In Key, Peter Gidal uses zoom and defocus to abstract a photograph of Warhol muse and 1960s icon, Nico, beyond recognition, addressing the materiality of the photographic image. Gidal, who frequently wrote on Andy Warhol’s work, was also one of the leading theoretical voices at the LFMC, coining the term “structural/materialist” film. Structural/materialist films are non-illusionist, drawing the viewer’s attention to the film material and the filmmaking process.
Founded in 1966, the London Film-Makers’ Co-operative (LFMC) 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.