by Gidal, Peter
- Arts Council of England/Great Britain
'PETER GIDAL's films have tackled directly the tension that (arguably) underlines all cinema: the tension between the material process of film and cinema on the one hand, and on the other the processes of signification whose basis they are. Dominant narrative cinema tends to repress the materiality of film, and to direct the process of signification towards one aim: the representation of a reality that is considered to be 'outside' and anterior to the processes of the film... Gidal knows only too well one way that fascination, (inducing a mechanism to fulfil the demands of our imagination) reasserts itself...hence the way that his films hesitate between structure and the arbitrary, refusing both. In Kopenhagen 1930 there are frequent hints of what the film could have been... This cinema neither foregrounds (as structuralist/materialist cinema) nor denies (as dominant cinema) the concerns of the material specificity of film as signification.â€™ - John Ellis, British Film Institute Film File No. 1, 1977.
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