By Patti Gaal-Holmes
This accomplished ancient account demonstrates the wealthy variety in Seventies British experimental filmmaking, appearing as a kind of reclamation for motion pictures and filmmakers marginalized inside of confirmed histories. An critical publication for practitioners, historians and critics alike, it presents new interpretations of this wealthy and various history.
checklist of Tables
checklist of Abbreviations
1 Questions of History
Historiography and background via curation
Accessibility to films
Whose historical past will we need?
The 'return to image' thesis
2 Institutional Frameworks and Organisational Strategies
autonomous Film-Maker's organization (IFA)
the humanities Council nice Britain (ACGB) and the British movie Institute (BFI)
The Attenborough Enquiry
crew investment and different alternatives
three Experimental movie and different visible Arts
Conceptualism, modernism and methods to filmmaking
'Black box' or 'white cube' and anti- commodification
Jarman's portray, romanticism and 'sensuous' film
color box portray and Cubism
Optical painting/optical film
movie and photography
Drawing on film
Land paintings and panorama in film
four Visionary, Mythopoeia and Diary Films
Contexts for filmmaking
New concerns for Nineteen Seventies British films
Psycho-dramatic trance, lyrical and mythopoeia in British films
hearth within the Water (1977)
Vibration (1975) and Anti-Clock (1979)
the opposite facet of the beneath (1972) and crucial Bazaar (1976)
Invocation of My Demon Brother (1969) and Rayday movie (1968–70 and 1976)
Lucifer emerging ( 1970–1981), within the Shadow of the sunlight ( 1974–81) and The paintings of Mirrors (1973)
British 'diary' films
B. S. Johnson
five Experiments with constitution and Material
Theoretical views for filmmaking: Sitney, Le Grice and Gidal
Distinctively British experimentation and the LFMC
Consolidating structural and fabric filmmaking: Le Grice and Gidal
the target and/or subjective ' camera-eye': Gidal and Brakhage
Anticipation via snapshot construction
Humour, play and sound/image
Sound as narrative formation
reviews of the formal ideological position
6 girls and Film
Political and theoretical frameworks for filmmaking
Questions of a female aesthetic
variety in women's filmmaking
The gendered movie text
a female aesthetic of ephemerality
heritage, language and ideology
end: (Re)cognitions and (Re)considerations for This History
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Extra info for A History of 1970s Experimental Film: Britain's Decade of Diversity
Curtis sheds some important light (and I will quote in full) on how these issues were also of concern to many 1970s and 80s artists and experimental filmmakers: [F]ilm remained the responsibility of the education department, with only rare excursions into the territory by the exhibitions and collections staff over the next two decades. One apparent obstacle was the Tate Trustees’ decision only to collect works published in limited editions. To many artists, the idea of a limited edition of films was anathema; film’s infinite reproducibility was one of its attractions, offering an escape from the trap of the unique, therefore materially valuable art-object, also making film a conceptually purer and (arguably) more democratic medium […] The Arts Council, which saw purchasing works for its Collection as a primary means of Questions of History 23 supporting living artists, similarly failed to include film and video till the mid-1990s.
My final polemic, challenging what I believe is the highly problematic ‘return to image’ thesis, has sought to tease out the ‘thorns’ in the side of this history – a history which has continued to uphold the dominance of structural and material experimentation and overshadowed more personal, expressive or visionary forms of 1970s filmmaking. Questions of History 35 My apologies again for the necessary pedantry with which I have identified the culpable ‘return to image’ ‘thorns’ – this is in no way personal.
16 A History of 1970s Experimental Film The screening of experimental films was often a rare occasion – ‘few films are likely to have more than one showing in a year even in London. 13 It is perhaps stating the obvious, but if films were not available – or so fleetingly available – there was less likelihood that they could be written about, critiqued or included in contemporary or retrospective screenings. Accessibility to films While digitisation and access to on-line materials has significantly changed things for the researcher, not all resources available on-line are representative of a given period as they have (prior to being uploaded) already been selected for dissemination.
A History of 1970s Experimental Film: Britain's Decade of Diversity by Patti Gaal-Holmes