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Video Still from: Alejandro Jodorowsky, El Topo, 1970. Image courtesy of Abkco Music & Records, Inc.

Video Still from: Alejandro Jodorowsky, El Topo, 1970. Image courtesy of Abkco Music & Records, Inc.

Events - Talks

Bad Trip

Jodorowsky, Whitehead & The Descent of the Sixties on Film

07 Aug 2012 - 28 Aug 2012

Film Season

The Space & Offsite

Anachronistic refugees from a lost counterculture with talismans turned tourist trinkets, Upritchard’s hippies and holy fools embody a frustrated search for communal utopia or mystic communion. Departing from this critical motif, a film season offers a rare chance to see works by Alejandro Jodorowsky and Peter Whitehead – two iconic protagonists of 1960s and 70s cult cinema.

Peter Whitehead’s films extend from the spontaneous 1965 documentary Wholly Communion to the 1977 film that he regards as his requiem for the 60s – The Fire in the Water. We will also screen Jodorowsky’s El Topo (1970), and The Holy Mountain (1973) combining surreal and subversive imagery with an acerbic critique of a descent from enlightenment into consumerist culture.

The season opens with a lecture by James Riley – a researcher whose interests range from Beat poetry to ufology, and who is currently collaborating in the organisation of Whitehead’s archives. With excerpts of film music and visual art, Riley will discuss the symbolic status of 1969 as a terminal point at which the decade's earlier optimism gives way to death, violence and 'bad craziness'. The programme also includes an evening of short films curated by artists’ moving image collective Annexinema - taking a critical look at late-60s culture, psychedelia, found footage, re-contextualised objects, and the familiar made strange.

Tuesday 31st July
The Bad Trip: Film, Counterculture and The Death of the Sixties
James Riley (Wolfson College, University of Cambridge)

Tuesday 7th August
Peter Whitehead, 1964-1968
The Perception of Life (1964, 30 mins); Wholly Communion (1965, 33 mins).
Nothing to Do With Me (1968, 30 minutes)

Tuesday 14th August
Alejandro Jodorowsky, El Topo (1970, 125 mins)

Tuesday 21st August
Alejandro Jodorowsky, The Holy Mountain (1973, 114 minutes)

Wednesday 22nd August
Offsite Event : Annexinema
Including Hem (Geiom), MACE, Alex Pearl, Lindsay Foster, Shezad Dawood, and Luke Fowler – and Peter Whitehead.

Tuesday 28th August
Peter Whitehead, Fire in the Water (1977, 90 mins)

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