CAIN’S FILM and MARIHUANA MARIHUANA. Two Films by Jamie Wadhawan with Alexander Trocchi.
London: Chronos Films, 2003. DVD (b/w, 26mins. + colour, 40 mins.).
“Cain’s Film”, a documentary portrait of Alexander Trocchi made in 1969 by graduate film student Jamie Wadhawan, features Trocchi visiting the offices of publisher John Calder, and footage of him seated at his typewriter and painting sculptures (‘futiques’) in his book-lined Kensington apartment.
The film’s final ten minutes records an event held at the Arts Lab on April 13, 1969 at which Trocchi was billed to give a talk on “The State of Revolt”, though according to a report by Felix de Mendelsohn published in IT #55, he intended it “as more of an informal party than a lecture.” The sequence features Davy Graham and Shawn Phillips duetting on the latter’s “Withered Roses”, accompanied by a female dancer; footage of William Burroughs (talking about underground media in the US), RD Laing, Dan Richter; voiceover commentary by Feliks Topolski and Jim Haynes; and a fleeting glimpse of Ken Kesey shot from behind. The film premiered at the London Polytechnic on Regent Street.
“Marihuana Marihuana”, made in 1972, shows Alexander Trocchi and Simon Vinkenoog walking together through Vondelpark in Amsterdam, and Trocchi’s visit with Kees Hoekert and Robert Jasper Grootveld (named Kronfeldt in the credits), former Provos and pioneering cannabis activists who established the canalside Lowlands Weed Company and openly sold small plants and seeds from their houseboat. It was given a preview in the Rank Preview Suite on Wardour Street on December 11, 1973, though Trocchi failed to attend, and the National Film Theatre screened it again later in the month.