John McNaughton, with many more TBA. Also included is a two-day 20th anniversary celebration of the seminal text Spike, Mike, Slackers and Dykes, with a keynote address on the time period by independent film guru John Pierson, an exhibition of Richard Kern’s photographs.

“In some ways the filmic equivalent of bands like Sonic Youth, Hüsker Dü, or REM, these films battled the Reagan-era monoculture of the time-they were films made with no expectations of mainstream acceptance, resulting in one of the most vibrant periods in underground cinema history,” says Cinefamily Programmer Tom Fitzgerald. “These films laid the groundwork for the Sundance indie boom of 90s, and it’s so exciting to show so many great, underseen movies.”

Cinefamily and Cinespia present UNDERGROUND USA: INDIE CINEMA OF THE 80’s

611 N Fairfax Ave
Los Angeles CA 90036

Full schedule available here. Dates and times subject to change, more titles TBA

Films include:


John Sayles in person at all of the following screenings:

Feb 18th:         Return of the Secaucus Seven (John Sayles, 1980)

Feb 19th:         The Brother From Another Planet (John Sayles, 1984) & Piranha (Joe Dante, 1978)

Feb 20th:         Master Class with John Sayles & City of Hope (John Sayles, 1991)

            Lianna (John Sayles, 1983) & Baby It’s You (John Sayles, 1983) double feature


Mar 2nd:          Seventeen (Joel DeMott & Jeff Kreines, 1983) presented by the Lost & Found Film Club

Mar 4th:           20th anniversary of Spike, Mike, Slackers, and Dykes with John Pierson in person

                        She’s Gotta Have It (Spike Lee, 1986)

             The Evil Dead (Sam Raimi, 1981)

Mar 5th:           Roger & Me (Michael Moore, 1989) with John Pierson in person

             Mala Noche (Gus Van Sant, 1986)

Mar 8th:           Eyes of Fire (Avery Crounse, 1983) presented by Up From The Depths

Mar 9th:           The Times of Harvey Milk (Rob Epstein, 1984) presented by The Greg Proops Film Club

Mar 10th:         Blood Simple (Joel and Ethan Coen, 1984)

            Talking to Strangers (Rob Tregenza, 1988)

Mar 11th:         Smithereens (Susan Seidelman, 1982)

            Henry: Portrait of a Serial Killer (John McNaughton, 1986) with McNaughton in person

Mar 12th:         Desperately Seeking Susan (Susan Seidelman, 1985) with Rosanna Arquette in person

Mar 12th;         Early Shorts by Ross McElwee (1982-1985) with McElwee in person

Mar 13th:         Sherman’s March (Ross McElwee, 1985) with McElwee in person

Mar 16th:         Richard Kern night (contents TBA) with Kern in person and a photography installation

Mar 17th:         The Thin Blue Line (Errol Morris, 1988) with producer Mark Lipson in person

Mar 18th:         Border Radio (Allison Anders, Dean Lent, & Kurt Voss, 1987) with Anders in person

            Repo Man (Alex Cox, 1984) with Cox in person

Mar 19th:         Bless Their Little Hearts (Billy Woodberry, 1983) with Woodberry in person

            Forbidden Zone (Richard Elfman, 1980) with Elfman and cast in person

Mar 20th:         My Brother’s Wedding (Charles Burnett, 1983)

            Illusions (Julie Dash, 1982)

Mar 22nd:        Hollywood Shuffle (Robert Townsend, 1987) with Townsend in person

Mar 24th:         Vortex (Beth B and Scott B, 1982)

Mar 25th:         Eating Raoul (Paul Bartel, 1982) with Mary Woronov in person

Mar 26th:         Stranger Than Paradise (Jim Jarmusch, 1984)

Mar 27:            Sleepwalk (Sara Driver, 1986)

You Are Not I (Sara Driver, 1981)

Born In Flames (Lizzie Borden, 1983)-new 35mm restoration, with Borden in person

Mar 28:            Last Night at the Alamo (Eagle Pennell, 1983)-premiere of new restoration

Jonathan Demme Presents: Made in Texas (shorts collection, 2015)


Apr 3rd:            Chan Is Missing (Wayne Wang, 1982) with Wang in person

Apr 7th:            Paydirt (Penny Allen, 1981)-premiere of new restoration

Apr 8th:            Combat Shock (Buddy Giovinazzo, 1984)

Apr 15th:          Suburbia (Penelope Spheeris, 1983) with Spheeris in Person.

Apr 16th:          Decline of Western Civilization Part II: The Metal Years  (Penelope Spheeris, 1988)

with Spheeris in person

                        Deadbeat at Dawn (Jim Van Bebber, 1988) & Diary of a Deadbeat (Victor Bonacore, 2015)

About The Cinefamily:
The Cinefamily is a 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization of movie lovers devoted to finding and presenting interesting and unusual programs of exceptional, distinctive, weird and wonderful films. Like campfires, sporting events and church services, we believe that movies work best as social experiences. They are more meaningful, funnier and scarier when shared with others. The Cinefamily was founded in 2007 by brothers Dan and Sammy Harkham and Hadrian Belove, founder of Cinefile Video.

Pauline Adamek

Pauline Adamek is a Los Angeles-based arts enthusiast with twenty-five years' experience covering International Film Festivals and reviewing new Theatre, Film and Restaurants.


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