Short Film: Timothy Leary's ‘Wedding At Millbrook’
Summer 1964 - Millbrook, New York
“This movie is something of a mystery. Timothy Leary was getting married to a model named Nena Von Schlebrugge in Millbrook, New York at the Hitchcock house, where Leary had been carrying on his hallucinogenic revelries for the past year or so after leaving Harvard. It was rumored that this was going to be the wedding of the season. Monte Rock III who was singing at Trudy Heller’s but who was also a very pricey and off-the-wall hairdresser was in fact going to be doing the bride’s hair. Nena’s brother, Bjorn, known as the “Baron” was a friend of the Hitchcock’s, as was I, and the idea of going along and filming the wedding seemed not unwarranted. I’ve always wanted to film someone getting married.
So we drove up in Monte Rock’s ancient Buick, Diane Arbus, an editor from Vogue whose name I can no longer remember, and of course Monte Rock, his fingers covered in rings. Close behind, Nick Proferes and Jim Desmond filmed us as we drove, up the Taconic and through the gates of the Hitchcock mansion.
There were Hitchcocks and friends and relations of Hitchcocks, the Baron and his court, a score of models, and Charles Mingus playing a lonely piano. Even Susan Leary fresh out of jail. It was indeed an amazing wedding, and for all I know, an amazing marriage, although someone later told me it was over before I’d even finished editing the film.
After Nena divorced Leary she married a Tibetan scholar, Dr. Robert Thurman and her daughter Uma is Uma the actress. Dick Alpert became his own guru, Baba Ram Dass and achieved a sainthood of his own. Monte Rock III left Trudy Heller’s and went out to Hollywood and became famous for his line in the John Travolta movie, Saturday Night Fever, when as the disco DJ he exclaims, “I love that polyester look.” Charles Mingus got thrown out of his loft and sadly perished, and in time the Hitchcock house itself burned down, or so I’ve been told. The mystery is that we never filmed anyone actually getting married.”
D. A. Pennebaker