Interviewed by Clare Spark, in February 1973, Don Levy stated:

“It’s not necessary for the actors to know what they’re doing. What they’ve gotta know, is – what they are. In fact, that’s all I require of them."

The audition process for ‘Herostratus’, described in the BFI booklet as "intense", was perhaps designed to find out whether the actors who auditioned (including, per. Amnon Buchbinder, John Hurt as well as Michael Gothard) possessed what Don Levy considered that essential knowledge.

Evidently, Michael Gothard did, because he was chosen to play the lead role, Max.

In “Sight and Sound”, summer 1965, an unnamed reporter says that “Levy spent a good deal of his time testing artists: having decided that this was to be a film developed entirely by improvisation around a firm narrative, he wanted a particularly malleable and intense type of player. After the extensive improvised auditions, he settled on Michael Gothard, then a drama student, for the lead …"

As to why a young actor would put himself through a tortuous audition for a reportedly unpaid role – per Philip Ward: "This is Art, with a capital ‘A’, which may explain why, challenging as the film’s contents were, actors were keen to get on board. When the British film industry was turning out generic pap like the Carry On series, the prospect of a home-grown arthouse movie must have been enticing …"

It is easy to see how, having been cast in his first prestigious film role, Gothard could have been temporarily mesmerised by Levy, and regarded him as some kind of mentor: possibly letting himself be put through experiences and processes that were more demanding and revealing than he might have liked, or otherwise have tolerated.

In “Sight and Sound”, Levy says: “The film has several long takes up to four minutes. Some people are afraid of these, but I feel I need them here as the actors require space to reveal their deepest states of intensity ..."

Richard Whitehall, in 1972, spoke of: “Long takes, through which the actors improvise brilliantly … as Levy explores the ramifications and resonances of his theme: the revolt of a young failed poet against the horrors and corruption of society, and the means he takes to make his protest known."

According to Philip Ward: “… the filming, which extended from summer 1964 to spring 1965, took a huge toll on those involved as Levy, by his own admission, drove his cast to confront unwelcome truths about themselves.

Gabriella Licudi, the lead actress, suffered a breakdown during filming and retired from the business not long after … The resulting film gives a vivid idea of what it would be like to crack up mentally. Gothard’s derangement is expressed both as outward violence – in one frightening early scene he trashes his rundown bedsit to the sound of loud choral music – and in inner turmoil ...”

Drewe Shimon also mentions mental problems allegedly suffered, this time by Gothard himself:

"As the actor – Michael Gothard in his first major role - embarks upon this odyssey of wanton destruction, we are dragged into his psychosis in a way we wouldn’t have imagined when, five minutes earlier, proceedings commenced in an admittedly abstract but comparatively restrained manner. ... Gothard’s performance … is a revelation, a spitting, snarling yet suave diatribe on legs, and proof of what a performer can achieve when stretched to his outer limits (Levy would later admit Michael had at least “two breakdowns” during filming)."

The source reference for these supposed breakdowns among the cast have so far not been found, but Levy himself said that Michael Gothard had “been going through these incredible convolutions …”

In “Sight and Sound”, Levy says: “Details of characterisations and dialogue were all developed during a very complicated process of improvisation and recall, designed to produce through various psychological methods a peculiar emotional state whereby the acting became behaviour. The improvisation was not based on their own characters … but was used as a technique for freeing and distorting action and reaction and enveloping the characters of the play.”

In other interviews from the BFI library, Don Levy seems to have no shame in describing his treatment of the actors, which is at best unreasonable, and at worst, downright cruel.

Of Gabriella Licudi, he says: “In the final scene I had to get something very difficult out of Gabriella – difficult because she didn't want to give it, to admit to this in herself. I stood and shouted at her (that's my voice you hear on the film right at the end) until eventually she broke down.

She kept switching from herself to Clio and back again – she couldn't separate her own guilt as an individual from that in the part she was playing.

The camera crews had to stand and watch this in silence for an hour and a half. They were horrified, and argued fiercely about the morality of it. But I got the response I needed.”

In “Sight and Sound”, Levy says that sometimes the actors appeared to be in a state akin to hypnosis, during which they were able to operate by drawing directly on the subconscious. In connection with one scene ... where the girl, posed in the corner of the screen against a white wall, goes into a long hysterical outburst, he commented: “The actress was not informed of the end result required. The scene was gradually built up by a violent actress-character conflict during the recall and preparation which took about two hours. When it finally occurred, two members of the unit were not able to watch and one was unable to work.”

