Boomkat Product Review:
A vast four-DVD collection spanning over nine hours of film and video by British experimental cinema icon Jeff Keen.
Part trash cinema, part anarchism, Keen's densely packed image-brokery bombards the eyes at a rate which at first defies interpretation. You might chiefly align Keen with pop art and surrealism: during certain films his borrowing of comic book and consumerist iconography faintly recalls Roy Lichtenstein, or Jeff Koons, while in another strand of his work you might encounter very tangible references to the surrealist movement and Andre Breton. Keen seems to skip in a disorderly fashion between abstract, heavily edited art films, animations and the sort of fare that seems to stray very far indeed from the avant-garde, settling instead for farce or curious exploitation movie pastiche, perhaps most obviously on the wholly ridiculous 'Swamp Women'.
Similarly, the soundtracks seem to switch between plunderphonic and tape noise experiments, making for an erratic mixture of what might be considered 'low' and 'high' culture. Sifting meaning from these films is a painstaking though not impossible process, but it's easy to be wrong-footed when within a space of moments you might be presented with baffling psycho-sexual set pieces only to be walloped by fast-cutting split screen abstract art. This boxset is without doubt a significant document in the history of British avant-garde filmmaking, and its thoroughness is to be admired: in addition to the films themselves, you're also presented with a newly filmed Keen interview, two documentaries, plus a 96-page booklet.