Arguably Britain’s most provocative and idiosyncratic filmmaker, Peter Whitehead’s pioneering and intensely creative body of work has shocked, entertained and infuriated audiences in equal measure over the last fifty years. His films are both of their time and intensely relevant to the present day, with their focus on celebrity, music, counterculturalism and political unrest still chiming strongly with a modern audience.
A fiercely personal documentarian, he created two films which, more than any others captured the zeitgeist of both Britain and America as they convulsed in the throes of two very different cultural revolutions during the late 1960s. This six-disc set contains brand-new High Definition remasters of both Tonite Let’s Make Love in London and The Fall.
As part of an ongoing collaboration between Network Distributing, DMU and CATHI, the Peter Whitehead Archive has uncovered a host rare and unseen footage from the maverick filmmaker’s collection. Included in a vast selection of special features will be extended interviews with Michael Caine, Julie Christie, Bobby Kennedy and Gloria Steinem as well as unseen footage of Pink Floyd in the recording studio and the demonstration and occupation of Columbia University in 1968.
Peter Whitehead’s Tales of Two Cities: London and New York in the 1960s is a tribute to the enigmatic filmmaker, artist, writer, musician and falconer – who passed away earlier this year, aged 82.
This celebrated documentary is an invigorating, ironic take on the ‘Swinging London scene’, probing both the myth and reality of the time – presenting an intimate, impressionistic collage of rare concert and studio performances, interviews with key figures from the worlds of music, art and cinema, and images of Sixties counterculture.
John Lennon, Yoko Ono, Mick Jagger, Vanessa Redgrave, Lee Marvin, Julie Christie, Allen Ginsberg, Edna O’Brien, David Hockney and Michael Caine are among those captured on film and in sound; bookended by a performance of Pink Floyd’s Interstellar Overdrive, the soundtrack features songs by the Rolling Stones and Eric Burdon.
Made when many young people saw politicised hedonism as the logical response to global uncertainty, Whitehead’s “Pop Concerto for Film” taps into both the confidence and the confusion of an iconic moment in time.
A ground-breaking documentary of radical political and artistic dissent in New York 1967-68. This highly personal film, considered by Whitehead to be his most significant work, chronicles the turbulent, world-changing events that took place in the US and explores the transition from the optimism of ‘flower power’ to a darker – more violent – mood.
It both fictionalises and questions Whitehead’s own role as a documentary filmmaker and for this The Fall is widely recognised as a vital contribution to the evolution of documentary practice in the way it presents an unashamedly subjective portrait of its times and their effect on the film-maker. It is not only a unique record of American politics during the height of anti-Vietnam War protest, but a remarkable fusion of creative and factual film-making.
Capturing key events of the period – from anti-war protests at the Pentagon and Columbia University to the assassination of Robert Kennedy – the film also features writers Arthur Miller and Paul Auster, poet Allen Ginsberg, civil rights activist Stokely Carmichael, photographer Bert Stern, artist Robert Rauschenberg and actress Julie Bovasso, among others; the soundtrack features original music by The Nice and soul singer PP Arnold.
Deluxe Blu-ray box-set has 4 x Discs of Special Features including:
– Tonite Let’s All Make Love in London:
o Complete interviews with Michael Caine, David Hockney, Julie Christie, Lee Marvin and Vanessa Redgrave
o Previously unseen interviews with Peter Blake and Jan Howarth, Roy Lichtenstein and Sidney Lumet
o Previously unseen footage of London in 1966/7, the 14 Hour Technicolor Dream and Pink Floyd in the recording studio
– The Fall:
o Complete interviews with Mayor Lindsay, Bobby Kennedy, Gloria Steinem, Robert Rauschenberg, Allen Ginsberg and Cassius Clay
o Poetry reading with Arthur Miller, Anais Nim, Tom Wolfe and others
o Previously unseen footage of the Columbia University demonstration and occupation
– Exclusive hardback book – featuring articles and archive photographs edited by Steve Chibnall with contributions from a number of DMU researchers and associates, and leading external experts.
– Special Deluxe LP-Shaped packaging