WHOLLY COMMUNION (1965)
33 MINS

Gold medal winner at Mannheim Film Festival

The International Beat Poetry Incarnation at the Royal Albert Hall 1965.

"Whitehead's breakthrough film, the documentary 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 closely distilling much of the tension and event-ness of the celebrated "happening". Verse luminaries include a bill topping Allen Ginsberg, the gruff pipe smoking compere Alex Trocchi, future New departures editor Michael Horovitz, the incendiary Adrian Mitchell, and most memorably the stoned heckler who disrupts the wired Harry Fainlight to the delight of the massive crowd. Serious verite of the old school, with Whitehead skilfully and spontaneously counterpointing the mixed bag of performers against the audience - always in the foreground. Gareth Evans



Peter Whitehead