Release Date : 1989
Language : English
Size : 651mb
Source : vhs
Video Format : mpeg
Audio Bitrate : 192
IMDB : http://www.imdb.com/title/tt0098641/
Unreleased in any form other than two promo videos (featuring slightly different soundtracks) "The White Room" movie has a long and complicated history, most of which would appear to be part of the UK techno act KLF's never ending quest for self-mythology. After the success of their Timelords single in 1988, Bill Drummond (the lanky one, wearing Martin Bormann's coat in the movie) and Jimmy Cauty (smaller, hairier, and the driver of their car) claimed they were sent a bizarre music contract by a shadowy organisation called "Eternity". Eternity stated that if Bill and Jimmy could document their travels to "The White Room" in some fictional way, then Eternity would give them the REAL keys to a "White Room". At no point was the actual contents or whereabouts of this real "White Room" divulged (or Eternity's identity), but the KLF (Drummond and Cauty, aka the Justified Ancients of Mu Mu, the JAMMs, the Timelords, the K Foundation, etc) signed the contract anyway (much to the horror of their lawyer David Franks, who was presumably a bit alarmed by their eccentricity).
Late 1988 saw Jimmy Cauty's "White Room" comic book abandoned at an early stage, and the KLF (as the duo were now permanently called) embarked upon their road movie version of "The White Room". At the same time, they also started to release their "Pure Trance" series of singles, which would eventually lead to the dance-floor hits "What Time is Love?" and "3 AM Eternal"; and released their only book, "The Manual (How To Have a Number One The Easy Way)" - documenting their experiences getting to number one with the hit single "Doctorin' The Tardis".
The money from the Timelords single went into several weeks' filming in Sierra Nevada in Spain. Filmed by Bill Butt (a friend of Drummond's from art college) and using a film crew that apparently went on to work on "Indiana Jones and the Last Crusade", rough footage was shot of the KLF driving around Anadalucia in Jimmy's "JAMMsmobile" (also sometimes called "Ford Timelord") a 1968 Ford Galaxy that would appear in many KLF videos and cover illustrations. Then a further section was filmed at Trancentral (Jimmy's flat/squat at 55 Jeffries Road, Stockwell, London, where the majority of the KLF's records were recorded). Here a variety of friends and fans (including Youth from Killing Joke, Alex Patterson from the Orb and Cressida, Jimmy's wife) were shot dancing in Trancentral's basement, the home of many a famous KLF party.
By summer 1989, this footage had been edited down to 45 minutes. Drummond and Cauty were apparently upset at the Spanish footage, which was filmed in a wintry November 1988, but some of the visuals are simply stunning. A rough plot was worked out: the film opens with shots of sunset over Battersea Power Station, then we flip to Trancentral, see the crowd grooving to "What Time is Love?" as Bill and Jimmy walk out into the street, meeting their lawyer David Franks in their Ford Galaxy car. There is some (muffled) dialogue as Bill and Jimmy sign the Contract from Eternity, and then some shots of Ford Timelord driving around the Thames Embankment area (to a soundtrack of "3 AM Eternal"). Then, they go down a tunnel - and reappear in Spain. For the rest of the film (half an hour) we see Bill and Jimmy drive, and drive, and drive ... they stop occasionally, build a fire (to the song of the same name), consult maps, fix the car and drive through the winding streets an amazing cave village. Bill wears plus-fours and visits a mysterious castle, Jimmy wanders around a scrap yard at night with a strange little boy, and they both eventually end up driving Ford Timelord into the snow capped mountains before finding the White Room itself (a mountain-top observatory) where David Franks shows them a Loophole in the Contract and Bill and Jimmy fly off to heaven ...
The whole film has a meandering mixed soundtrack of KLF songs, most unreleased in mid 1989. A CD soundtrack album was actually planned, but following the lack of success for the single "Kylie Said to Jason" (itself actually not heard in the film) the soundtrack album was postponed, and a compilation of "What Time is Love" cover versions was released in its place. The film's commercial release was also postponed ...
Eighteen months later, the "The White Room" album (or "Tunes from the White Room" as it was called in some countries) eventually saw the light of day, with all the original tracks drastically altered, and became a huge hit. (The 1989 soundtrack, like the raw footage, only slipped out briefly as a promo). In 1990, plans were announced to expand "The White Room" raw footage, with appearances from real actors like Paul McGann, but pretty much came to nothing bar a script re-write (which can be found quite easily as a text file on the Net). Another version of the raw footage, with the same visuals but a different soundtrack, featuring some songs from the new "White Room" album, was edited together in autumn 1991 - the KLF's commercial high water mark. It shown to a group of German investors (the KLF have always had a large cult following in Germany) who, sadly, decided not to fund ... Possibly because the "premier" was attended by a flock of sheep which the KLF let loose amongst the cinema!
Six months later, in 1992, the KLF officially "retired" from music, concentrating instead on art projects (including the 1994 movie "Watch the K-Foundation Burn a Million Quid") and one final, low-selling "comeback" single in 1997. "The White Room" project was never touched by either Jimmy Cauty or Bill Drummond again - and remains perpetually unfinished ...
Also, of course, it has NEVER been officially released, but occasionally, genuine promo videos and cassette appear on Ebay, but be prepared to pay up to £100 for either.