Freeeeeeee screening Saturday 21 at The Blag Club London

19 Jan

Yowzer!  2012 – year of the dragon, planets shifting about to reveal bliss and new starts.   And kind folk choosing to celebrate tantra with a free screening at London’s Blag Club in Notting Hill this Saturday – BREAAAAATHE AND SQUEEEEEZE, peeeeps.  Feel the force of Laurie Handlers, get down to get up!


Pushka…ka…ka – fancy a hump?

5 Apr

Not only a famed London nightclub, but a place.  Pushka is one of Slack Alice Films fave hippy haunts.  Brahma apparently dropped a lotus leaf in the Rajasthani desert which became a lake, and high above all the temples and ghats now sits a temple to his first wife,  Savriti.  Why? Because way back in the dawn of Hindi time, her loose-cocked Lord ran off with a younger model.  Nothing new under the sun, eh? Her pay-off was she’d always be worshipped first…yeah, not so many people can remember the name of his second wife, eh? (It’s Gayatri, so you don’t feel the need to Google.)

In the movie, you’ll witness the Tantric Tourists running up Savitri‘s hill like only Kate Bush could, and the monkeys, and the first in a series of exercises which (hopefully) pave the way for  a spiritual epiphany.

Incidentally, this is where the poster artwork of emperor -like Randall Rodriguez comes from. (And also the site for a rather renowned camel fair, if you’re in the market for a hump or two)

Here’s a video of Placebo covering Running Up That Hill, to a Kuroshitsuji/Black Butler anime bootleg selected for no reason beyond pure shonkiness.

And here’s another Kate Bush classic, the one with the brave dancing. (The writer of this blog remembers pure entrancement when first seeing this playing pre-main feature in a cinema – ahhhh, the good ol’ daze.

Available (nearly) everywhere

3 Apr

Winning awards, going to Cannes, it all sounds so hotdamn glam, but to get a movie into cinemas is a huge undertaking…

1.  Advertising – to fill cinemas nightly takes millions of bucks chucked on the side of buses, in newspapers, wherever.  It works.

Now, Slack Alice Films didn’t have millions for Tantric Tourists – in fact – we had very little at all.  Our distributors helped with the amazing…

2. Press

the movie received in the UK, but to get it into the cinemas over here without advertising and Keira Knightlys, is a risky business.  Fortunately, a handful of wondrously independent cinemas screened it all over the UK, people as maverick and brave as the Americans, and a crazy guru that the film follows…okay, Randall looks like Marlon Brando, and Laurie’s like Bette Middler…but are we stupid or what?  Where’s the youth?  Where’s the people that look like Barbie?   Two female horse trainers, a 16 year old, a pile of awards, critical acclaim and a free trip to India may not get it in every multiplex across the land… however, perhaps this was something to do with the…

2. Title – hmmmmmm.

It’s either brave, or uh, back to the above, MUY STUPIDO to make a film with a title that suggests there is a superior way of procreating.  We are basically insulting MOST PEOPLE by even suggesting their sex could be improved.  When you read tantra, do you think, mind expanding and healthy, or superlative seedy sex for swingers?  WHY WOULD ANYONE WANT TO WAIT THAT LONG ANYWAY?   Tantric people can be creepy, we know that, the film knows that. That is why it is funny, and challenges preconceptions about each and every one of us.  TANTRIC TOURISTS IS A JOURNEY.  A ROAD TRIP TO THE MIND, MAN.  And between you, me and cyberspace, there are no pounds of flesh grinding in this film – PHEWIE LEWIS AND THE NEWS!

Thanks to genuine grassroots audience and word of mouth, we managed to play cinemas around England, and now yoga peeps across America are hosting their own screenings.  Cool, huh?  They buy DVDs.  We love them.

Shame we’ve not got Keira Knightly, but the stars of Tantric Tourists are true heroes, however funny they appear initially.  They are brave and inspiring because they trusted British indie filmmakers to thrust lenses in their faces as they attempted to go on a spiritual journey.

CLICK ON THE BUY BUTTON ABOVE TO FIND OUT WHERE TANTRIC TOURISTS CAN BE PURCHASED (iTunes/LoveFilm/Time Warner cable etc etc)  We recommend the DVD as it features a Making Of, deleted scenes, and at the bargain price of £9.99 in the UK – and (hint) a few discount codes for the US knocking about via the Facebook fan page, – what’s your excuse?

(Pic by Slack Alice Films fave, Charlie Gray.  Poster by Dave Baum & Alexander Snelling)

Banco de Top Guyo

23 Mar

We love Banco de Gaia – his music features heavily in the film, alongside some Bollywood greats and rare recordings.  The director used to DJ in London and directed music videos, several acid house classics.

