By Patti Gaal-Holmes
This entire historic account demonstrates the wealthy variety in Seventies British experimental filmmaking, appearing as a sort of reclamation for movies and filmmakers marginalized inside of validated histories. An necessary publication for practitioners, historians and critics alike, it offers new interpretations of this wealthy and numerous history.
checklist of Tables
record of Abbreviations
1 Questions of History
Historiography and heritage via curation
Accessibility to films
Whose background can 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
Nineteen Seventies screenings
three Experimental movie and different visible Arts
Conceptualism, modernism and ways 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 issues for 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 part of the beneath (1972) and primary 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 photograph construction
Humour, play and sound/image
Sound as narrative formation
evaluations of the formal ideological position
6 girls and Film
Political and theoretical frameworks for filmmaking
Questions of a female aesthetic
range 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
72 Yet, while there is an awareness of the alibi that certain historical positions might take, the dominant idea that a ‘return’ occurred at the end of the 1970s was still maintained. 77 In a final example relating to this alleged ‘return’ I want to consider film historian Julia Knight’s analysis, as she identified some interesting points in her critique of the continued dominance of the 1970s structuralist position laid out in the Undercut journals (1980–1990). 78 Knight identified this ‘neat linear history of British avant-garde film’ as follows: • The British structuralist movement grew out of the 1960s US structural film, but developed a distinctive identity to counter the US hegemony.
An initial discussion in the first half of this chapter is framed by a number of essays whose titles reveal ongoing questions which are still urgent for this history today. 4 The second half of this chapter is central to the argument put forward in this book, namely that 1970s experimental filmmaking was far more diverse than accounts have determined. It importantly challenges the ‘return to image’ thesis, a myth continuing to dominate accounts of this history. This flawed myth, problematically privileging formal investigation over others types of experimentation, has offered a biased account of events.
Questions of History 33 • The strict ‘formalism’ of structuralist filmmaking is not totally abandoned but a ‘representational’ element is reintegrated, as exemplified by the ‘landscape films’ of the 1970s. 80 Knight supported her account of the problematic perpetuation of this ‘return’ with recollections from filmmaker Barbara Meter. Writing in 1990, Meter’s account provides some interesting points relating to the alleged influence of structural and formal filmmaking and the apparent ‘return to image’ at the end of the 1970s: [L]ooking again at the British avant-garde after 15 years it is as if I have plunged into an orgy of romantic images, grainy colours, decadent and dark moods and personal evocations.
A History of 1970s Experimental Film: Britain's Decade of Diversity by Patti Gaal-Holmes