Dr. Patti Gaal-Holmes’ professional output

1970s British Experimental Film: Images in Shadows and Light

Article – Published 14th Jul 16

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.

Publication details

Publication status Submitted
Refereed 1
Publication title MIRAJ (Moving Image Review & Art Journal)
Publishers name Intellect
Volume MIRAJ 5:1/5:2