Herostratus

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This 'triumph' for the British avant-garde - an inverted Mephistopheles story in which a poet sells his suicide to an ad agency - now looks charmingly naive. It's Antonioni crossed with Lester's Beatles generation: polite, irreverent, inarticulate, with an irredeemably narrative construction (love story), and much proudly presented but embarrassed improvisation. While the film's choice of models (tragic grandiloquence versus minimalism, capitalism versus existential angst) remains confused, it's still clever and pretty. Leather fetish fantasy turns wittily into rubber glove ad, striptease is intercut with abattoir - and juxtaposition nearly reduces both to advertising slickness. Intriguing to see how even the avant-garde was mesmerised by the 'beautiful life' of the '60s.

Release details

Duration: 142 mins

Cast and crew

Director: Don Levy
Screenwriter: Don Levy
Cast: Michael Gothard
Gabriella Licudi
Peter Stephens
Antony Paul
Mona Chin
Helen Mirren
Malcolm Muggeridge
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