This book acts as a form of historical reclamation, demonstrating the complex and rich diversity in 1970s British experimental filmmaking. The intention is to integrate films that have not received adequate recognition into the field alongside those that stand as accepted texts. While filmmakers such as Derek Jarman, Ian Breakwell, Jeff Keen, David Larcher, Margaret Tait and Peter Whitehead have been recognised in 1970s histories, this collectively extensive (image-rich and representational) body of work has been overshadowed by structural and material film experimentation taking place predominantly at the London Filmmakers Co-operative (LFMC). I also advocate for the recognition of films by Jane Arden and B. S. Johnson — albeit perhaps awkwardly situated within this history — as these are sufficiently innovative and experimental to warrant inclusion. This re-evaluation of the history, situating more personal, poetic or expressive forms of filmmaking alongside the already well-established history of formal, structural/material film, brings unique insights to the fore and importantly recognises the richness and diversity in 1970s experimentation. While LFMC histories are already fairly well-documented, they also, in my mind, problematically focus too much on 1970s filmmakers/ theoreticians Peter Gidal and Malcolm Le Grice’s structural/material(ist) theoretical positions, thereby also belying the rich seam of material produced at, and affiliated to, the LFMC during the decade.
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- Palgrave Macmillan UK