This audacious and prescient work left a profound mark on the landscape of late-1960s British cinema, with elements of its visual style evident in the work of Stanley Kubrick and Nicolas Roeg.
When a young poet hires a marketing company to turn his suicide into a mass-media spectacle, he finds that his subversive intentions are quickly diluted into a reactionary gesture, and his motivations are revealed to be a desperate attempt to attain celebrity status.
Having made a number of highly-respected short documentary films, Don Levy secured funding from the BFI Production Board to make his first and only feature film, Herostratus (which was also the first feature funded by the BFI).
Seen only in limited screenings upon its release, the film nevertheless made an impact upon those who saw it, filmmakers and critics alike. In a grave echo of the film, both director and star would take their own lives decades after working together: Levy in 1987; Gothard in 1992.
Not sure what to make of this one; perhaps only a curiosity. The Allen Ginsberg sections seem to date it a bit, and I can’t say that I’m exactly sure what purpose they’re serving in the film. Certainly notable for just how cruelly the “artist selling his soul to the media” is rendered, but not sure if it ultimately has much to say/show that is really compelling. Would like to see it again.
Remarkable series and events are lighting up the coasts these days. Let's start in New York, with Ed Halter in Artforum: "The dynamic of
Nothing happens fast in Herostratus, Don Levy's two-hour-and-twenty-three minute feature film, the only feature he made. Go look at the descriptions