The Lacey Rituals is the sort of release that shows why we’re very lucky to have the British Film Institute. It’s a collection that will never appeal beyond a niche audience, but is something it’s more than worth collecting together and digitising for posterity. And without the BFI it’s unlikely it would ever have happened.
Bruce Lacey is seen by many as a seminal figure in the emergence of performance art in the 1950s and 1960s, with his influence perhaps best felt in those around him, such as The Goons, Ken Russell, Richard Lester, Peter Cook, The Bonzo Dog Doo-Dah Band and Monty Python. Things such as his work with the Albert Brothers (a small bit of which is included here, but which largely went undocumented) pointed the way towards a new form of anarchic, slightly homemade comedy, with a surreal bent but genuine thought and ‘meaning’ behind it. Lacey describes this is ‘the triumph of the amateur’, something that’s true of much of his career. [Read more...]