Marie Hawkins

Jeff Keen. This name may not ring a bell, but if you see his explosive, energetic and eccentric short films you won’t forget it. Four of his best-known films, ‘Cineblatz’ (1967), ‘Meatdaze ‘(1968), ‘The Cartoon Theatre of Dr Gaz’ (1976 – 1979) and ‘Mad Love’ (1972-1978), were shown in the Duke of York cinema as part of a wider retrospective programme. This screening paid homage to the wonderfully bizarre world of Keen, considered one of the great figures of the British post-war avant-garde. The screening was a rare chance to see some of his greatest work.

The films reflect his wild, imaginative personality by embodying a fast paced spirit of anarchic play, surrealism, a love of pop culture, melting plastic dolls with soundtracks of fighter jets and explosions to name a few. Most importantly they show him as an artist. The viewer is treated to seeing Keen himself, painting and drawing on walls, cardboard, people and any other type of material he can get his hands on. His works of art are just as chaotic and mad as his short films.

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