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Living Memory

The filmmaker revisits the landscape of her youth and her memory of it

Animation & Artists Moving Image 1980 39 mins


Living Memory is a physical journey (by light aircraft, car and foot), circling the landscape of the Rees-Mogg family home at Temple Cloud in Somerset. It is built, in the filmmaker’s own words, around ‘a ragbag of quotations’, another threading of beads on a string, borrowing words from T. S. Eliot’s poem Ash Wednesday, Collinson’s History of Somerset, A. J Ayer Goethe, Pevsner and Burton’s Anatomy of Melancholy. According to Anne Rees-Mogg, the title is a cliché revisited: it refers to the layers of her own and other people’s memory of the place where she grew up. Living Memory closes a trilogy with Real Time and Sentimental Journey in which the filmmaker explores the landscape where she spent her early life, and to some extent the people who helped her to inhabit it.

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.