October 23, 2014

Voice Over (1981)

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Comprising probably the strangest release in Flipside’s already ample canon since its inception less than three years ago, these two Welsh- yes, you read that right, cult enthusiasts, Welsh- films, which make up two thirds of the early output of yet another British director to later find greater fortune across the Atlantic, are also possibly the most mixed bag so far issued under that label’s aegis. Earlier this year, the mid-1970s double-header Duffer/ The Moon Over The Alley (trust me, it … [Read more...]

Little Malcolm and His Struggle Against the Eunuchs (1974)

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“It’s no good theorising about getting up, it’s the act that counts” David Halliwell’s by-now-legendary play, here turned by an American director into one of the essential works of British art cinema (even though the playwright himself would doubtless have disapproved of such categorisation) has previously been approached from many angles, but there, less than 20 seconds in, is possibly the one single line that encapsulates its very essence more than any other. It is also befitting that it … [Read more...]

Requiem for a Village (1975)

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OO AAR, OO AAR, OO AAR... I be from the countryzoide. Actually, I bain't, I'm from Leyton, E10, via Ilford, Birmingham, Glasgow, and various other parts of North and South London...but you have to start these reviews with an eye-catching line, and, like many of my contemporaries, I do still have a hankering, at least from an observer's perspective (I tried living outside major cities twice and failed on both occasions), for rurality and bucolic life, which is why I eagerly awaited the release of … [Read more...]

Lunch Hour (1961)

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If monochrome British cinema of the mid 50s to early 60s is the hidden 'holy grail' of our cultural heritage, then Lunch Hour, a film which literally defies categorisation, is the diamond of untraceable origin somewhere to the rear of the stem, and James Hill (a man of impeccable pedigree whose contributions are still largely unrecognised) its architect. Listed in some reference texts as a comedy, in others as drama, it is both and neither, and stands, for me personally, as one of the earliest … [Read more...]

Joanna (1968)

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I’ll get straight to the point: it’s difficult to know what to make of Joanna. Now, anyone who has read my reviews before knows full well (it’s just outside Teddington, I believe) that I’m an avowed lover of all things Swinging 60s, Swinging London, and psychedelic. They comprise about 50 percent of my very raison d’etre. However, there are still certain other things a film has to contain other than just brightly-coloured clothing, medium-length hair, flared trousers and aerial shots of St … [Read more...]

Private Road (1971)

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“Can you tell me where I’m travelling, I do not want to go…” The hippie dream had to end sometime, I suppose. And we in the UK, being the last man in, were almost certainly the first man out. In America, it dragged on, despite Altamont, the Manson cult murders and the Chicago Conspiracy trials, until the late 70s: over here, though remnants persisted throughout the early to mid-70s, and the aesthetics remained (thankfully) ingrained in our fashions and architecture until long after punk had … [Read more...]

Duffer (1971) and Moon Over the Alley (1976)

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Dir: Joseph “Chuck” Despins & William Dumaresq 1971/1975 I think it’s fair to say that I approached this dual-film release, which stands as BFI Flipside’s most unusual and obscurest offering to date, with a certain amount of trepidation and caution. Not that I’m a cautious film-viewer: I speak as someone who will sit through either any old trash, the most pretentious art wank, or the most deeply violent and transgressive shock material ever, with an open mind. But although the online … [Read more...]