The Perception of Life (1964, 30 mins, cert U)
An extraordinarily beautiful and simple science film about the history of biological ideas which shows how they expanded as technology improved. Filmed in museums and in the Cambridge University labs where Whitehead had been a student, The Perception of Life was filmed through microscopes used by scientists from the 17th to the 20th century, including the electron microscope in the MRC unit where Francis Crick discovered the structure of DNA.
Wholly Communion (1965, 33 mins, cert U)
Peter Whitehead's first independently produced film, won the Gold Medal at the prestigious Mannheim Documentary Film Festival 1966, and was shown at Film Festivals round the world. It was England's first cinema-verite documentary film - filmed with a silent Eclair camera at the legendary, spontaneous International Poetry Incarnation at the Albert Hall, London, 11th June 1965. 7000 people unexpectedly filled the hall to listen to Beat poets from America making the event into the first major "Happening" and putting the underground and counter-culture firmly into the public eye.
Nothing to Do With Me (1968, 30 minutes, cert U)
Several months after returning from the United States, where he had just completed shooting his film The Fall, Whitehead philosophizes to the camera in this remarkable autobiographical document.
Film synopses courtesy of the Harvard Film Archive