Peter Gidal’s cinema is anti-narrative, against representation, and fiercely materialist. In Close-Up, his political, ultra-leftist practice is augmented by the disembodied voices of two Nicaraguan revolutionaries heard in the soundtrack. These voices punctuate a film whose representation of a room, an inhabited space, is one in which the viewer must consciously search for recognition, for meaning-making. The image-content is muted and abstract, but fascinating, with moments of inadvertent beauty.
Founded in 1966, the London Film-Makers’ Co-operative started life at Better Books, a counter-culture bookshop on Charing Cross Road, where a group led by poet Bob Cobbing and filmmakers Stephen Dwoskin and Jeff Keen met to screen films. Initially inspired by the activities of the New American Cinema Group in New York, the London Co-op grew into a pioneering organisation that incorporated a film workshop, cinema space and distribution office. During its four-decade history, the Co-op played a crucial role in establishing film as an art form in the UK and participated in a vibrant international film scene. This BFI Player collection brings together new scans of films distributed by and/or produced at the London Co-op.