The Bodies Beneath Review
BFI Flipside is a label offshoot of the BFI, and deals with restoring forgotten UK films and Television shows and giving them new leases of life on DVD and Blu-ray. Films and TV that broke new ground, and those that are just downright weird.
William Fowler and Vic Pratt's 400-page book is designed to cover those forgotten gems, some of which rarely made the leap out of VHS land, and hopefully bring them to the attention of a new generation. A movement described as 'Punk Rock' by Nicolas Winding Refn in his foreword, in a book that goes on to prove that there are few restraints when it comes to this kind of material.
The Bodies Beneath is divided into sub-sections and covers a variety of films and obscure television programmes in the same way that Danny Peary’s Cult Movies or the Psychotronic Video Guide does. However this book deals primarily with twentieth century British culture and its weird and wonderful output.
It is likely there are things in here you may not have heard of, such as Danger Man - Patrick McGoohan-led series he did directly before The Prisoner) or Steve Barron's Electric Dreams. Even an 1899 short film entitled Cricket Match on a Fishing Smack During a Heavy Sea, which lets face it, few will have seen outside of Fowler and Pratt.
The book covers far too much to read in one sitting, thankfully, it is not that kind of book anyway but a tome you can dip in an out of as and when needed, to devour in chunks. The essays within which deal with the unknown or mostly forgotten films are lengthy and informative, yet not at all dry. If you are interested in British film and television and like to discover new weird and wonderful things, then The Bodies Beneath is one to grab.