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Five experimentations with film as a medium, a physical object and a record of social reality
Mike Dunford’s 8mm films were made within a short period of time between 1968 and 1971 whilst he was a sculpture student at Goldsmiths College. Using offcuts, junk footage banality, politics, performance, pastiche, escalators, flowers, aeroplanes and motor cycles, Dunford experimented with film as a medium which he approached as a materialist sculptor. For Dunford, “the reality of a filmstrip running through the gate, and all its previous incarnations as a representational record of a social reality, an object to be worked on, physically scarred, in its existence and evidence in and of time, its evanescent fragility as modulated light, this was the true subject matter of these films. In Five Films a motorbike is repaired during the moon landing, a man mixes dough on a bowl and applies it on his face in a hand processed and bleached film, a busy London street is filmed through a red filter…
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.