One can only imagine what effect watching this treatment of Gabriella Licudi might have had on her co-star, but Michael Gothard wasn’t spared either. Levy says: “Everything was shot on location and they didn't have to pretend it was cold or raining or dangerous. Mike Gothard, the leading actor, can't stand heights. But we had him standing on the edge of the roof of an 18-storey block, with no safety devices and in a howling gale. He was terrified, but he did it.”

And in another interview:

“At one point in the film Max has to stand on the edge of a high building in a howling wind. The actor who plays the part, Michael Gothard, is terrified of height – but I made him do it. Most scenes really happened like this. The love scene is an act of love.”

Even if the talk of mental breakdowns is exaggerated, Levy very obviously relished the feeling of superiority and power over his actors, and had little care for the possible consequences of what he put them through.

One might suspect that, in making this experimental film, Levy was not only experimenting with techniques, and with his audience, but on the actors: seeing how far he could push them, while dispassionately filming the results, just like any scientist observing his "experimental models" – rats in a maze.

Philip Ward describes Levy as “one of a rare breed of artist-scientist … he made educational documentaries on scientific subjects for the Nuffield Foundation …”

Drewe Shimon observed: “Indeed, it seems he [Don Levy] only gave ‘Herostratus’ what linear narrative it has to ‘throw people a thread.’ This attitude demonstrates not only a contempt for cinema audiences (and a feeling of intellectual superiority to them), but cinema itself, and possibly even humanity in general ...”

Levy was, however, an admirer of the poet Rupert Brooke, whom he – somewhat presumptuously – credits as an “assistant” on an earlier film, ‘Ten Thousand Talents.’ Brooke was: "A young Apollo, golden-haired …” (Frances Cornford), who was beset by mental anguish, and travelled around Europe trying to find himself: a narrative which might also have fitted Michael Gothard in his early years.

Angharad24 has speculated that Don Levy saw this similarity, and picked Michael for the role of Max because of it.

~~

Following his work on ‘Herostratus’, Michael was unemployed for 18 months, a time which he described as "too depressing to think about." Per a 1973 TV Times article, “It was this taste of unemployment that determined his practical attitude to his profession.”

Whether or not Michael Gothard and Don Levy kept in touch, Levy clearly continued to follow Gothard’s career.

In his 1973 interview, he said: “The lead actor, for a year or so, held out, waiting for a role – really good work – finally said … recognised, to himself, at least, that a … there wasn’t any such thing as good work, and so he just accepted everything that came along. Really. He’s played in ‘The Devils’ of Ken Russell. He’s played in ‘Scream and Scream Again.’ So he’s just a … working actor, but he does this with incredible reluctance.”

It’s hard to tell whether Levy regarded ‘The Devils' and 'Scream and Scream Again’ as extreme examples of good and bad work, or whether he considered both equally unworthy; neither does he suggest what, in the supposed absence of “good work”, he expected Michael to do for the rest of his career.

Michael Gothard appears to have been aware of Don Levy’s opinion. Things he said in the second of only three interviews he is known to have given, (this one in October 1973), could be seen as a rebuttal of Levy’s criticisms:

“In order to survive, you must compromise. If not, how can your ideals remain on a high level? I don’t like the glorification of violence and materialism, but I realise that I cannot just sit at home waiting to do a righteous, moral film. It may never come along.”

He also said: “You see, my work is an extrovert thing, performing publicly – but I approach it in an introvert manner. I’m quite happy to show myself as the character I’m portraying but I’m not at all interested in doing it as a direct revelation of myself.”

This is the exact opposite, in terms of performance, to what Don Levy sought to extract from him, and from Gabriella Licudi, in ‘Herostratus’; Michael is clearly rejecting Levy’s approach. He must have recognised that, while ‘Herostratus’ was a big break for him, Don Levy was not the most helpful director he could have worked with.

Michael Gothard with Don Levy with Gabriella Licudi

Image from the BFI booklet, showing Gabriella Licudi, Michael Gothard and Don Levy. Gabriella appears to be wiping away a tear.

Articles referred to:
Review by Philip Ward

Review by Darius Shimon

TV Times interview, 8 February 1973

"Petticoat” interview, 6 October 1973

Sight and Sound 1965, on location:
Part 1
Part 2
Part 3

Clare Spark’s interview with Don Levy, in February 1973 can be heard on the British Film Institute DVD of ‘Herostratus.’