Here’s one of the Banco tracks from the film…

We love Ibiza

27 Feb

Thanks to the support of YogaShala Ibiza, they kindly offered a few discounts for their summer courses and teacher training courses, get in touch to see if they still apply.


We’ve been Wiki-ed

27 Feb

“…Although superficially the film may appear to be a mockumentary, all participants are real people and nothing was staged in the filming. As such the film can be termed a fly-on-the-wall film and has been compared to Spinal Tap for its outrageous and hilarious characters…”


*****”Thanks to a wonderful narration, this is more comedy than copulation”

13 Feb

Neil White at off to India…and another strike for the guru, Laurie Handlers

Alexander Snelling & Kirsty Allison at the Scottish Screen Party in Cannes 2010,

photo by Laurence Tarquin von Thomas


“What do I know about tantra? Isn’t that the sort of nookie that Sting and his missus get up to? Isn’t it supposed to last for hours?
Well, while I recognise the Police front man and Trudie Styler are beautiful people and need to expend their energies in such a fashion, it all sounds a bit exhausting to me.
But before you pass the sick bucket around, let me enlighten you. Tantra is not just about a bit of spectacular how’s yer father.
It’s apparently a liberation of one’s whole body and mind. It allows one to reach a level of serenity where the world is opened up.
Don’t just take my word for it. Listen to Laurie Handlers, a 60-year-old self-acclaimed tantric guru who is followed in this documentary, leading a bunch of Americans on a tour of India to help them reach their inner selves.
So, we follow them and their tourist bus to India’s spiritual centres and the country from where tantra emerged (you’ve heard of the Karma Sutra, right?)
But, thanks to a wonderful dead-pan Louis Theroux-style narration, we soon realise that much of this journey this is going to be comedy rather than copulation.
Indeed, while everyone seems to be in denial, the first hour is more of a feature about a badly organised holiday with some breathing exercises on the tour bus thrown in (one scene where there is extended mediation with the group making noises like Meg Ryan in the When Harry Met Sally restaurant scene is truly hilarious)
Nowhere was the contradiction of the journey more evident than in Jaipur where the tantric students have barely a second to observe the city’s rich culture and yet, perched upon the tourist camel trail, mock the fleets of holidaymakers’ buses nearby.
Indeed, the ratio of shopping vs tantra rather gives away the idea that even the most enlightened Americans prefer consumerism or spiritualism.
But then a strange thing happens…the tour enters the India which is off the tourist track and we, and the narrator, begin to have empathy with a group which we had previously felt to be little more than the usual over-the-top American tourists.
And by the end, you know what, I not only felt a desire to go to India, but I wouldn’t mind being on one of Laurie Handlers’ marathon trips.
So overall, it’s a chilled out 7/10 for Tantric Tourists, which, by the way was sent to me on preview by producer Kirsty Allison.
She is looking for places to screen Tantric Tourists and told me: “Various yoga centres and fans are starting to request that they host screenings too.  We had a screening in London on Monday, Boy George is mad about it, and wants to meet the guru.”.
“It will be available on iTunes and LoveFilm on 14th Feb. The DVD has many extras, and that will be on Amazon.”
There you are: it’s film 52 and, finally, I’ve got a quote from a producer”


The Sunday Mirror LOVES Tantric Tourists

13 Feb


Review: Tantric Tourists

By Mark Adams 13/02/2011

Three stars

Tantric Tourists : Benares

15, 80mins,
opens tomorrow

British documentary about a tantric guru and 10 first-time-in-India students from the US on the search for life-changing tantric (and sexual) experiences in the heart of India.


Read more:

*****Supercool BBC interview

13 Feb

Nikki Bedi on Laurie Handlers…”She’s like Marmite…I laughed my head off”

Listen to the full interview:

Laurie Handlers at the British premiere of Tantric Tourists at the East End Film Festival in 2008


*****Reviews: The Guardian & Radio Times

12 Feb

Also this week “There’s much to admire in Alexander Snelling’s documentary about a perspiring gang of sex-starved westerners on a tantric tour of India. He clocks some genuine emotional flashpoints and shoots India with adoring vivacity” ***The Guardian

“India has long held an attraction for travellers searching for some kind of spiritual enlightenment. In director Alexander Snelling’s first feature documentary, a group of American tourists on a whirlwind tour of holy sites search in vain for “the real India”. Led by ebullient tantric teacher Laurie Handlers, who hopes to initiate a deep, inner transformation among her disciples, the group soon finds its dreams of nirvana clashing with the frantic reality of day-to-day life. Often the only time they can perform tantric meditation is on the road in their coach. It’s fitfully amusing when the deadpan narration highlights the dichotomy between the tourists’ quest for transcendence and their more earthly consumer instincts.” The Radio Times

%d bloggers like this: