This is the second film title chosen from Cinenova feminist film and video distributor and was screened online as part of COMMUNAL, Thursday 23 April 2020, 6.30pm.
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Tracks uses the character of a struggling female teacher in order to connect areas of pre-feminism such as the suffragette movement, contraception and abortion rights, motherhood, later feminist writings and poverty, whilst highlighting the contradictions and differences within feminist discourse at the time. It’s a collage film which combines photographic, animated and live-action parts, black and white and colour footage. The voice-over soundtrack is partly a reworking and rewording of individual experiences and also a reflection on perceived actions of women due to historical and contemporary circumstance. It draws on a rich collection of personal and public imagery, re-made and manipulated, layered and textured, while taking a critical look at certain feminist theories.
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. Although produced at the London Film-Makers’ Co-operative, this film was distributed by Circles – the first women artists’ film and video distribution organisation in Britain. Circles was founded in 1979 by a group of filmmakers including Lis Rhodes, Jo Davis, Felicity Sparrow and Annabel Nicolson, many of whom had worked at the Co-op. Their work continues today through Cinenova, formed in 1991 from the merger of Circles and another feminist distributor, Cinema of Women.