Interviews found in the BFI Archive.
The Times, 27 April 1968

In a lengthy review of "Herostratus", the hero is described with classic British understatement as: "... rather well played by a newcomer Michael Gothard."

~~

Michael Armstrong – Films and Filming, June 1968

The performances are so good that I cannot even start to criticise them. Michael Gothard’s Max is one of the most exciting performances from a young actor I have seen for a long time. Peter Stephens as Farson is superb. He makes the character both detestable and tragic … while Gabriella Licudi’s Clio is so rich in depth and understanding, so sensitively played that the glamour-shell which so many beautiful actresses have imposed upon them, cracked fully to reveal an actress whose emotional range and expressive means are as highly charged as they are broad.

All three performances are continually bursting from the screen only to be held back, strangely enough, by the impositions of the film itself; held back by the film’s editing style …

All the dialogue was improvised. I thought about twenty percent was scripted due to the firmness with which it is played … I find watching any improvised scene that one is aware, continually, of the poor actor’s mind working … The actors in this film almost defeat this obstacle …

The film is strange in that it’s basic fault, I feel, lies in conception and initial working methods … the basic problem with the film’s resultant distortions is that Levy applied too much conscious thought to his conception.

Full review:
Part 1
Part 2
Part 3
Part 4

~~

Jean Delmas – Jeune Cinema, November 1968

"Farson cares for Max as one cares for stock before slaughter; he even services him with love. Farson's "secretary" Clio, who has first refused, is finally subdued by her employer, and allows herself, despite herself, to be seduced. She will make love in service, and give account of it to her boss, who wants to use it to humiliate his subject.

... through the interaction between Farson and Max, creates a confrontation between two worlds of terrifying impact. Two types of man: the impassive shark with empty eyes and ample double chin, and against him a boy exploding with vitality and insolence ...

Between the two there lies the strange fog of impossible communication, as between two totally different biological species. "You resemble more and more the corpse you will be," says Max. But the other answers him: "what is the use of your honesty and freedom?" What indeed? For in a society that can consume anything, even suicides, there is still some merchandise that will not sell (like honesty or integrity) because no one wants it.

What drives Max to suicide is despair at the indifference of others, rather than the quest for glory of the first Herostratus. 'I am doing it because no-one gives a damn. I will look down at the people passing in the street. All of a sudden someone will see me up there and they will say to themselves, "He mustn't jump!", and they will forget about themselves for a minute, and think about me.'"

Full review

~~

Richard Whitehall, 1972

"Under the greatest of difficulties, Levy has produced a dazzling film d'auteur quite unlike any other British film ever made. Long takes, through which the actors improvise brilliantly, alternate with clusters of staccato, sometimes subliminal imagery as Levy
explores the ramifications and resonances of his theme: the revolt of a young failed poet against the horrors and corruption of society, and the means he takes to make his protest known."

~~

John Rusnell Taylor – The Times

"… Tremendously ambitious … it would be difficult to imagine anything farther from the norm in British film-production …It is brilliant and it is faintly repellent, but repellent because it means to shake us up … shot spectacularly in colour, and edited with complete assurance …"

~~

Kevin Thomas - LA Times

"The key to Levy's success is his utterly inspired, exhaustive use of the camera's resources to allow us to experience the feelings of his tortured hero. Indeed, rarely has the camera, backed by extraordinary acting, been used to give such objective form to a man's inner anguish. The world of HEROSTRATUS is cold, stark metallic, expressed with an imagery as succinct and evocative as anything in Antonioni at his best.

Counterpointing it is the hell of the poet's imaginations, juxtaposing slaughterhouse eviscerations with the glamorous, dominating temptresses of the advertising media. At the same time, HEROSTRATUS is the timeless story of a youth's coming of age – of both his philosophical and sexual rites of passage. The lovemaking sequence is one of the most profoundly beautiful of its kind ever filmed."

~~

La Libre Belgique

"‘Herostratus’ is without doubt one of the great films of the year ... One does not know what to admire most in this film. The direction, the sets, the acting or the scenario. The psychological truth of the principal characters, the intensity of the dramatization, the handling of the actors and the originality and vigour of the cinematographic style are perfect."

~~

Pierre Apruxine – Arts and Artists

"‘Herostratus’ rises far above the experimental and directly ranks among the masterpieces of the Seventh Art."


