The film depicts the sea breaking against a timber break-water, juxtaposed with and superimposed upon smoke rising from the chimneys of Battersea Power Station. Although the images have been chosen for meanings and qualities they imply, the film resists narrative and theme – its impact comes through the way in which the images are transformed in the printing, mainly comprising certain kinds of positive-negative superimposition. Yes No Maybe Maybenot is a key work of early British avant-garde cinema.
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.