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Peter Whitehead and the Sixties (DVD) Peter Whitehead and the Sixties (DVD)

Fascinating document of the radical, experimental, literary and theatrical scenes of 60s London.

Fascinating document of the radical, experimental, literary and theatrical scenes of 60s London.

£14.99

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Legendary filmmaker Peter Whitehead was at the heart of Swinging London, chronicling the youth explosion, the burgeoning popular music scene and the counterculture of the 1960s. In March the National Film Theatre hosted a comprehensive retrospective of his work. This DVD features two of his films; Wholly Communion (1965) and Benefit of the Doubt (1967), coupled with a new interview with Peter and additional rare footage. With over three hours of material, Peter Whitehead and the Sixties is a fascinating document of the radical, experimental, literary and theatrical scenes of 60s London.

On 11 June 1965, the Royal Albert Hall played host to a slew of American and European beat poets for an extraordinary impromptu event – the International Poetry Incarnation – that arguably marked the birth of London's gestating counterculture. Cast in the role of historian, as a man-on-the-scene, and massively elevating his limited resources, Whitehead constructed the extraordinary Wholly Communion from the unfolding circus. As Allen Ginsberg, Lawrence Ferlinghetti, Gregory Corso, Harry Fainlight, Alexander Trocchi and others took to the stage, Whitehead confidently wandered with his borrowed camera, creating a participatory and anarchic film that is as much a landmark as the event itself, and launched his career.

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.

Legendary filmmaker Peter Whitehead was at the heart of Swinging London, chronicling the youth explosion, the burgeoning popular music scene and the counterculture of the 1960s. In March the National Film Theatre hosted a comprehensive retrospective of his work. This DVD features two of his films; Wholly Communion (1965) and Benefit of the Doubt (1967), coupled with a new interview with Peter and additional rare footage. With over three hours of material, Peter Whitehead and the Sixties is a fascinating document of the radical, experimental, literary and theatrical scenes of 60s London.

On 11 June 1965, the Royal Albert Hall played host to a slew of American and European beat poets for an extraordinary impromptu event – the International Poetry Incarnation – that arguably marked the birth of London's gestating counterculture. Cast in the role of historian, as a man-on-the-scene, and massively elevating his limited resources, Whitehead constructed the extraordinary Wholly Communion from the unfolding circus. As Allen Ginsberg, Lawrence Ferlinghetti, Gregory Corso, Harry Fainlight, Alexander Trocchi and others took to the stage, Whitehead confidently wandered with his borrowed camera, creating a participatory and anarchic film that is as much a landmark as the event itself, and launched his career.

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.

Extras

  • Exclusive interview with Peter Whitehead
  • Jeanette Cochrane (1967) an experimental Whitehead short not seen since the year of production, features music by Pink Floyd
  • Footage of Vanessa Redgrave singing and playing guitar in the Royal Albert Hall in 1966, shot by Whitehead
  • Stills gallery of images taken on 11th June 1965 by internationally renowned moving image artist, David Larcher.

Additional Info

Additional Info

SKU 5035673007501
Catalogue Number BFIVD750
Product contents
  • Exclusive interview with Peter Whitehead.
  • Jeanette Cochrane (1967): an experimental Whitehead short not seen since the year of production, featuring music by Pink Floyd.
  • Footage of Vanessa Redgrave singing and playing guitar in
Year 1965 , 1967
Director Whitehead, Peter
Format DVD
Countries United Kingdom
Aspect ratio 04:03
Colour Black/white
Sound Sound
Subtitles English for the hard-of-hearing
Running time 189
DVD region 2
Certificate Exempt

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