Richard Mayne – The Critics, BBC

"… a fantastic assault on one’s visual sensibilities … I was absolutely engulfed by this film and would like everybody to know it."

~~

Lorenza Mazetti – Via Nuova, Rome

"… this disturbing piece of work … which rides so close to the quick … plunging us … into the neurotic world of impotence and frustration lived by the young today …"

~~

Margaret Hinxman – Sunday Telegraph

"… terrifying and moving …"

~~

Molly Plowright – Glasgow Herald

"… the most astonishing film of my experience – right on the frontier of cinema as we so far know it … the visuals are more beautiful and the content more terrible than anything else I have seen, and the steady stare into the human mind makes the Godard and the Losey look like the fumbling side glances they actually are."


Also Out - The Guardian, 22 August 2009

"The visually impressive Herostratus is a more arty and oblique affair that takes its own sweet time telling a tale of a poet, the great Michael Gothard from Ken Russell's The Devils, who markets his planned suicide into a media event, diluting the "purity" of taking one's own life. A young Helen Mirren also stars. The extras are particularly fine, with short films and interviews scattered amongst the three titles, all given the full restoration treatment."

~~

LA Times

"In this coruscating work, Michael Gothard astonishes as the eponymous young poet who hires a PR firm to turn his planned suicide into a media spectacle. Bursting with psychological and aesthetic urgency, Herostratus proved as prescient about the failure of the ’60s counterculture, as it was inspirational for the likes of Stanley Kubrick and Nicolas Roeg."

Full review

~~

Amnon Buchbinder - You CAN Get Out: Herostratus Now, 3 September 2009

"The finished copies arrived in my hands yesterday and I have to say the BFI did a really nice job! From the striking and perfectly emblematic cover (featuring Don’s widow, the remarkable Ines Levy who collaborated with him in a variety of ways, including appearing in all his films and playing a number of visually striking roles in Herostratus), to the booklet which not only covers all of the films on the disc but offers a touching piece about Herostratus‘ lead, Michael Gothard (never mind the small number of really good films he did, like Ken Russell’s The Devils; try watching a piece of crap like Scream and Scream Again and see how the film comes to life when Gothard appears).”
Read more... )
Full discussion

~~

Jesse P. Finnegan - Foreign Pick: Film Comment, Mar/Apr 2010

“Utterly luminous, occasionally brutal, it concerns one angry — or possibly mad — young man (the gifted, ghoulish Michael Gothard), who offers London’s biggest ad agency the chance to "handle" his public suicide … Now, recovered after 40-odd years, Herostratus seems less like a lost artifact than a votive offering, left purposefully to be found by a future generation of audiences.”

~~

BFI Monthly Film Bulletin, 1968

"While the title of his film suggests a critical attitude to its hero ..., Levy's techniques betray a strong affinity with him. Max expresses his rage and contempt for society by smashing up large pieces of it with an axe. Levy attacks it with equal vigour, making analogies (inevitably through inter-cutting) between a stripper's body and the carcasses in an abattoir, between sex-oriented advertising and Hitlerian rhetoric ...

Max, expressing himself only through destruction, becomes the embodiment of the society he despises and rejects; trapped within it, he is - as Farson tells him - good only for "tearing down other people's work". His destructiveness is contagious. He causes the photographer's death and turns Clio into a mirror image of himself, making her conscious of the trap she lives in. Yet the camera uncritically caresses every muscle of his body ...

Still, despite its all too obvious faults, Herostratus remains a passionate, exhausting and disturbing film. The photography ... has an occasional poetic beauty - particularly in the sequence beside the railway bridges where Max finds a child nursing a doll in an abandoned van; and there is some remarkable use of colour, notably in Max's room, all black and white except for the colour of his own skin and the pink plastic flesh of a hanging doll."

Full review

~~

Ian Jane - Rock! Shock! Pop!

"The plot of the film follows a young man named Max (Michael Gothard) who finds an advertising executive named Farson (Peter Stephens) in order to convince him to have his impending suicide broadcast as a sort of protest against where society is going. Max intends to jump off of a skyscraper and he wants everyone to see it.

As Max and Farson go about setting this all up, Max falls for a woman named Clio (Gabriella Licudi) and of course, Max then changes his mind about all of this, but by this point it’s too late, he’s set the train in motion and now he has to ride it out.

This is a film set in the unfortunately all too real society in which its various citizens care only about themselves. The world that surrounds Max has lead to his understandable narcissism and jaded view and his suicide is initially thought of as his way of essentially flipping us all off on the way out.

