Tribute Peter Whitehead


Peter Whitehead
GBR 1967
65 min

Pitched somewhere between documentary and filmed theater, Benefit of the Doubt is concerned with role-playing and the performer-spectator relationship. Interspersing scenes from «US», the Royal Shakespeare Company's ambiguously titled 1966 attempt to address the Vietnam War on the West End stage, with interviews with the actors and writers behind it, the film anticipates the turn in the European New Wave - Rivette, Straub, Bertolucci - towards political theater. The play's Brechtian first act combined didactic sketches, documentary reconstructions, and satirical songs; the second, moving further into Artaud territory, was given over to self-criticism, concluding with a frighteningly intense speech accusing the audience and cast of bad faith and passivity. Whitehead's film cuts to this monologue from an interview, shot in black-and-white, with the actor who performed it and who declares herself «suspicious and critical» of the whole enterprise, and then runs her speech over color documentary footage of a demonstration outside the U.S. embassy.
(Henry K. Miller, «Film Comment», 2006)

  • Michael Williams - Brian
  • Glenda Jackson - Isabella Garnell
  • Peter Brook
  • Michael Kustow
  • Royal Shakespeare Company
  • Peter Whitehead
  • Peter Whitehead
  • Daniel Docker
  • Dominique Antoine
  • Richard Peaslee
Lorrimer Films Saga Films Paris

Contemporary Films 24 Southwood Lawn Road London N6 5SF, Großbritannien T 20 8340 5715

Video (Betacam SP)
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