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BFI Flipside

@ Fopp

This April at Fopp we’re celebrating the best of BFI Flipside. We have heaps of price markdowns on dual format DVD/Blu-ray! Keep Scrolling to read through 5 of favourites from the range.
The BFI Flipside series is an essential part of the British film canon, bringing to light forgotten and overlooked films from a time when cinema was at its most experimental and daring. These films offer a fascinating insight into the history of British cinema, and they are a testament to the creativity and innovation that flourished during this era.
What makes the series so important is the commitment of the British Film Institute to uncovering hidden gems of British cinema. These films are often dismissed or ignored by mainstream audiences, and they may have been neglected or even lost over time. The BFI restores them to their former glory, preserving them for future generations to enjoy.
Through their meticulous restoration and curation, the series has become an indispensable resource for film lovers and scholars alike. These films capture the spirit of a time when British cinema was at its most experimental, and they offer a window into a world of independent filmmaking that has largely been forgotten. They remind us of the diversity and vitality of the British film industry, and they celebrate the creativity and innovation that can be found in even the most modest of productions.
But the series is more than just a celebration of forgotten films. It is also an important historical record of British society and culture. Many of these films were made in the 1960s and 1970s, a time of great social change and upheaval in Britain. They capture the spirit of the times in a way that more mainstream films often do not, and they offer a valuable perspective on the cultural, political, and social issues of the era.
In this sense, it’s not just a collection of films, but a cultural archive. It provides a window into a time when British society was undergoing profound change, and it offers us a glimpse into the hopes, fears, and dreams of a generation. It reminds us that film is not just entertainment, but a powerful tool for understanding and engaging with the world around us.
But perhaps the most important thing about the BFI Flipside series is that it celebrates creativity and innovation in filmmaking. These films may not have had the resources or the recognition of bigger productions, but they are often infused with a sense of experimentation and risk-taking that is both thrilling and inspiring. They remind us that great art can come from unexpected places, and that creativity is not just the province of the elite.
The series is an essential part of the British film canon, offering a unique and valuable perspective on the history of British cinema. Through its commitment to uncovering forgotten films and restoring them to their full glory, it has become an indispensable resource for film lovers and scholars alike. These films capture the spirit of a time when cinema was at its most daring and innovative, and they remind us of the power of film to engage with the world around us. It’s not just a collection of films, but a cultural archive and a celebration of creativity and innovation in filmmaking.

London in the raw


London in the Raw is a raw and unflinching documentary film that offers an unvarnished look at the bustling metropolis of London in the early 1960s. The film is a follow-up to director Arnold L. Miller’s previous documentary film, “West End Jungle”, and continues to explore the seedy underbelly of the city.
As with his previous film, Miller adopts a fly-on-the-wall approach to filming, capturing the daily lives of Londoners as they go about their business, be it working in factories, shopping in markets, or enjoying a night out in the city’s numerous bars and clubs. The film also features interviews with various individuals, including prostitutes, nightclub owners, and ordinary citizens, who offer their thoughts and opinions on the state of the city.
It’s unapologetic in its depiction of poverty, crime, and prostitution, it is nonetheless an important and insightful look at a bygone era in the city’s history. Miller’s direction is deft and assured, and the film is well-paced, with an effective use of music and sound to create a sense of atmosphere.

Little Malcolm


A quirky and offbeat British comedy-drama, Little Malcolm showcases the talents of a young John Hurt in the title role. Directed by Stuart Cooper and released in 1974, the film tells the story of Malcolm Scrawdyke, a struggling artist and self-proclaimed revolutionary who forms a group of like-minded individuals in order to overthrow the artistic establishment.
Hurt delivers a standout performance as the mercurial and narcissistic Malcolm, imbuing the character with a sense of charisma and magnetism that keeps the audience engaged throughout. The supporting cast, which includes such British acting stalwarts as David Warner and John McEnery, also turn in solid performances, adding depth and complexity to their respective roles.
The film’s direction is stylish and visually engaging, with Cooper making effective use of unusual camera angles and bold colors to create a sense of surrealism and heightened reality. The script, written by David Halliwell, is sharp and witty, with plenty of acerbic one-liners and pointed social commentary. 

Bronco Bullfrog


Bronco Bullfrog is a striking example of the british kitchen sink genre that emerged in the 1960s. It tells the tale of a group of disaffected teenagers living in the East End of London, with the eponymous Bronco (played by Del Walker) as the leader of the group.
The film’s gritty and realistic portrayal of working-class life in 1970s London is its strongest asset. Platts-Mills uses naturalistic dialogue and a quasi-documentary style to create a sense of authenticity, and the use of non-professional actors further enhances this effect.
Despite its rough-hewn quality, the film also possesses a certain poetry and lyricism, with Platts-Mills making striking use of the London cityscape to create a sense of atmosphere and mood. The performances are uniformly strong, with Walker giving a particularly memorable turn as the charismatic and rebellious Bronco. Essential viewing for anyone interested in exploring the social and cultural history of 1970s Britain.

Deep End


Deep End is a captivating and provocative film from director Jerzy Skolimowski, released in 1970. Set in the seedy world of a public bathhouse in London, the film follows the story of a young and innocent teenager, Mike (John Moulder-Brown), who becomes infatuated with his older colleague, Susan (Jane Asher).
Skolimowski’s direction is confident and assured, with an eye for detail and an ability to capture the subtle nuances of human interaction. The film is visually striking, with a bold and stylized approach to cinematography that makes use of vivid colors and inventive camera angles to create a sense of heightened reality.
The performances are uniformly excellent, with Moulder-Brown and Asher delivering standout turns that are both nuanced and emotionally resonant. The film’s themes of sexual desire, longing, and alienation are handled with a deft touch, with Skolimowski using the bathhouse setting as a metaphor for the characters’ emotional and psychological states.
Its exploration of complex themes and its innovative approach to filmmaking make it a must-see for fans of European cinema and lovers of art-house fare. Highly recommended.

That Sinking Feeling


Released in 1979 and set in Glasgow, That Sinking Feeling tells the story of a group of bored and directionless teenagers who decide to pull off a heist on a local warehouse.
Forsyth’s direction is light and playful, with a deft touch for both comedy and drama. The film’s humor is wry and understated, with the characters’ deadpan reactions to their absurd circumstances providing plenty of laughs. At the same time, the film also has a certain pathos, with its portrayal of the characters’ aimlessness and frustration ringing true.
The film’s cast of largely unknown actors is a standout, with John Hughes giving a particularly memorable performance as the hapless and endearing leader of the group. The film’s low-budget aesthetic only adds to its charm, with director Bill Forsyth making inventive use of camera angles and locations to create a sense of place and atmosphere.

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