Herostratus

Date: 1967
Director: Don Levy
Production Company: BFI Experimental Film Fund, British Broadcasting Corporation

Stars: Michael Gothard, Gabriella Licudi, Antony Paul, Peter Stephens, Helen Mirren
Location(s): London

Region(s):

Storyline:

A young poet hires a marketing company to turn his suicide into a mass-media spectacle.

Additional Information:

Screen captures uploaded by Phil Wilkinson

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Maximilian Woodframe (Michael Gothard) runs through desolate streets. Looking south-west on the long demolished Hampden Crescent off Harrow Road in London W2.

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Things have changed at this location! (PW)

The film is full of imagery and cuts between apparently unrelated scenes. Hampden Crescent, Paddington with the wall beyond the tin barricades hiding the Great Western Main Line railway.

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Westbourne Green Sports Complex and the Westway now occupy the site. (PW)

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Max continues his flight, but is this West London or have we now moved into the City?

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Shots switch between Max running through wasteland and through empty streets. Paul McGirl identifies this as Savage Gardens in EC3 looking south towards Tower Hill.

With the same movement repeated over and over, Max runs towards the camera. Looking into St Mary Axe from Bevis Marks with a branch of Williams Deacons Bank on the extreme left. Found with help from RL.

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As Peter says "nothing vintage remains". (RL)

Another cut to another location. This is facing southward on Laurence Pountney Lane EC4.

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Peter had to contend with building work behind him as he took this shot.

The camera tracks Max as he runs up the narrow street. The west side of Laurence Pountney Lane remains recognisable.

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A little further up the hill Peter takes a similar view.

The shot continues . . . . a flash-forward maybe? Laurence Pountney Lane in the City of London.

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Peter also continues.

Max nears the seedy apartment building where he lives. Harrow Road in London W2. These buildings were also seen in 'The Comedy Man'.

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Looking across the Harrow Road beneath Westway towards the approximate location. (PW)

Later in the film, Max gives his address as 176 Harrow Road in Paddington . . . . and this is it.

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And this is it now! (PW)

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Cut to a Leather Clad Woman (Ines Levy) as she walks through a yard with a gasometer in the background. More of this location later.

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As Mrs Simms listens at the door, Max trashes his room with an axe. Through the window can be seen Ranelagh Bridge and still extant buildings on Gloucester Terrace.

Max looks across the Great Western Main Line from his Harrow Road flat to see the rear of buildings on Gloucester Terrace. The buildings can also be seen in 'The Last Journey'.

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Renovation and rebuilding has altered the properties. (PW)

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After scaring Mrs Simms on his way out, Max leaves the building and makes for the city.

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St. Pancras Road in N1 with the gas holders of Pancras Gasworks in the right background and the roof of St. Pancras Station on the extreme right. The coal drops alongside the roadway have been replaced by the greatly extended station and it's approaches.

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Max nears his destination, the offices of Farson Advertising.

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Inside the building, Max tells Clio the receptionist that he has a really sharp, fantastic deal for Mr Farson.

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Another cut as Max waits for the head of one of the largest advertising companies in the country to see him. A black & white Leicester Square Underground station is certain, but is this the northbound Piccadilly Line platform?

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As Max persuades Farson to handle the publicity for his public suicide, a flash-forward shows a scene from later in the film.

A flashback to the running sequence seen at the start of the film. Looking from Harrow Road across Lord Hill's Bridge in W2.

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Tris captured this view of the same bridge.

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On the roof of the office block, Mr Farson (Peter Stephens) and Pointer (Anthony Paul) consider Max's proposition.

Max heads for the car that's been arranged to take him to the company's studio. A small precinct to the east of the junction of Fetter Lane and New Fetter Lane. These days, the area is covered by Neville Lane.

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After much poring over maps by PW you'll have to trust us here . . . Peter took this from the same angle.

The Mercedes drives away. Facing north-east on New Fetter Lane with the now replaced Monotype House on the left. The area was also seen in 'The Jokers'.

