This film is part of Free
A cinematographic response to Sylvia Plath’s Lady Lazarus with Plath’s own readings of her poetry
Sylvia Plath introduced her Lady Lazarus reading by saying: "The speaker is a woman who has a great and terrible gift of being reborn. The only trouble is, she has to die first. She is the phoenix... She is also just a good plain resourceful woman." In this film Lady Lazarus is a woman irresistibly drawn towards Plath's voice. She becomes a medium for Sylvia, as in a seance, as the film travels between Massachusetts and Camden. Bringing together the poet’s voice with a kaleidoscope of rich images, Sandra Lahire’s film explores a cinematic alphabet for Plath's own readings of her poetry and extracts from an interview given just before her death.
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.