Peter Whitehead

  • Peter Whitehead – The Benefit of the Doubt (1967)

    Quote:
    Following this success, Whitehead was invited to film a controversial new play, US, by radical theatre director Peter Brook. Building on the provocative question of Britain’s relationship to America during the Vietnam War, Whitehead pushed the issue of complicity further, challenging the relationship between the actors – including a young Glenda Jackson – and their performances. Steadfast and provocative in its consideration of international relations and war, Benefit of the Doubt has troubling relevance to the current political climate.Read More »

  • Niki de Saint Phalle & Peter Whitehead – Daddy (1973)

    A fantasy about a woman’s attempts to exorcise the influence of her sexually domineering father.

    “What began as a documentary on sculptress Niki de St. Phalle finished up as a fantasy about a woman’s attempts to exorcise the influence of her sexually domineering father. It provides an excuse for a whole ragbag of Freudian neuroses, six-foot phalluses in coffins, nubile girls in nun’s habits stripping in front of altars, masturbation, some obvious jokes, pretty photography, abysmal acting, and a commentary that reads and sounds like a Home Service children’s story for adults” (Chris Petit, Time Out)Read More »

  • Peter Whitehead – The Fall (1969)

    Quote:
    Considered by Whitehead to be his most important film, The Fall is an extraordinary piece of filmmaking, an extremely personal statement on violence, revolution and the turbulence within late sixties America. Filmed entirely in and around New York between October 1967 and June 1968, it features Robert Kennedy, The Bread and Puppet Theater, Paul Auster (fresh-faced as a Columbia student), Tom Hayden, Mark Rudd, Stokely Carmichael, H. Rap Brown, Arthur Miller, Robert Lowell, Robert Rauschenberg and The Deconstructivists. Richard Roud, co-director of the New York Film Festival wrote of the film, “…an attempt to come to grips with today, both in terms of its content as well as of its form.”Read More »

  • Peter Whitehead – Wholly Communion (1965)

    Whitehead’s breakthrough film, the documentation of the great Albert Hall Poetry Festival in ’65, which won him acclaim and awards. Shot handheld with only 45 minutes of stock (the finished film is 33 minutes), and presumably closely distilling much of the tension and event-ness of the celebrated ‘happening’. Verse luminaries include a bill-topping Allen Ginsberg (who reclines into his adoring entourage like a decadent monarch), the gruff, pipesmoking compere Alec Trocchi, an incendiary Adrian Mitchell, and most memorably the stoned heckler who disrupts the wired Harry Fainlight to the delight of the massive crowd. Read More »

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