Peter Whitehead (filmmaker)
Peter Lorrimer Whitehead (born 8 January 1937 in Liverpool) is 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.
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"
- 1964 - The Perception of Life
- 1965 - Wholly Communion
- 1966 - Charlie Is My Darling
- 1967 - London '66-'67
- 1967 - Tonite Let's All Make Love in London
- 1967 - Benefit of the Doubt
- 1969 - The Fall
- 1969 - Tell Me Lies
- 1973 - Daddy
- 1977 - Fire in the Water
- 2009 - Terrorism Considered as One of the Fine Arts
He was married to Dido, the daughter of Teddy Goldsmith and niece of Sir James Goldsmith. The couple had a daughter, filmmaker and photographer Robyn Whitehead. Robyn died from a suspected drug overdose on January 24, 2010 at the age of 27. On March 22, 2010, friend and musician Pete Doherty among others were arrested under suspicions of supplying the drugs that led to her death.
- Peter Whitehead at the Internet Movie Database
- Official website
- Details of the 2006/07 retrospective of Whitehead's work
- Career overview from Film Comment
- Music Video Database - Peter Whitehead
- His feature-length film Daddy - made with Niki de Saint Phalle - can be viewed here