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BFI Flipside Wave 2 in August

Following the launch of their Flipside strand in May with the release of The Bed Sitting Room, London in the Raw and Primitive London, the BFI have three more wonderfully obscure and overlooked British films coming to DVD and Blu-ray on 24th August 2009: Herostratus, All the Right Noises and Man of Violence.

Each title is newly-mastered to High Definition from original film elements and presented with rare and exciting short films, some of which are preserved in the BFI National Archive, and is accompanied by an extensive illustrated booklet.

Herostratus (Don Levy, 1967)

When Max, a young poet (played by the iconic Michael Gothard - The Devils, La Vallée) hires a marketing company to turn his suicide into a mass-media spectacle, he finds that his subversive intentions are quickly diluted into a reactionary gesture, and his motivations are revealed as a desperate attempt to seek attention through celebrity.

Unseen since its limited release in 1967, this audacious and prescient work by experimental filmmaker Don Levy left a profound mark on the landscape of late-1960s British cinema, with echoes of its visual style evident in the most celebrated work of such notable directors as Stanley Kubrick, Nicolas Roeg and Michael Winner.

Special features

  • Newly transferred to High Definition from the original negative
  • Don Levy's preferred widescreen presentation
  • Alternative 1.33:1 full frame presentation (NB. Blu-ray exclusive extra).
  • Rare audio interview with Don Levy (1973): the only known recording of Levy discussing Herostratus
  • Ten Thousand Talents (1960): Levy's student film, a wry look at Cambridge life, featuring the voice of Peter Cook
  • Time Is (1964): Levy's remarkable science documentary
  • Five Films (1967): Levy's hypnotic experiments in film editing techniques
  • Illustrated booklet with newly commissioned essays and original documentation

All the Right Noises (Gerry O’Hara, 1969)

Originally promoted with the provocative tagline ‘Is 15½ too young for a girl? Is one wife enough for one man?’, this time-capsule of a film tells the story of a young married man who has an affair with a teenage girl, and sits as part of a peculiarly 1960s British wave of films exploring this sensitive subject (others included Term of Trial, Age of Consent, and Three Into Two Won't Go).

Starring Olivia Hussey, in her first post-Romeo and Juliet role, and the inimitable Tom Bell (The L-Shaped Room), this wonderful slice of British cultural history is one of only a handful of feature films directed by Gerry O'Hara, better known for his assistant director work with such cinema giants as Tony Richardson, Carol Reed and Otto Preminger.

Special features
  • Bernard Braden Now and Then interview with Olivia Hussey and Leonard Whiting (1967)
  • The Spy's Wife (1972): a rare and little-seen short film by O'Hara starring Tom Bell and Ann Lynn
  • Illustrated booklet with newly commissioned contributions from film historian Robert Murphy, Gerry O’Hara, and The Spy’s Wife producer Julian Holloway.

Man of Violence (aka Moon) (Pete Walker, 1970)

In a world of gangs and villains, one man - Moon - will stop at nothing to get the girl and take the spoils. Pete Walker's affectionate low-budget homage to the gangster thriller is packed with sights and sounds from a Britain about to swing out of the Sixties and into a somewhat less optimistic decade.

Starring Hammer girls Luan Peters (Lust for a Vampire, Twins of Evil) and Virginia Wetherell (Doctor Jekyll & Sister Hyde, Demons of the Mind), Man of Violence offers not only rare glimpses of a world gone by, but also some unexpected twists on generic convention.

Also included is The Big Switch (aka Strip Poker), Pete Walker's pulp thriller featuring a climactic shoot-out filmed on Brighton's now destroyed West Pier.

Special features
  • Both films transferred to High Definition from the original negatives
  • The Big Switch (aka Strip Poker) (1968, 68 mins)
  • The Big Switch: Alternative export cut of (77 mins) (NB. Blu-ray exclusive extra)
  • Original trailers for Man of Violence and The Big Switch
  • Alternative Moon title-card
  • Illustrated booklet with newly commissioned contributions from novelist Cathi Unsworth, screenwriter and critic David McGillivray, and film historian Julian Petley.

English subtitles for hearing-impaired are included on all three titles.

The DVDs are £17.99 each and the Blu-rays are £22.99 each. The next Flipside titles will be released in November 2009.

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