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Peter Gidal
40mins B/W 16mm


Kopenhagen/1930 presents a different attitude to the seductions of content, to the signifying processes that are repressed in the rigorous procedures of the structural/materialist film. Its material is "images by George Gidal, Copenhagen 1930": photographs, their grounding and their signification.

"For the most part, the attitude is one of 'reverence' for the material, which, after all, has immense familial resonances for Gidal, as it was produced by an uncle who died soon afterwards. Yet such authorial ruminations yield little of substance about the film. It is a notable departure from Gidal's previous work using still photographs (e.g. Film Print, 1974) because it seems content to offer the images with little or no commentary on their materiality as images: most are shot with a steady (tripod/rostrum) camera, respecting the framing of the original, with a great regard for sequence, pace, and (amazingly) narration. There are frequent hints of what the film could have been: the first shot is a hand-held examination of the grain and frame of a photo; an intertitle appears, first in George Gidal's German script, then in translation, with no relation to the surrounding images; some prints are the originals from the album, now beginning to degenerate; the album itself is shown at certain points, with its copious comments, its careful numbering and sequencing of separate shots of the same events. All these are clues for the possible different films of the material, stressing its materiality as photographs, the constructed context through which they become meaningful, etc."

John Ellis, 'Two New Films by Peter Gidal', Independent Cinema Documentation File No 1: Peter Gidal, October 1977.

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