Coming in May from the BFI….
Kim Newman’s Guide to the Flipside of British Cinema
A special BFI DVD sampler, available from retailers nationwide on 17 May at just £3.99
Cat No: BFIVD878, cert 15
If you’re a fan of classic and cult British films – from Alfie to Performance, from The Devils to Withnail and I – then this indispensable guide to a previously uncharted, alternative history of British cinema is for you…
In an all-new documentary, produced exclusively for the BFI, the UK’s most knowledgeable and well-respected cult film critic, Kim Newman, explores such questions as how the director of Help! and Superman II came to make one of the world’s greatest, but little-known, black comedies, and lifts the lid on which previously unseen British film features Helen Mirren in her debut role.
Along with a selection of original trailers and short films – including one that is exclusive to this release – this is your passport to the exciting and surprising world of the Flipside. All titles can now be seen on DVD and Blu-ray for the first time ever, in the BFI Flipside collection.
•Kim Newman’s Guide to the Flipside of British Cinema (2010, 37 mins); all-new, exclusive documentary
•Carousella (1966, 25 mins): originally banned by the BBFC, this controversial documentary on the lives of a group of striptease artistes was directed by celebrated Hollywood filmmaker John Irvin (Hamburger Hill, Raw Deal)
•Tomorrow Night in London (1969, 5 mins): vibrant and fast-paced tourist board short extolling the virtues, and fashions, of London’s nightlife
Exclusive to this release
•The Spy’s Wife (1972, 27 mins): a modish tale of international intrigue and extra-marital relations with Tom Bell (The L-Shaped Room, Prime Suspect) and Ann Lynn (Screamtime, Separation), directed by Gerry O’Hara (All the Right Noises, The Bitch)
•BFI Flipside trailer reel
•Illustrated booklet with essays and film credits
Dual Format Edition releases for new BFI Flipside titles on 17 May
The BFI’s Flipside DVD & Blu-ray strand continues in its mission to rescue hard-to-find and little-seen British films from obscurity, proudly presenting world premiere releases of two mid-Sixties masterpieces: Gerry O’Hara’s unjustly overlooked Swinging Sixties gem The Pleasure Girls, featuring Francesca Annis, Ian McShane and Klaus Kinski, and an uncensored pre-release cut of Guy Hamilton’s controversial The Party’s Over, starring Oliver Reed and featuring a score by John Barry. Released on 17 May, both titles will be available as Dual Format Editions, containing the Blu-ray and DVD versions of the films and the extras.
The BFI’s Flipside titles are all newly-mastered to High Definition from original film elements, and presented with rare and fascinating special features, including previously unavailable short films, documentaries and interviews, many of which are preserved in the BFI National Archive. Each title comes in collectable numbered packaging and is accompanied by an extensive illustrated booklet with insightful contributions from special guest writers, often including the filmmakers themselves.
The Pleasure Girls (Gerry O’Hara, 1965)
When Sally (Francesca Annis) moves to London to pursue a modelling career, she moves in with Angela (Anneke Wills, Doctor Who) and Dee (future Hammer girl Suzanna Leigh) and discovers the world of the carefree bachelor girl in Swinging London. Over one weekend – filled with parties, blossoming friendships, and romantic encounters with Keith (Ian McShane) and Nikko (Klaus Kinski) – the vivacious girls learn about life’s pleasures and pains.
Shot on location, with intelligent dialogue and lively performances from its young ensemble cast, this ground-breaking drama bears all the hallmarks of director Gerry O’Hara’s (That Kind of Girl, All the Right Noises) assured style.
•Feature presented in both High Definition and Standard Definition
•Alternative complete export cut (Blu-ray only, 86 mins)
•Export version scenes (DVD only, 13 mins)
•Original theatrical trailer
•The Rocking Horse (James Scott, 1962, 25 mins): an atmospheric short about a romantic encounter between a teddy boy and an artist, shot on location in London’s West End
•The Meeting (Mamoun Hassan, 1964, 10 mins): a young woman’s unconventional brief encounter with a mysterious lover
•Illustrated booklet featuring contributions by Gerry O’Hara, Professor Sue Harper, and Mamoun Hassan
The Party’s Over (1963-1965)
Written by Marc Behm (Charade, Help!) and scored by the legendary John Barry (Zulu, Thunderball, Diamonds are Forever), this controversial film originally fell foul of the British censors, forcing director Guy Hamilton (Goldfinger, Diamonds are Forever, Battle of Britain) to remove his name from the credits, but is now finally made available in a never-before-seen uncensored pre-release version.
Enigmatic young Melina (Louise Sorel) has fallen in with a group of Chelsea beatniks, catching the attention of the gang’s defiant leader Moise (Oliver Reed), but inviting scorn and jealousy from the group’s other members, including Moise’s lover Libby (Ann Lynn). But wild and drunken partying has terrible consequences, and when Melina’s fiancé Carson (Clifford David) begins investigating, the shocking truth is revealed.
•Presented in both High Definition and Standard Definition
•Alternative theatrical release cut (Blu-ray only, 92 mins)
•Alternative theatrical release sequences (DVD only, 18 mins)
•The Party (R A Ostwald, 1962, 16 mins): a time-capsule short about an art school get-together, with drinking, dancing and romance
•Emma (Anthony Perry, 1964, 12 mins): an expressive meditation on the loss of innocence and the certainty of death, from the producer of The Party’s Over
•Illustrated booklet featuring contributions by Guy Hamilton, Andrew Roberts, William Fowler and Vic Pratt
BFI Dual Format Edition titles retail at £19.99 each. The next Flipside releases will be Here We Go Round the Mulberry Bush (Clive Donner, 1968) and Bronco Bullfrog (1969) by Barney Platts-Mills in September 2010.
The Pleasure Girls (Flipside 010) Cat no: BFIB1086 / UK / 1965 / Cert 15 / black and white / English language / Optional subtitles for the hearing-impaired / 85 mins / Original aspect ratio 1.66:1 / / Disc 1: BD25 / 1080p / 24fps / PCM mono audio (48k/16-bit) / Disc 2: DVD9 / PAL / PCM mono audio (48k/16-bit)
The Party’s Over (Flipside 011) Cat no: BFIB1057 / UK / 1963-1965 / Cert 12 / black and white / English language / Optional subtitles for the hearing-impaired / 95 mins / Original aspect ratio 1.66:1 / / Disc 1: BD50 / 1080p / 24fps / PCM mono audio (48k/24-bit) / Disc 2: DVD9 / PAL / PCM mono audio (48k/16-bit)
About the BFI Flipside strand
Developed from its popular monthly screening slot at BFI Southbank, the BFI’s Flipside series on DVD and Blu-ray is designed to revisit and reappraise British films that have slipped through the cracks of cinema history – films that were overlooked, marginalised, or undervalued at the original time of release, or sit outside the established canon of recognised classics. Much of the material is drawn from the BFI National Archive.