By P. Gaal-Holmes
This finished old account demonstrates the wealthy variety in Seventies British experimental filmmaking, appearing as a kind of reclamation for movies and filmmakers marginalized inside demonstrated histories. An crucial booklet for practitioners, historians and critics alike, it offers new interpretations of this wealthy and various historical past.
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Additional resources for A History of 1970s Experimental Film: Britain’s Decade of Diversity
Rees also continued by saying that: Broadly the structural tendency won out in those younger filmmakers who showed their first films around 1977. It was their immediate legacy and context, although each distanced themselves from it. 70 (my emphasis) How could filmmakers go ‘further underground’? And where might this mythic place be? While Larcher made only one film in the 1970s, Monkey’s Birthday (1975), it is an epic work lasting six hours. Dwoskin made over ten films between 1970 and 1980. Jarman and Keen made over 50 films collectively in the 1970s.
If a ‘return to image’ did occur anywhere, this was perhaps evident in the work of younger filmmakers affiliated with the LFMC and influenced by Gidal and Le Grice’s theoretical positions. These included filmmakers such as Lucy Panteli (Across the Field of Vision, 1982), Michael Mazière (Untitled, 1980), Rob Gawtrop (Distancing, 1979), Will Milne (Fattendre, 1978) and Nicky Hamlyn (Guesswork, 1979). Gidal’s uncompromising theoretical position and continued influence in subsequent decades almost certainly consolidated the view on the dominance of formal experimentation during the 1970s, potentially also consolidating the alleged ‘return to image’ thesis.
You could theoretically study painting from pictures and books and obviously that is not ideal but you could, to a degree, know these works. Now Questions of History 17 without seeing a film from beginning to end, you couldn’t know it. And there is a whole complex system of how works are circulated. 16 One of the issues specifically overshadowing historical accounts of 1970s experimental film is that many of these to a large extent became prejudiced by a lack of – and inaccessibility to – the primary sources: the films.
A History of 1970s Experimental Film: Britain’s Decade of Diversity by P. Gaal-Holmes