Friday, 1 July 2011

The Seventies


The Artist and Photographer at Highgate in the early Seventies.

A model and close friend in an eerie setting.

The most successful film at the beginning of the new decade — Love Story.

The most popular British television series — Upstairs Downstairs.

Upstairs Downstairs starred Lesley-Anne Down as Lady Georgina Worsley.

Lesley-Anne now lives in America, but nonetheless sent me this picture.

The Seventies opened as immersed in metaphyiscal mystery as the Sixties had closed. This was reflected in some of the photographic images I took, but there was much else besides which should not be overlooked. My work as a professional musician slowed down, and the studio I ran had closed by the end of the previous decade. I was now freelance, but also working on the other side of the lens as an actor in both low budget and major films. Here I met and befriended many well known performers, including the alluring French actress Sylvaine Charlet. We shared many interests.

A similar image of us appears in her biography — Sylvaine Superstar.

Fellow artiste and girlfriend — the beautiful actress Sylvaine Charlet.

On the set of the film Beren in Paris in which Sylvaine and I starred.

Sylvaine was also an accomplished musician, artist and writer.

Period parts always felt more comfortable for both me and Sylvaine.

She was no more suited for modernity and the new century than am I.

Film scene from an art-house movie with a very established actress.

A dramatic scene from the low budget movie The Duel in which I fenced.

Sylvaine was a very accomplished fencer who trained every week.

Acting against type in a science fiction movie everyone will recognise.

An altogether more comfortable rôle for me — set in the 19th century.

An iconic British film of the previous decade was Tom Jones.

It starred Susannah York whom I came to know and like enormously.

As the Seventies wore on, I continued with various artistic pursuits such as drama, photography and music. Yet the metaphysical impact of the Sixties had to a large extant become magnified for me in the decade that followed. Inescapable was the dominance of mysterious happenings at Highgate and its environs. These permeated into everything until the force originally emanating from Highgate's famous graveyard was disrupted and quietened. For those who believed in such strangeness witnessed by those who saw it, no proof was necessary. For those who disbelieved, no amount of proof would ever suffice. What happened back then obviously affected my artistic expression via various media, not least my photographic imagery and portraiture in oils — examples of which can be found throughout this blog and also surface in my books on the supernatural; not least, Carmel and, of course, The Highgate Vampire


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