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Arrows

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Arrows

A first-person essay on the experience of anorexia and its cultural causes

Animation & Artists Moving Image 1984 16 mins

Overview

Arrows uses a combination of live action and rostrum work to communicate the experience of anorexia and to analyse the cultural causes of the condition. 'I am so aware of my body', we are told on the soundtrack, whilst images of caged wild birds are intercut with images of the rib cage of the film's subject, the filmmaker herself. Taking the camera into her own hands, and revealing this process to the spectator by using a mirror, the filmmaker shows herself in control of this representation of a woman's body. The film ends with Sylvia Plath’s poem The Thin People which speaks of people who starve themselves, and people who are actually deprived, locating the condition of anorexia firmly in western patriarchal culture.

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.