Short Film

Peter Gidal – Collected HD Works (1968-1983)


Peter Gidal’s cinema is anti-narrative, against representation, and fiercely materialist.

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. Read More »

François Ozon – Action vérité aka Truth or Dare (1994)


Innocence gives way to experience. Two girls and two boys, probably about 14 or 15 years old, play a game of truth or dare. The questions and the challenges deal with sex; it’s innocent and harmless, but at each turn, each youth tries to raise the ante. Then, Paul gives a dare to Rose, and the result brings on a sudden and complete silence. Read More »

Nicky Hamlyn – Not to See Again / Guesswork (1979-1980)


Details, fragments, transformations and shadows of a confined space: the toilets of the London Filmmakers’ Co-op in Gloucester Avenue, Primrose Hill, London. This film is neither abstract, nor firmly resolved in terms of what is depicted. Saturated colors and snatches of images are punctuated by darkness, whilst silence is punctuated by mysterious sounds, which are confined to moments when the image is extremely low key. The haunting use of sound and silence and the enigmatic juxtapositions and fragmentation contribute to the film’s overall abstract quality. Read More »

Mike Dunford – Collected HD Works (1969-1971)

Mike Dunford’s 8mm films were made within a short period of time between 1968 and 1971 whilst he was a sculpture student at Goldsmiths College. Using offcuts, junk footage banality, politics, performance, pastiche, escalators, flowers, aeroplanes and motor cycles, Dunford experimented with film as a medium which he approached as a materialist sculptor. For Dunford, “the reality of a filmstrip running through the gate, and all its previous incarnations as a representational record of a social reality, an object to be worked on, physically scarred, in its existence and evidence in and of time, its evanescent fragility as modulated light, this was the true subject matter of these films. Four Films includes a ‘walking piece’ with Sally Potter. Read More »

Gus Van Sant – Four Boys in a Volvo (1996)


The short film was made from material shot for a Levi’s commercial on which Gus Van Sant was given complete freedom. Van Sant delivered the ad, and separately made his own short film; one that feels complete in and unto itself. The stunning, natural-lit frames are the result of what might be the filmmaker’s first collaboration with his long-time collaborator, the much revered, and sadly passed, cinematographer Harris Savides. The pair later worked together on all of Van Sant’s features from Gerry (2002) to Restless (2011). In Four Boys in a Volvo, repeating images of a car driving through a desert road remind us of Van Sant’s later films Gerry or Last Days (2005). This elliptical film conveys one of the filmmaker’s most beloved themes; a portrait of youth in search of meaning and escape. Read More »

Todd Solondz – Babysitter (1984)


A student film with no synced sound, Babysitter is a humorous nine-minute short made as Todd Solondz’ graduate film for NYU film school in 1984. Eric Schwartzman narrates and plays the lead role of a young boy who tells his history with babysitters, and how his life was particularly touched by his last one, a teenager (Patti Seitz). Read More »

Coni Beeson – Holding (1971)


Two young women in love communicate through fantasy and touching in a rhythmic buildup, merging time concepts. Flashes of the past blend with the present and future in a collage of themselves, the hills, the sea and their sexuality. Read More »