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The Coca-Cola sign in Piccadilly Circus at night to the sound of rock ’n’ roll.

1971 4 mins


Images of the Coca-Cola sign in Piccadilly Circus at night, to the sound of rock ’n’ roll music. In this double-screen work, images travel across the two screens, sometimes chasing each other. The interplay between the screens is accentuated by the image superimpositions and changes between colour, black & white, positive and negative. Infused with a 1960s pop-art vitality and aesthetics, both in its choice of subject and its treatment, Choke is also symptomatic of the development of multi-projection at the LFMC in the early 1970s. Malcolm Le Grice would write a few years later: “multi-projection has come in one way or another through treating projection as the primary area of film’s ‘reality’. For the film’s audience, the only point of contact with cinema as material reality comes through the actual time and space of projection.”

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.