Peter Whitehead is offering a free DVD of his 1969 film The Fall for those who email him and request a copy. This offer has been on for a few weeks already and ends on March 1, 2012.
If you go to Peter’s website and click on OWS: The Fall, there is a page with his email address to request a copy. Strangely, I received two packages, one with The Fall and another with his 2009 film Terrorism Considered as One of the Fine Arts. I’m not complaining!
From Peter’s website, a flowery explanation of the film:
“The true nature of The Fall is only clear when seen in the context of Whitehead’s entire life and oeuvre.
Whilst it can be analyzed very rewardingly in cine-theoretical and socio-political terms (although this has been all too lacking over the years – John Ryle’s article being the prime exception), it is better seen as the revelation of a deep cartography, of the mytho-poetic arrangements of its protagonist’s trajectory through the visible world. The tri-partite structure of the film mirrors Whitehead’s own lived trinity of experience and the film entire serves as the mid-point in his examination of the form and significance of the all-seeing eye: From the microscope of Perception of Life to the visions of Egypt, from the magnified unseens of a cell through the material into the invisible meta-patterns of belief. It also serves as an oblique prologue to his later explicit interrogations of sexuality and as a coda to his society life, his time at the event centre.
The film starts with a ceremonial immersion into the feminine, a loosing of control, the cameraman engulfed in a kaleidoscope of image-moments as he arrives in NY to film its breathing. Here we are in the eye of the 60’s project, Godard and Mcluhan the presiding deities, their messages taken to liminal extremes. Perhaps it is true that this is the most edited film yet made. But The Fall not only shows the cut, the split. It is about rupture. It is a tracking-shot through fissures, a sonar raking tectonic grate. Lensing in on assassination, civil disturbance, police brutality and the director’s own subsequent breakdown, it documents division, absence, gulfs. While it removes the artificial separation of realities and fictions, it probes the space between intention/ideal and the manifest outcome of event with ceaseless precision. Whitehead’s attempts in the second section at a mastery of the winds around him, an editing into reason of the chaos, are inevitably doomed, and the only course left open to him is the undelineated committment to the flow of things that he explores in the final sequence, the student occupation of Columbia University (which includes the suitably accidental appearance of an activist called Paul Auster) and the ensuing police invasion.
The belonging inherent in the collective act, where image and word fuse in deed, regardless of the outcome, is the unavoidable (and desired) end-zone of the film’s internallogic. In keeping with the explained premise, the pivotal incident of the film, the most ‘real’ moment, the central distress, is the police violence against the students (and PW himself as he tried to leave the building). This is not shown, except in result, effect, after-image. Whitehead is constructing before us the burning memories of the decade’s end. Inevitably, the film-maker, independent but operating from within, now sees the moral authority of the system collapse. This collapse echoes and charges his own. Literally out-lawed, he carries disorder, and is ritually dismembered, a pre-requisite to his journey away from the social into falconry, and its greater connection. In this sense, it is entirely apt that the film’s final image is that of Whitehead’s face on the editing monitor, pixellating into space and light, a mirror of the atom and the galaxy, a reincorporation into flux and an anticipation of the consciousness of light that is the birth of Horus. The Fall therefore is a spectrum shift across a threshold, a necessary culmination that finds its sequel in an altogether different form, no longer a cinema of projected shadows, more of solar concentration."
Entropy, June 1997
! for free? ! i’d love to see terrorism…..again…
only…after watching chris petit and iain sinclair’s doc about him, i’m not sure anymore that he exists. or that you can actually do that to falcons.
exciting, I’ll email him later. This looks really cool, and I remember a few bands I liked did this too. Is there any way to donate to him?
Peter Whitehead is one of the most brilliant filmmakers/novelists of our age, and I highly recommend that you take him up on his generosity. (I’ve bought a couple novels from him in the last year, and each time he’s kindly included free DVDs.)
I sent the email yesterday, but I haven’t received any reply. Is it normal not to receive a confirmation email? The deadline is approaching and I want to make sure I’ve secured my copy.
If you want to thank him, buy one of his novels. Terrorism Considered as One of the Fine Arts is an amazing read, especially if you also watch the film version.
I sent an email too. I’m impressed how he’s giving his work out. Thanks for the heads up, Herbie.
cheers for this! i’d love to get a free copy :)
@ Art Vandelay: I sent the email and got a response about an hour later (which was just like ten seconds ago), so maybe you’ll get one soon!!
Thanks, Bijoux. I’ll keep an eye on my inbox.
After re-sending the email, I’m still awaiting a response. Am I the only one?
i didn’t get one either ^ :(
me neitherrrr :(
It’s just Peter, so maybe he’s been busy. It would make sense to me if he sent one to anyone who got an email in before 3/1. I think it took a while for him to get back to my original email, a week or two.
i got a reply today! seems i forgot to send my address blush
says he has been ill and will send in a few days. seems like a really cool guy xD
don’t think so but u could try. i sent mine about 10 days ago
I’ll try either way. Thanks for the response! :)
I received my one-word reply—“sent!”—today. Needless to say, I am very excited.
Peter should make good on his promises.
I’ll be receiving mine too. :)
i didn’t get an email reply but i got a nice surprise in the post, a dvd of his film Wholly Communion! :)))
excellent! i received a ‘sent’ mssg also. can’t wait to see what i get!
I received Wholly Communion three days ago. I’m excited!
I received a sent message a few days ago, too. Can’t wait.
I’m so glad that I got a copy of this, because I watched it last night and I just have to lay it out there. The Fall is a masterpiece.
My DVD copy of THE FALL arrived yesterday, wrapped in an old VHS sleeve for WHOLLY COMMUNION. Looking forward to taking a look.
^ Yep – same thing for me, except I got it last week!
I got mine yesterday. Best of all, the customs declaration on the envelope was signed by Whitehead himself. Autograph! This man did music videos for the Rolling Stones and Pink Floyd in the sixties. Bianca Jagger was one of his girlfriends.
As a sidenote, here’s an interesting article about one of his daughters who died two years ago:ROBYN WHITEHEAD. She was also a filmmaker.
@Eric: As did mine.
I was hoping to find WHOLLY COMMUNION inside as well, as others have, but considering how incredibly generous it was of Peter to offer THE FALL completely free of charge, I am in no way complaining. I haven’t had the chance to watch it since receiving it a few days ago. To those who have, how is the picture/sound quality of the DVD? Is it a VHS rip?