Bits of stock footage and symbolism hint at a time when the world wore a more united front but by the time it all comes around to our protagonist, it’s obvious that all of that has changed and not necessarily for the better interests of anyone. This is a subject and point of view that’s been exploited plenty of times since and quite often with better and more interesting results than Levy manages to accomplish here, but you’ve got to give the film credit for getting there before the likes of better known and more popularly embraced filmmakers like Herzog and Kubrick.

It’s interesting that Gothard, who hung himself in 1992 after a long battle with depression, plays the suicidal Max. It’s also interesting that the film is titled Herostratus, named after the ancient Greek fable in which a man destroys the most beautiful temple in the land in hopes of achieving fame only to wind up executed, his name forbidden to be uttered even after his death."

[Presumably the interest in the title lies in the relative obscurity to which Michael Gothard has been consigned since his death.]

Full review

~~

Slarek - Cine Outsider

"The real surprise is that despite of the film's experimental structure and Max's air of self-importance, we actually start to care for him and his fate, thanks largely to a captivating central performance from Michael Gothard and the shifting balance of power, as the destructive, cocksure and playful anarchist of the early scenes is transformed by big business into a ineffectual commodity whose only purpose is take his own life at the prescribed place and time.

So browbeaten and humiliated is he by then that he keeps the appointment, by which point he has become a figure of pity, shuffling around the rooftop and huddled against the cold while unfeeling marketing man Pointer prepares his camera and barks at him to jump from the chosen side.

This is one of those scenes that CG would nowadays have neutered, as actor Michael Gothard stands and even struggles with his fellow performer Antony Paul close enough to a genuinely lethal drop to catapult my stomach into my mouth and make me wonder all involved had taken leave of their senses."

Full review

~~

Ithankyou - Don Levy Hero! 25 January 2011

"... Herostratus ... must rank as one of the true, and most challenging, classics of 1960s British film. The film uses an unconventional narrative structure, mixed with beautifully judged sound and cinematography, to create an assault on our senses and our complacency: as a society and as individual viewers. The film's main actors Michael Gothard and Gabriella Licudi, gave their all and it shows in the unflinching honesty of the film."

Full review

~~

Other reviews:

20 August 2009 review on Movie Talk by Peter Fuller

February 2010 review on The Celluloid Highway


Thanks to Tzaratango and Belsizepark for finding many of these reviews.

.
Herostratus came out in June 1967, after a long editing process by Don Levy.

BFI synopsis.

The film was the opening exhibition at London’s ICA cinema in May 1968.

Per: Stuart Heaney: BFI Screenonline:

"... Herostratus was in its own time largely misunderstood. After only a handful of initial screenings it virtually disappeared from public view altogether, remaining all but forgotten to this day. Yet while admittedly flawed, the film does offer a compelling critique of the failure of 1960s postwar idealism in Britain, an ideal portrayed as having degenerated into neurotic self-gratification.

Originally commissioned in 1962 by the BFI Experimental Film Fund to make a short film, director Don Levy found his ambitions soon exceeded the budget as it expanded into a feature-length production ...

As Levy was at pains to point out, ... the basic plot of the film is just the surface of a deeper narrative, a complex interconnected web of images and sounds designed to trigger emotional reflexes in the viewer's subconscious. Images of postwar urban decay and juxtapositions of burlesque stripteases with carcasses hanging in an abattoir frequently recur. The leitmotif of a deathly pale woman in black leather (played by Levy's wife, Ines) is particularly prevalent: she appears to be some kind of phantasm who plagues Max's mind as it begins to unravel.

Later critics would remark upon Herostratus's apparent influence on Stanley Kubrick's A Clockwork Orange (1971) ..."

Full article.

.
Excerpts from "On location" report on "Herostratus."

... Levy spent a good deal of his time testing artists: having decided that this was to be a film developed entirely by improvisation around a firm narrative, he wanted a particularly malleable and intense type of player. After the extensive improvised auditions, he settled on Michael Gothard, then a drama student, for the lead …

Main shooting took place between August 1964 and March 1965 in a variety of London locations (there is no studio work), including the Royal College of Art, Regent Street Polytechnic and a slum house in Paddington …

Herostratus Sight and Sound, Summer 1965d

[Levy] “The film has several long takes up to four minutes. Some people are afraid of these, but I feel I need them here as the actors require space to reveal their deepest states of intensity ...

