Peter Whitehead (filmmaker)  

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Peter Lorrimer Whitehead (8 January 1937, in Liverpool - 10 June 2019, in London) was an English writer and filmmaker who documented the counterculture in London and New York in the late 1960s. He is also known for his work as a director of promotional film clips (precursors to the modern music video) including a version of "Interstellar Overdrive" for Pink Floyd and several clips for The Rolling Stones.

He is best-known for Wholly Communion (1965), Charlie Is My Darling (1966) and Tonite Let's All Make Love in London (1967).


The Falconer

In 1997, Iain Sinclair collaborated with Chris Petit, sculptor Steve Dilworth and others to make The Falconer, a 56-minute semi-fictional "documentary" film about Whitehead, set in London and the Outer Hebrides. This film was described by Sinclair in 2003 as "Initially he (Whitehead) loved the film...his determination to tell his story was such that he kept bombarding us with amazing fragments and endless images, because he's one of the few people whose entire life was documented in images". The film also features Stewart Home, Kathy Acker and Howard Marks.


Whitehead's books include Nora (1990), Hartshead Revisited: A Fiction? (1993) and Bronte Gate (1999). His novels include The Risen (1994) and Terrorism Considered as One of the Fine Arts (2007).

In 1997 Whitehead published Baby Doll (Velvet, 1997), drawing on photographs he took in 1972 during production of his feature-length film Daddy (made with artist Niki de Saint Phalle). Many of the photographs are of model/actress/heiress Mia Martin (known for her appearances in the Benny Hill shows and Hammer films such as The Satanic Rites of Dracula). The writer Iain Sinclair said of these works "[Daddy is a] nightmarish film...shot in some chateau in France...unspeakable...I couldn't even bring myself to look at the material in the book".


Music videos

Personal life

Peter was born in Liverpool, England. Peter was from a working class background and was awarded a scholarship to attend a private school in Harrowgate. He was top of his class in almost alll subjects, he was th captain of the Rugby team and was the church organist. This lead him to receive another scholarship to attend university in Cambridge, England. He began studying Science and physics and excelled in both of these subjects. He soon changed to study art and film at SLADE Art School. While at Cambridge he met Diane Cottrill and had two daughters, Tamsin and Sain Whitehead.

After leaving Cambridge he moved into his film making career, during which time he met Actress Coral Atkins and had a son, Harry Whitehead.

In 1969 he decided he could not do film making any more and escaped to the Desert in Morroco at which time his career as a Falconer began.

In 1980 he met Dido Goldsmith, the daughter of Teddy Goldsmith and niece of Sir James Goldsmith. They were married six weeks after meeting. The couple had a four daughters, Robin, Leila, Charlene and Rosetta Whitehead.

Film maker and photographer Robin Whitehead. Robin died from a suspected drug overdose on 24 January 2010 at the age of 27. On 22 March 2010, friend and musician Pete Doherty among others were arrested under suspicions of supplying the drugs that led to her death.

Unless indicated otherwise, the text in this article is either based on Wikipedia article "Peter Whitehead (filmmaker)" or another language Wikipedia page thereof used under the terms of the GNU Free Documentation License; or on research by Jahsonic and friends. See Art and Popular Culture's copyright notice.

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