Australian artist and bohemian Vali Myers belongs to that small and very special group of people you can’t believe actually exist(ed) even when you have the proof in moving pictures in front of you. Thanks again to butterscotchclouds, who unearthed the footage below, we can marvel at that phenomenon once more. It was shot by Dutch photographer and filmmaker Ed van der Elsken in 1972, its title, Death in the Port Jackson Hotel, comes from a painting Vali is seen working on in the film.
Vali had featured in van der Elsken’s photo book Love on the Left Bank in 1956. Here they reunite on a Dutch farm and in Vali’s wild Italian idyll. Everyone involved is clearly baked out of their brainbones, lending it a period charm which makes up for the rambling structure (the synching problems merely enhance the dislocation). This isn’t so much a documentary as a string of sequences and attempts at interviews. If you have a low tolerance for hippies philosophising, or indeed for hippies dry humping (dry humping at length, mind you) this may not be for you.