ISSN: 20456298
First published in 2012
2 issues per volume
Volume 5 Issue 1-2
Cover Date: December 2016
1970s British experimental film: Images in shadows and light
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Authors:  Patti Gaal-Holmes 
DOI: 10.1386/miraj.5.1-2.70_1

Keywords
1970s experimental film history,counterculture,psychoanalysis,mysticism,London Film-maker’s Co-op,‘return to image’

Abstract
This article on 1970s British experimental film-making challenges the problematic ‘return to image’ thesis evident in diverse historical accounts of the decade, arguing that image-rich, expressive, personal and representational films were in evidence throughout the decade and not just at its close. The article reviews examples of the ‘return to image’ thesis, demonstrating how it has perpetuated a flawed account of the decade. It also outlines some of the countercultural, psychoanalytic and mystical influences on film-making and discusses American critic P. Adams Sitney’s taxonomical distinctions – ‘psychodramatic trance’, ‘lyrical’, ‘mythopoeia’ and ‘diary’ – which provide illuminating characteristics useful for examining some of the personal, expressive forms of 1970s British film-making. It gives an understanding of how experimental film-making grew from a small handful of films and film-makers at the start of the 1970s to a veritable explosion of film-making by the end of the decade.
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