Talks & Events

When Harold Met Maude


Life, Death (and the Rest), Arnos Vale Cemetery, Bristol 2017

Film Screening & Talk.

Harold and Maude is as funny as a burning orphanage’, a somewhat scathing first review courtesy of Variety in 1971. Playboy coincided with ‘a miscalculated insult to old and young, male and female, rich and poor, none of whom is likely to identify with such cynically contrived pap’ and Time decided the kindest thing to do, was not review it at all.

There is no denying that Harold and Maude was an epic fail on release, opening and closing within just one week. This box-office flop turned cult classic is clearly not to everyone’s taste, It holds a kind of Marmite effect; you love it, hate it… or just don’t get it!

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Venue for the screening, Arnos Vale Cemetery

Transportation for Life


Life. Death. Whatever, Sutton House, London 2016

Exhibition.

“I knew a man once who used to like working with cars. A German, wonderful person, but he would spend all his time fixing his car and making it run beautifully. Then came the war, and he lost his car. He had to walk everywhere, and so he found himself spending his time making his body fit and trim. He fixed it up and it ran beautifully. After the war, he decided not to go back to cars. “Cars come and go” he said, “but your body is your transportation for life.”

This collaboration from photographer, Adam Pegg and writer, Lucy Coleman Talbot featuring tattoo artist Alex Simpson was inspired by Colin’s Higgins’ book Harold and Maude – a story of love, life and death.

Transportation for Life is also the name of a chapter in Lucy’s book the Little Book of Maudism. It explores our human desire for permanence and the emotional attachment we can form to objects.

“We come on the earth with nothing, and we go out with nothing, so isn’t ownership a little absurd?”

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“Transportation for Life” by Adam Pegg & Lucy Coleman Talbot

“Mortuary Preoccupation” Teachings from Harold & Maude


Dead Meet, Barts Pathology Museum, London, 2015

Illustrated lecture with film clips.

Harold’s mother has no time for her son’s “mortuary preoccupation”. He puts his efforts into faking suicides, attending funerals and tinkering with his old hearse. When he meets the mighty Maude, an old lady with buckets of character and life experience, his world is set to change forever.

The lesson Maude has for Harold does not suggest death should be avoided or taboo. In fact, quite the opposite: death should be embraced as part of our circle of life. An early advocate for the “death positive” movement Maude wastes no time in bringing macabre out into the sunshine.

Misunderstood (or perhaps ahead of it’s time) Harold and Maude was a box office flop when first released in 1971. By the early eighties the film started to profit and fast became the cult classic many know and love today.

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The wine table ready for Dead Meet

The Art of Maudism


Ideal Death Show, Birmingham, 2014

Illustrated lecture with film clips.

I wrote a guest blog for funeral florist specialists Stems UK  reflecting on this event. You can read it here. Later that evening I had the honour of presenting ‘The Blossom d’Amour Award for Funeral Floristry’ at the Good Funeral Awards.

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Stems UK centre pieces ready for the Good Funeral Awards