January 23, 2017

BFI Flipside release Private Road (1971), Duffer (1971) and The Moon Over the Alley (1975)

Three previously unavailable 1970s features out on BFI Flipside Dual Format Editions on 17 January 2011

On 17 January the critically acclaimed BFI Flipside label presents another selection of rare and little-seen features from the hidden history of British cinema – all newly mastered from film materials preserved by the BFI National Archive.

Made available in the BFI’s trademark Dual Format Editions (which include DVD and Blu- ray in the same box, for the same price as a DVD) are Barney Platts-Mills’ follow-up to Bronco Bullfrog, Private Road (1971), starring Bruce Robinson and Susan Penhaligon, and a double bill of mind-blowing films from Joseph Despins and William Dumaresq, Duffer (1971) and The Moon Over the Alley (1975).

Private Road
Barney Platts-Mills’ stylish and compelling follow-up to Bronco Bullfrog (released by BFI Flipside in September) relocates the youthful struggle for social and personal freedom to 1970s Boho London, suburban Surrey and rural Scotland.

When Peter, a handsome author pausing from finishing his first novel (and played by Bruce Robinson who would go on to write and direct Withnail & I) shacks up with sugar-sweet receptionist Ann (Susan Penhaligon), sex, drugs, and some rigorous rural living ensue, to the dismay of Ann’s well-to-do parents. Soon, however, they are forced to choose between domestic conformity and individual fulfilment.

Special features
• Two never-before-released extras, sourced from the BFI National Archive:
St Christopher (1967, 48 mins): Barney Platts-Mills’ affecting observational documentary about the education of mentally handicapped youngsters
The Last Chapter (David Tringham, 1974, 29 mins): dark tale in which a successful
middle-aged writer (Denholm Elliot) is unbalanced by an assured young fan (Private
Road’s Susan Penhaligon)
• Presented in both High Definition and Standard Definition
• Illustrated booklet with newly commissioned essays and reviews

An intense and bizarre study of obsession that is by turns lyrical and disconcerting, Duffer tells the deranged story of a teenage boy torn between the womanly charms of a kindly prostitute, and the relentless, sadistic attentions of an older man.

The Moon Over the Alley, from the writer-director team behind Duffer, explores the problems of the multicultural residents in a Notting Hill boarding house. Dark and disturbing, yet dreamlike and tender, this astonishing film includes surreal musical numbers by the award-winning composer of Hair, Galt MacDermot. It was unequivocally praised by the late Alexander Walker, legendary Evening Standard film critic, who proclaimed that ‘it deserves immense popularity’ when it was originally released.

These unique, rarely-seen films are newly mastered from prints held in the BFI National Archive and released here for the very first time.

Special features
• Both films presented in both High Definition and Standard Definition
• Illustrated booklet with newly commissioned essays by Stephen Thrower and Rob Young, and Joseph Despins’ personal recollections of making the two films

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Hi, I'm Steve, the Britmovie admin with a love of British cinema especially Ealing Studios output and 50s/60s b-movie crime films.