The most famous person you've never heard of – The life of Impresario Michael White.
Michael White might just be the most famous person you’ve never heard of. A notorious London theatre and film impresario, playboy, gambler, bon vivant, and eccentric friend of the rich and famous, Michael transformed Britain’s cultural scene in the 1970s, producing over 200 shows and movies including Oh! Calcutta!, The Rocky Horror Show and Monty Python’s The Holy Grail, as well as introducing Merce Cunningham, Pina Bausch and Yoko One to London audiences.. In this intimate documentary, filmmaker Gracie Otto introduces us to this larger-than-life character, featuring interviews with many of his closest friends including Yoko Ono, Anna Wintour, Kate Moss, John Waters, Barry Humphries and, of course, the man himself.
The role of a producer in theatre and film is akin to an alchemist. Either you succeed or fail. There is little in between. Michael White has a touch of the magic. A combination of being able to spot raw talent, love the risqué, and the disposition to take risks and know how to entertain people. Whether by his theatre productions, films or parties, Michael was a man of his time who dragged the rest of society with him. He is a man of honour and known to do deals on a handshake. Amidst his culture changing highs, he has also failed spectacularly with financial losses and the loss of control of creative works he nurtured from concept to success. The many creative collaborators in our film see Michael’s contribution to the arts as being the catalyst to change and bringing the rest of the world to the London scene. The cultural importance is not just about 'making art' and changing times, a key aspect of the story is the hedonism that helped create the art was often the source of despair. The intent of our film is to introduce the world to an incredible artistic figure in British cultural history. Michael was a daring impresario who helped launch the careers of many incredible artists, including many Australians and his story is inspiring and touching and engages. It spans four decades of fantastical stories of highs and lows, friends and lovers found. Michael focuses on the positive experiences in life. It is no wonder his work had such life. In UK cinemas 26 September 2014 ‘The Last Impresario’ is a compelling story with a touch of arts history and a sense of shared wisdom, one generation teaching another. Michael and Gracie found each other and through their connection and Gracie’s determination, alongside our team of creative collaborators on the film, we get a glimpse into the world past.
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