We also wanted to re-create the broken syntax of real speech: therefore, we never used any fixed dialogue or detailed action and the players never saw a script. Details of characterisations and dialogue were all developed during a very complicated process of improvisation and recall, designed to produce through various psychological methods a peculiar emotional state whereby the acting became behaviour. The improvisation was not based on their own characters … but was used as a technique for freeing and distorting action and reaction and enveloping the characters of the play.”

Mr. Levy added that sometimes the actors appeared to be in a state akin to hypnosis, during which they were able to operate by drawing directly on the subconscious. In connection with one scene I saw where the girl, posed in the corner of the screen against a white wall, goes into a long hysterical outburst, he commented: “The actress was not informed of the end result required. The scene was gradually built up by a violent actress-character conflict during the recall and preparation which took about two hours. When it finally occurred, two members of the unit were not able to watch and one was unable to work.”

I asked Mr Levy if he was generally satisfied with the way things had gone. “… The basic idea was certainly accomplished and, although some extremely startling things have happened, these have only opened the way to vast unexplored spaces both in film-making and drama."

Full review:
Part 1
Part 2
Part 3

It is interesting to note that despite these “vast unexplored spaces” awaiting him, Don Levy did not make another film for public viewing.


Thanks to Belsizepark for finding this review.
Michael eventually took the leading part in an "underground" film called ‘Herostratus’, in which he played a young man, Max, who decided to commit suicide, and arranged with an advertising firm that they could capitalise on his death in any way they wished, provided it was one which got a lot of publicity.

Per the cover notes from the BFI production:

An agent found Michael Gothard the role. “An intense three-hour audition for director Don Levy got him the lead role of the seething, suicidal poet Max; as such, Gothard’s performance is anarchic, intense, restless and angry.”

Per Amnon Buchbinder, who was involved with bringing out the DVD in 2009, and knew Don Levy, Don "had his pick of young talent – the one other actor I remember him mentioning having auditioned for the role was John Hurt."

When interviewed in 1973, Don Levy said: “It’s not necessary for the actors to know what they’re doing. What they’ve gotta know, is – what they are. In fact, that’s all I require of them."

Perhaps the audition process was designed to find out whether Michael had what Don Levy considered that essential knowledge.

Filming started on 20th August 1964, and took 8 or 9 months.

Herostratus was made with a budget of approx. £10,000, its unpaid cast and crew taking public transit to reach shooting locations.

Don Levy also said: "In fact, it wasn’t until about ninety percent of the shooting was done that the lead actor, Michael Gothard, who’d been going through these incredible convolutions, came to me one day and said, ‘Don … what’s this film really about?’, because he’d just started to understand that there was much more – beyond what he’d been doing – in this whole film, and it had really gotten him curious.”
[Transcribed from the DVD interview section.]

Other quotations from fiches of two articles from the BFI library, both interviews with Don Levy, show how far Levy was prepared to go, to get the take he wanted, and how little care he seemed to have for the actors.

Of Michael Gothard he said:
“Everything was shot on location and they didn't have to pretend it was cold or raining or dangerous. Mike Gothard, the leading actor, can't stand heights. But we had him standing on the edge of the roof of an 18-storey block, with no safety devices and in a howling gale. He was terrified, but he did it.”

And of Gabriella Licudi:
“In the final scene I had to get something very difficult out of Gabriella – difficult because she didn't want to give it, to admit to this in herself. I stood and shouted at her (that's my voice you hear on the film right at the end) until eventually she broke down.

She kept switching from herself to Clio and back again – she couldn't separate her own guilt as an individual from that in the part she was playing.

The camera crews had to stand and watch this in silence for an hour and a half. They were horrified, and argued fiercely about the morality of it. But I got the response I needed.”

In another interview he also speaks of Michael:

“At one point in the film Max has to stand on the edge of a high building in a howling wind. The actor who plays the part, Michael Gothard, is terrified of height – but I made him do it. Most scenes really happened like this. The love scene is an act of love.”

Herostratus came out in June 1967, and was the opening exhibition at London’s ICA cinema in May 1968.

Other releases:
Australia: 15 June 1970 (Adelaide Film Festival)
Sweden: 29 October 1970

A detailed discussion of the film can be found here: You CAN Get Out: Herostratus Now: September 3, 2009 by Amnon Buchbinder

Speculation: Michael Gothard and Don Levy: Herostratus and afterwards.

IMDB entry

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