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Peter found that the architect had followed the lines of the previous buildings on the site.

The camera finds the car as it continues it's journey. The public house is the Three Tuns and this is the corner of Fetter Lane and West Harding Street in EC4.

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The same corner now, from Peter.

Max leans from the window as the car corners. The junction of Fetter Lane and West Harding Street with Trinity Church Passage in the background. Everything in this image has been swept away . . .

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. . . as Peter discovered.

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Farson (Peter Stephens) and Clio (Gabriella Licudi) leave the building.

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More black & white sequences are shown.

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This time the imagery depicts old age and loneliness.

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Farson and Pointer, his market researcher, tell Max that they have media interest in the suicide.

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Max looks down into the street below as Farson tells him that he will be jumping to his death from a taller building than this one.

Cut to the Leather Clad Woman as she continues her walk through the same location that was seen in 'Alfie (1966)', 'Robbery' and 'Mrs Brown You’ve Got a Lovely Daughter'.

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Unfortunately, no leather clad women while I was there.....perhaps it was too hot! (RL)

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Max pauses as he walks through the desolation of a disused power station.

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As Max spins around, several views of the power station are seen. This composite image shows two distinctively shaped cooling towers and three tall chimneys that could be part of the now demolished Church End Power Station in Harlesden NW10, which was seen in 'Hue and Cry'. Of course, I may be wrong.

A long shot of the Leather Clad Woman with additional gasometers in view. Facing south on Camley Street with the gas holders of St Pancras Gas Works towering on both sides of the background.

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A much changed scene with Camley Street Natural Park on the left hand side. (RL)

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Observed by Farson, Clio attempts to find Max's reasons for committing suicide while more images of West London are seen.

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Nondescript, and probably redeveloped, streets are passed as the camera travels through town.

A shot of Ranelagh Bridge at the junction with a pre-Westway Harrow Road.

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Ranelagh Bridge post Westway. The fixing locations for the hoarding are clearly evident. (RL)

The camera travels on, creating a montage of 1967 London. Looking through the railway arch along Crutched Friars from the junction with Cooper's Row, Crosswall and Lloyd's Avenue in EC3.

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No Friars, crutched or un-crutched, in this comparison by Peter.

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A mixture of modern office blocks and old warehouses are seen. Pepys Street looking west from Savage Gardens located by Paul McGirl.

On the day of his suicide, the camera moves along the River Thames to find Max. Grosvenor Road SW1, opposite Battersea Power Station and very near to the King William IV public house. The location appears in 'Victim' and 'Underground'.

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Tried to do this one using the trees. This matches fairly well. SJ

Holding a megaphone, Max walks slowly towards his doom. Grosvenor Road with Grosvenor Railway Bridge and Chelsea Bridge just visible in the background.

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This is the only big gap between trees in Grosvenor Road. SJ

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Cut to Max in the City.

These now replaced buildings stand to the right of the bridge seen in image 036 and this is Crutched Friars at the junction with Cooper's Row, Crosswall and Lloyd's Avenue.

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Peter took this shot of the, not quite so good, replacement construction.

Max is spotted again, still carrying the megaphone. Looking into Lloyd's Avenue from Crutched Friars.

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Two different cars in Peter's picture.

The camera pans across a square.

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About here. The 60s vision of Sir William Holford for Paternoster Square did not last very long and by 2003 a new square was being built. SJ

When Max reaches his destination, the height of the building is judged.

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This is the London Stock Exchange. The "then"'s building was set further back. Also seen in Hot Millions. SJ

Max appears on the building's roof. The dome of St Paul's Cathedral rises on the left which places this shot from above Paternoster Square EC4.

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Taken from ground level. SJ

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As a photographer prepares to capture the suicide on film, Max looks down into the square below.

Max returns to the square after a fight breaks out which results in the photographer falling to his death.

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A rough approximation of the landing. SJ

Is this where we came in? Laurence Pountney Lane, London EC4.

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It's certainly where Peter was earlier.

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