David Crosswaite references Dziga Vertov’s Man With a Movie Camera, but rather than treating the camera as a metaphor for the eye looking out into the world and making sense of it, for this film the focus is on the camera itself and the filmmaking process. Through the use of mirrors, manipulations of focus, aperture and composition, film camera and filmmaker are progressively revealed, and the construction of illusion in film is broken down. The Man With A Movie Camera is one the purest examples of reflexive filmmaking in the early years of the LFMC.
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.