British avant-garde cinema showcased at the DESTE

The British Council in Athens turns the spotlight onto independent British cinema with «Shoot Shoot Shoot,» a retrospective showcasing British avant-garde film of the late 1960s and early 1970s, which premiered at London’s Tate Modern in May 2002, and is now being shown here at the DESTE Foundation for Contemporary Art. The event is a celebration of experimental film, as well as an act of recognition for the work of the London Film-makers’ Co-operative (LFMC). The event is organized by Lux, a non-profit group set up to promote, preserve and make available the film and video collections of its predecessors, the Lux Center, London Filmmakers Co-op and London Electronic Arts/London Video Access. The project is funded by the Arts Council of England, the National Touring Programme, the British Council, the British Film Institute and the Esmee Fairbairn Foundation. LFMC was founded in 1966, based on the artist-led distribution center created by Jonas Mekas in New York and the New American Cinema Group. Keeping a policy of open membership, the LFMC was unique in incorporating production, distribution and exhibition within a single facility. Early pioneers like Len Lye, Anthony Balch, Margaret Tait and John Latham made noteworthy films in Britain, but by the mid-1960s interest in «underground» film was growing and the co-op soon became a dynamic center for the discussion, production and presentation of avant-garde film. The co-op asserted the significance of British films in line with international developments, and while the structural approach dominated, British filmmakers also made significant innovations with multiscreen films and expanded cinema events, producing works whose essence was defined by their ephemerality. Many of the works fell into the netherworld between film and fine art, never really seeming at home in either cinema or gallery spaces. «Shoot Shoot Shoot» brings them back to life. The program starts at 7.30 p.m. today with the presentation of a three-hour visual art installation that will be introduced by Malcolm Le Grice and followed by a party at which Mark Webber will DJ. On Friday, Saturday and Monday, the DESTE Foundation will have continuous screenings starting at 5.30 p.m. and the artists featured are Anthony Balch, Ian Breakwell, Steve Dwoskin, Gil Eatherley, Peter Gidal, David Hall, Jeff Keen, David Larcher, John Latham, Le Grice, Sally Potter, Lis Rhodes, John Smith, David Crosswaite and Chris Welsby. DESTE Foundation, 8 Omirou, Neo Psychico, tel 210.672.9460. For more information: British Council, 17 Kolonaki Square, tel 210.369.2333.

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