Boston Underground Film Festival
March 27-March 31, 2013
The Boston Underground Film Festival is the largest alternative movie festival in New England. The festival spotlights full-length feature films and many short films of varying topics, but has been recognized for presenting an award in a category known as "Most Utterly Offensive." The 2010 festival trailer asks the viewer, "Are you ready for gore, blood, sex, and excitement!" which describes the main genres of this event.
The festival is very popular with college students, as well as the local alternative crowd. This year's movie-fest will be held from March 27-31, 2013 at the Brattle Theatre in Cambridge. Seating is limited to the capacity of the theater, so plan ahead. Winners in 2013 include Best Feature: White Reindeer, directed by Zach Clark; Best Short: Bio-Cop, directed by Steven Kostanski; Most Effectively Offensive: See You Next Tuesday, directed by Drew Tobia; Director’s Choice Feature: Cheap Thrills by E.L. Katz; and Director’s Choice Short: Are We Not Cats? by Xander Robin.
Presenting editorial opinion, Boston doesn’t have much of an alternative scene, and compared to New York, is still inhabited by Puritans.
Historically, in about 1977-1981, there existed a punk rock and new wave crowd, but for the most part few people jumped on the bandwagon. In the late 70s and early 80s, only WERS (Emerson Radio) had punk rock music segments, while FNX, possibly an underground or unlicensed station originally, didn't arrive until 1983. Even the Boston Phoenix newspaper, which was infamous for it's risqué classified section during the late 1970s, had published its last edition in March 2013.
Newbury Comics on Newbury Street can be noted as a trailblazer of the scene, having first established a collectible comic books store in 1978, that quickly morphed into a punk rock, new wave, and Goth accessory store. Racks that looked like second-hand Woolworth's bins were stocked full of punk rock singles and 45s. Leather and Spandex outfits were available in the back of the store. Today, Newbury Comics still has its cutting-edge, with lots of CDs and DVDs of otherwise hard to find music and video.
Is there still a trendy Boston Underground? Maybe metro-sexual bars in the 1970s, the Blue Sands in the early '80s, or even Axis and Man-Ray on certain nights in the early '90s. The old Orson Wells Theatre midnight shows in Cambridge, and Rocky Horror Picture shows at the old Exeter Street Theatre, are about the pinnacle of underground Boston in the last 50 years. [This editor may have went to a horror film double feature at the Brattle Theatre in about 1978, a venue with great history.]
Films at the Boston Underground Film Festival may be offensive to some people, but it's good that a First-Amendment Venue still exists in the area.