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The Lacey Rituals (BFI) in July

Available on 23 July from the BFI is The Lacey Rituals, a collection of films featuring the TV and film personality Bruce Lacey. More on the release below...

Who links The Beatles, Ken Russell, Peter Cook, Richard Lester, Fairport Convention, The Goons, The Bonzo Dog Doo-Dah Band, cartoonist Bob Godfrey (Roobarb and Custard) and Turner Prize winning artist Jeremy Deller? The answer: Mr Bruce Lacey. And if Bruce Lacey himself has somehow remained ‘off our radar’ in recent times, it wasn’t always like that.

A legendary figure on the British counter-cultural art scene during the 1960s, Lacey has enjoyed five decades of defining cultural moments, collaborating with all manner of filmmakers, musicians and artists. Lacey was known for his unpredictable humour and strong political views; his wide-ranging and idiosyncratic art practice saw him construct all manner of mechanical, sci-fi devices and robotic beings as well as exhibiting films and interactive environments in the era’s groundbreaking, underground art-happenings scene. A regular on TV and in film, he was the flute-playing gardener in Help! and a mad scientist in Smashing Time.


Although Bruce Lacey exerted considerable influence on post-War culture, bafflingly, much of his work has remained obscure and little seen in recent years. This July, the BFI and Camden Arts Centre celebrate and revisit the richness and diversity of his output. This 2-disc BFI DVD is released on 23 July and a season of his rarely-screened films and TV shows takes place at BFI Southbank from 5 – 31 July. The Bruce Lacey Experience, a major new exhibition at Camden Arts Centre runs from 7 July – 16 September.

The Lacey Rituals: Films by Bruce Lacey (and friends) is an indispensible 2-DVD collection which finally brings together many of Lacey’s rarely-seen films for the very first time. It includes The Running, Jumping & Standing Still Film (Richard Lester, 1960), The Lacey Rituals (1973), a delightful and experimental home movie featuring Lacey’s children and much more.

Also featured is The Bruce Lacey Experience (2012), the new film by Turner prize-winning artist Jeremy Deller and Nick Abrahams (which premiered on 5 July to launch the BFI Southbank season.) Accompanying the discs is an illustrated booklet of film notes and newly-commissioned essays with contributions from Richard Lester and art curator Jasia Reichardt.

Full film listing follows...

Disc 1

EARLY FILMS

Head in Shadow (1951)
Agib and Agab (1953)
The Running, Jumping & Standing Still Film (1960)
Battle of New Orleans (1960)
Everybody’s Nobody (1960)
Uncle’s Tea Party (1962)
One Man Band (1965)

HUMAN BEHAVIOUR FILMS

Kissing Film (1967)
How to Have a Bath (1971)
The Lacey Rituals (1973)
Double Exposure (1975)

Disc 2

PERFORMANCES AND DOCUMENTATION

The Flying Alberts ( 1965)
The Flying Alberts (Bruce Lacey edit) (1965)
Humanoid Race (1965)
Universal Integrator (1971)
Laceys at Home (1972)
British Landing on the Moon (1973)
Outside in (extract) (1973)
R.O.S.A B.O.S.O.M (1996)
If I Had a Talking Picture of You (2002)

PERFORMANCE INSERTS

Heads, Bodies and Legs (1973)
Stella Chase (1974)

EARTH RITUALS AND LATER FILMS

Awakening of the Earth Goddess, Rougham (1982)
Castlerigg (c. 1981)
Wales Stone Circles (c. 1981)
Breaking Away to Come Together (1984)
The Re-Awakening of My Ancestral Spirits (1987)

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Last updated: 07/08/2018 01:36:27

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