LOST IN VAGUENESS
A film by Sofia Olins
Been to Glastonbury in the early 2000-2007 era? Then no doubt and without exception, I will assume you visited Lost Vagueness. the after-hours post music celebration of the arts. If your a more recent visitor then Lost Vagueness preceded and inspired what is now Shangri La. This film Lost In Vagueness follows the creator Roy Gurwitz.
Sofia Olins followed the creator of the brand Roy Gurwitz over a twelve year period documenting its rise and subsequent fall from the festival. The festival within a festival has been recognised as essentially saving Glastonbury at a time when ticket sales were poor. People wanted somewhere to go after the music stopped at midnight and Gurwitz was the brains behind the concept Lost Vagueness.
Gurwitz represented the traveller lifestyle and wanted to show they were better than the trouble they were perceived to be. In dressing up all seemed to be well and on display within this new found area was a selection of cabaret, burlesque, casino and robots and maybe surprisingly ballroom dancing. It was an area that was a creative hub for visitors and for those performing – an opportunity to express. Boundaries were pushed, you may witness things here that you wouldn’t do in the day to day world. This was immersive theatre before its time.
This docu film follows Gurwitz and how a genius idea which revived Glastonbury grew beyond its means and into the corporate world that it was hidden from in its creation. Sofia Olins manages to brilliantly show us, Roy Gurwitz, the genius, the stubborn, the idealist, the fiercely loyal friend, and the parent across this huge time span as well as the opinions of those around him. We see personal influences and situations of which help form the man and thoughts from those closest to him and how they saw his vision and immersed themselves in it as heavily as he did.
The film for me depicts a man with much talent and ideas who through a fierce and passionate vision of a concept, pushed it took to its limits. Maybe blinkered at times and in trying to grow the brand beyond its means diluted what it had made it great. Despite fall outs and arguments his status lives on, forever associated with Glastonbury many of the performers and acts that he made famous continued through into Shangri La and continue to inspire generations of festival goers.
Whatever your thoughts on Gurwitz -a brand forever remembered, legendary for some, and for others will become stories told, and for the founders of Glastonbury despite a falling out an appreciation of a creative vision that only he had.