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Spot the Microdot

An unprintable film, handmade by punching holes into an opaque 16mm strip.

Animation & Artists Moving Image 1969 8 mins


This film was handmade by punching circular holes into fully opaque 16mm film stock at rhythmic intervals. Discs of colour film have been laid into some of the holes. Only the original copy of this film exists – it cannot be printed and is therefore projected only on rare occasions. As with other Le Grice films from the late 1960s, Spot the Microdot is marked by a radical rejection of ‘illusionism’, choosing to focus instead on the material properties of the film medium itself.

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.