WHOLLY COMMUNION – Peter Whitehead’s 1965 Beat Poetry Film

by Red Cell

This short documentary film by British filmmaker Peter Lorrimer Whitehead (Tonite Let’s All Make Love in London), is a testament to how things change. What I was struck with when first viewing this film, based on the International Poetry Incarnation in 1965, was the how both intelligence and intuition were something to hold in high regard, and even applauded for, not too many decades ago. Filmed in the Royal Albert Hall, Whitehead caught the world’s top poetic intellects in the UK and the US in what was billed as Great Britain’s first full-scale “happening.” In our current age of people calling for the end of critical thinking and the revival of inequality as a badge of honor, these poets are a beacon of what we need now.

Gregory Corso
Harry Fainlight
Lawrence Ferlinghetti
Allen Ginsberg
Michael Horovitz
Ernst Jandl
Christopher Logue
Adrian Mitchell
Alexander Trocchi
Simon Vinkenoog

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