J.J. Murphy


Professor Emeritus


Professor J.J. Murphy

Office Hours:

  • On Leave


Expertise and Activities

My films have been screened at numerous international film festivals, such as the New York Film Festival, Berlin, Edinburgh, Wellington, Auckland, Florence, the South Korean Experimental Film Exhibition, the Virginia Festival of American Film, and Cinema Arts Festival, Houston, Texas. My films have also screened at the Whitney Museum of American Art (New York City), Centre Georges Pompidou (Paris), the Museu de Arte Contemporanea de Sallaves (Porto, Portugal), the Hirshhorn Museum (Washington, D. C.), the Barbican Film Centre (London), the Austrian Film Museum (Vienna), the Museum of Fine Arts (Boston), Anthology Film Archives (New York City), the Brakhage Symposium, (Boulder. CO), and Xcèntric, el cinema del CCCB, Barcelona, Spain. I have written articles for Film QuarterlyMillennium Film JournalFilm CultureField of VisionFilm Studies: An International Review, and The Journal of Screenwriting. I’m the author of three books: Me and You and Memento and Fargo: How Independent Screenplays Work (Continuum Books, 2007), The Black Hole of the Camera: The Films of Andy Warhol (University of California Press, 2012), and Rewriting Indie Cinema: Improvisation, Psychodrama, and the Screenplay (Columbia University Press, 2019).  For more info about these publications, please see my website: http://jjmurphyfilm.com. I am one of the editors of the Palgrave Studies in Screenwriting series. I serve on the editorial board of The Journal of Screenwriting. In spring of 2006, I received a Chancellor’s Distinguished Teaching Award. I was an affiliate member of the Art Department at UW-Madison, where I served on a number of MFA committees in painting and drawing and multimedia. My major scholarly research interests include: screenwriting, improvisation, American independent cinema, avant-garde cinema, and the films of Andy Warhol. I am also interested in all aspects of contemporary art, including film and video shown in museum and gallery contexts.


  • M.A. University of Iowa, 1972
  • B.S. University of Scranton, 1969


  • Horicon (1994) 16mm Color/Sound
  • Frame of Mind (1985) 16mm Color/Sound
  • Terminal Disorder (1983) 16mm Color/Sound
  • The Night Belongs to the Police (1982) 16mm Color/Sound
  • Preview (1980) 16mm Color/Sound
  • Science Fiction (1979) 16mm Color/Sound
  • Movie Stills (1977) 16mm B/W/Silent
  • Print Generation (1974) 16mm Color/Sound
  • In Progress (1972) 16mm Color/Silent
  • Sky Blue Water Light Sign (1972) 16mm Color/Sound


  • CA 462 – American Independent Cinema
  • CA 466 – Writing for TV and Film (Screenwriting)
  • CA 613 – The Films of Andy Warhol
  • CA 659 – Advanced Film Production Workshop