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By Film Threat Staff | February 26, 2002

The Chicago Underground Film Festival and Discount Cinema join forces to present the Chicago stop of the Peripheral Produce North American Film Tour. Portland’s Matt McCormick and Johnne Eschleman pack up the van and hit the road to show movies and see some sights.
Matt McCormick is a 29-year-old underground filmmaker from Portland, Oregon, USA, who has been making experimental short films and videos for several years. His films combine original and found footage into short, poignant collages and have received high praise and several awards from various film festivals, including the award of Best Experimental Film at both the 2000
New York and Chicago Underground Film Festivals for his film The Vyrotonin Decision, a found footage disaster spoof, and the Grand Prize for Best Film at the Media City 7 festival for his film The Subconscious Art of Graffiti Removal, an experimental documentary, a keen observation of how the process of destroying one art unwittingly creates another, and Sincerely, Joe P Bear, a sad love-letter from a heartbroken polar bear. His work has screened at several worldwide festivals including Sundance, the Rotterdam International film festival and in the New York Film Festival’s “Views from the Avant-Garde” program. Matt’s films have also received excellent reviews from some of the countries most distinguished film critics. When not making and screening his own films, Matt operates an independent screening and distribution project known as Peripheral Produce, which offers roving, site specific experimental film screening events, and the international distribution of over forty artist’s work on video tape.
“Matt McCormick’s The Subconscious Art of Graffiti Removal is at once a delightful parody of overheated art-history hermeneutics and an authentic plea for the appreciation of disregarded urban patterns. A dead-serious voice-over praises the rectangular and other patterns left by city employees who remove graffiti as an “unconscious and collaborative” art. Patterns on walls, train cars, and shipping containers are compared to paintings by Rothko and Malevich and cataloged as “symmetrical,” “radical,” and “ghosting,” revealing of not only the workers but there bosses as well.” – Fred Camper, The Chicago Reader
Johnne Eschleman is a mobile experiment in spontaneous cinema. Often joined by fellow musicians and artists, Johnne projects hand-made films while performing a live soundtrack, creating an ever-changing and intimate viewing experience. His recent film “The Read Letters” is a movie in which two 16mm projectors roll simultaneously, projecting images side by side of bleached found footage and text which has been hand scratched directly into each
frame of the film.
The Chicago Underground Film Festival (CUFF), now in its 9th edition is an annual event devoted to independent, underground and experimental film and video. Unlike many other “independent” film events our goal is not to imitate old-guard, market-driven festivals such as Sundance. Instead we seek to promote works that dissent radically in form, content and technique from
both the tired conventions of Hollywood and the increasingly stagnant IndieWood mainstream. While our annual festival remains our primary activity, CUFF has expanded to include a post-production grant and year-round screenings and events. The festival, held each August, offers a
complementary mix of independent features, shorts, documentaries and experimental films.
Discount Cinema is a nomadic production group comprised of five local media-makers who are interested in providing outlets for the public to see work that they would have a difficult time finding elsewhere. Discount Cinema is dedicated to bringing micro-cinema to work in concert with non-traditional screening venues in Chicago to incorporate more performative and musical elements to the show, still centering the event around screenings. This non-festival format, the group hopes, will allow more freedom to show a variety of work without festival restrictions in
programming. The result is shows that team the comfort and grass-roots accessibility of a loft screening with the open-door welcoming factor of public places, places that aren’t traditional cinematic venues.
Other tour dates: ^ Feb 25 – Austin -Blue Screen Theatre ^ Feb 28 – Shreveport – MiniCine ^ Mar 1 – New Orleans – Zeitgeist Arts Center ^ Mar 2 – Baton Rouge – Baton Rouge Gallery ^ Mar 5 – Raleigh NC – Glitter Films ^ Mar 7 – Baltimore – Mission Space ^ Mar 9 – New York – the New York Underground Film Fest
Get more info from the Peripheral Produce web site and the
Chicago Underground Film Festival web site.

Check out’s FILM FESTIVAL ARCHIVES for more fest news!

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