PETER WHITEHEAD'S
CHARLIE IS MY DARLING (1966) . . .
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MARTIN SCORSESE
describes Peter Whitehead's film.

(Exhibitionism Rolling Stones, Saatchi Gallery)
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"For me and, I think, for many people, the Stones are endlessly fascinating. You can get different directors to make pictures about them and the odds are they will all be quite compelling in one way or another. All the documentaries are really interesting to watch. The Whitehead film captures the time in which the Stones became the Stones, when they were young, when it was raw and new.

Whitehead is a really special film-maker. As part of the film we did on George Harrison called Living In The Material World, we used a beautiful scene from another picture that Whitehead made a year [after Charlie] called Tonite Let's All Make Love In London. He really chronicled that period in London in the '60s, the supposedly Swinging London of that time.

HE'S THE CHRONICLER AND THAT'S THE SOURCE

 

NATIONAL MEDIA MUSEUM.  BRADFORD
15TH INTERNATIONAL FILM FESTIVAL 2009
PETER WHITEHEAD has RECEIVED THE 2009 FELLOWSHIP AWARD.

"
PETER WHITEHEAD;
The WORD and the IMAGE

Peter Whitehead has been a scientist, newsreel cameraman, writer, publisher, falconer, erotic photographer and an occultist. He has lived a rich life of extraordinary, almost hallucinogenic, intensity.

He pioneered  a highly subjective, personal style of documentary cinema influenced by the cinema vérité and direct cinema movements that offers audiences a singular vision.
Whitehead's films are a unique interaction with documentary, art, politics and the supernatural (in its inventive rather than religious sense).
This retrospective of his films exists to place Whitehead firmly at the forefront of cinematic experimentation and proclaims him as a genius of the Documentary Art."
Mark Goodall.

"The brilliant work of Peter Lorrimer Whitehead, full of an incomparable energy, pulverises the false barriers between formal research, documentary reportage, psychedelic cinema, cinema engage, pop cinema and auteur cinema. Whitehead's work accomplishes an exceptional synthesis, open to every different dimension of avant-garde cinema, tending towards perceptual explosion and euphoric fusion with phenomena. "

 
Nicole Brenez:  “The Exigency of Joy.”

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Le CHE GUEVARA de la Camera.  "Sans Lui, les annes 60's se redirent au Sex Drug and Rock'n'roll.  Mais grace a l'oeuvre de Peter Whitehead, le mot "revolution" est aussi au generique.

        The CHE GUEVARA of the Camera. "Without him, the 60's is reduced to just Sex, Drugs and Rock'n'Roll.
But thanks to the work of Peter Whitehead, the word " revolution " is also evident and relevant.

 
ARTE: French TV.
  

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    STILL SWINGING: The Art-House auteur Peter Whitehead: "For years, the British director Peter Whitehead has been a legend among a rarefied group of cineastes. Now the rest of us will be able to enjoy this work."

 
New York Times.  Maura Egan.

 

 

 

 

 

GIRL ON THE TRAIN

The Novel by Peter Whitehead,
to be published December 17th 2013

"Shidai"
an introduction by Professor Jan Gordon.
 

 

PETER WHITEHEAD WAS THERE.  "As much scene-maker as film-maker, Whitehead personified the late-'60s breakdown of boundaries in post-war Britain. This working-class Cambridge grad was the original rock'n'roll documentarian: with reckless camerawork, matched by tumultuous editing, he plunged into London’s sex-drugs-and-protest counterculture with a frenzied there-ness"

 
J. HOBERMAN. The VILLAGE VOICE.

The CRAZED GENIUS OF BRITISH FILM.
 Audience with Peter Whitehead: "I invented the pop video? Not likely!" ... “Pioneering film-maker, falconer and father of eight, Peter Whitehead has led a full life." His world-wide retrospective includes "Charlie is my Darling", The first documentary made of The Stones, and "The Fall", the film that devotees consider to be his masterpiece.

 John Preston:  Sunday Telegraph.

It belongs alongside Norman Mailer's
Ancient Evenings
, and William Burrough's
The Western Lands
in the library of the lost.

Whitehead's darkest and deepest trepanning of guilt and fear and risk. A bent and bifurcated autobiography of the other, the fatally haunted shadow side of the narcissist sun god.
A profoundly schizophrenic Old Kingdom dream-romance. A spine-freezing exhibition of historical revisionism that marries posthumous fabulation with the near-pornographic (blue studio) ravishment of the imagination. A book of loudly whispered secrets, lies between truths in the telling.
A necromantic retrieval that glorifies its damnation.

Iain Sinclair : "The Risen"

   The work of Peter Whitehead says much about how post-imperial Britain was seduced into becoming a manipulable appendage of the United States, with ominous consequences for the rest of the world. 
Its re-discovery is nothing if not timely”.

 Neil Barry:  ARAB NEWS.


The single theme binding all of Whitehead's films together - including his extensive music videos - is the idea of life as an ongoing performance. Everywhere his camera looks, people are putting on a show: the singers doing their stuff; the poets in concert; the street-theatre troupes; the soap box orators; the demonstrators; the interviewees with their airs and their earnestness (Julie Christie fusing beauty and banality); Robert Kennedy addressing a crowd; people displaying their fashion sense, or their lack of it, in the street.

Media Monitors

 

POP, AGIT-PROP, PARADOXE. Les films de Peter Whitehead.  "Le montage pour Whitehead est une acte de la pensée, d'aggression contre la matiere premiere, une appropriation logique."

 
Eithne O’Neill:  POSITIF Magazine.


In the few films that he made - at the age of 40, he more or less gave it all up to breed falcons - Whitehead re-created the world in his own images, inviting us to probe their surfaces for the truths hidden away in the everyday. He says his training as a newsreel cameraman, working in London with only primitive equipment at his disposal, taught him how to shoot on the run and "look for essentials".
His brilliant 1967 film, Tonite Let's All Make Love In London (its title from a line in an Allen Ginsberg poem), is a compelling account of the era unfolding around him: a music video - in the days before music videos - of Eric Burdon and the Animals miming When I Was Young; of Nico (in the days before the Velvet Underground) and the Rolling Stones; interviews with Mick Jagger, David Hockney and many others.
Media Monitors

"In a brilliant four-year burst, Peter Whitehead shot footage of some of the seminal events of the 1960s. And then, at the height of his powers, he gave it all up".  The Ceremony of Innocence.

 Paul Cronin. Sight and Sound Magazine.

 Tete Blanche, époque rouge ... "Parfaitement synchronise avec l'Histoire" ...

 
Cahiers du Cinema; Antoine Thirion

"     Whitehead’s works speak for themselves, presenting an artist who struggled to come up with a straight definition for the turbulent period he documented. If you can't wrap your head around the questions Whitehead poses in The Fall or any of his other eleven films, it’s not hard to sit back and enjoy the music."
 

 John Lichman.  Anthology Archives Film Festival New York.