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Bodysong [DVD] [2003]

3 customer reviews

Price: £6.50 & FREE Delivery in the UK on orders over £20. Details
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Product details

  • Directors: Simon Pummell
  • Format: Dolby, PAL
  • Region: All Regions
  • Number of discs: 1
  • Classification: 18
  • Studio: Bfi Video
  • DVD Release Date: 22 Mar. 2010
  • Run Time: 83 minutes
  • Average Customer Review: 3.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (3 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 92,132 in DVD & Blu-ray (See Top 100 in DVD & Blu-ray)


Product Description

A film by Simon Pummell
Original score by Jonny Greenwood

An epic vision of love, sex, violence and death, Bodysong is the story of an archetypal human life told through archive footage from across the world and spanning 100 years of cinema. With an ambitious score by Radiohead's Jonny Greenwood, director Simon Pummell has created an almost mythic work that is a celebration, and also an indictment, of humanity.

Special features

  • Two early shorts by Simon Pummell, Blinded by Light (2000, 7 mins) and How Long is a Minute? (2001, 1 min)
  • A filmed interview with director Simon Pummell
  • Theatrical trailer
  • Commentary on the score by Jonny Greenwood and Simon Pummell
  • The full award-wining Bodysong website with the stories of the people portrayed in each of the extraordinary images (DVD-ROM, PC and Mac compatible)
  • Original essays by William Gibson, Geoff Andrew, Gareth Evans and Matt Hanson
  • PCM stereo audio (48k/16-bit)

UK | 2003 | black & white, and colour | English language, with optional hard-of-hearing subtitles | 78 minutes |DVD9 | Original aspect ratio 1.78:1 (16x9 anamorphic) |Region 2 DVD


'I remember seeing Bodysong and feeling like I was in a trance... moving, scary and hypnotic.' --Paul Thomas Anderson

Customer Reviews

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Most Helpful Customer Reviews

11 of 13 people found the following review helpful By "fjorton" on 14 Mar. 2004
Format: DVD Verified Purchase
So then, Bodysong. Probably more famous for Jonny Greenwood's soundtrack than anything else, but that doesn't make it any less of a good film. Well, you can't really call it a film. It's a series of different camera footage making the journey from birth to death with a clever soundtrack over the top.
Personally, I think this is going to be love or hate film for most people. Some will just find it tedious, pointless and boring. Akin to Koyaanisqatsi, the imagery is striking and at times; unsettling, and the soundtrack is ever-absorbing. The big question is: will you have time for it? If you are impatient and prefer a more traditional set of rules for you films then this isn't for you. You will be bored out of your skull.
However, if you liked the Qatsi trilogy and you like the sound of something a little different and unique then give this a go. If you have the patience for it, you'll love it. The way the director has pieced together so much footage and made a comprehend-able "story" is fantastic. And you can see the work that's gone into it. The soundtrack is completely suitable and essential to watch with.
Definitely worth buying if you like the experimental sides to film.
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9 of 11 people found the following review helpful By Robin Simmons on 26 Jan. 2004
Format: DVD Verified Purchase
Simon Pummell's unique film, assembled from hundreds of bits of existing footage (ranging from anthropoligical to pornographic) presents the pagaent and experience of our singular and collective human drama in a montage of near visceral images that will jolt, shock and reaffirm. From conception to death (and rituals of rebirth, I've never seen anything like this. Perhaps in some ways it's a fitting companion piece to Koyaanisqatsi, but from a much more human perspective. This dream of a movie will haunt your dreams. Recommended.
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2 of 14 people found the following review helpful By duirsgrove on 31 July 2006
Format: DVD
This is definitely not a normal film watching experience - it is one of the breed of experimental films in style and content; unrelenting short flashes of images for it's duration, changing background atmospheric music, no dialogue with the timespan and collected images ranging from old black and white footage to modern birth scenes to journalistic & political atrocities, in a rather haphazard composition to the general viewer. I wasn't prepared for this style and couldn't feel moved or involved in the beauty or pain it was meant to evoke/represent.

It is an idea based upon in theory the themes of development: birth, teen, sex, violence, execution, resurrection etc but really it's all a bit too abstract, experimental and unrelatable for me. I actually found it rather boring to watch in the most part, and thought the music rather mediocre - a bit like watching an in flight information video. I imagine if you find certain shock cinema or advertising forefront in innovation or emotive then this might strike some chords, otherwise I can't see it examines or develops any points and is what any film student could do locked away in an editing room.
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews on (beta) 7 reviews
15 of 15 people found the following review helpful
surprisingly coherent 29 July 2005
By Jin - Published on
Format: DVD Verified Purchase
I am a Radiohead fan, so I bought this disc for the audio (the DVD audio is longer than the released soundtrack) and was expecting cheesy boring random newsreel archive images, but actually, the film was very emotionally affecting and interesting. The footage is truly multicultural, which brought into glaring contrast how one-sided movies and TV shows really are.

The vast majority of the images were things I'd never seen before -- this is definitely not your average recognizable newsreel highlights montage (e.g. a man who seems to light paper on fire with his bare hands, a burning pyre with a small child's foot protruding). The images are organized roughly by life stage. The DVD classes the images into these categories:






dreams (sport, art, religion, political resistance)

There is no "dialogue" until the end of the film and when it comes, it is almost a shock. The CD soundtrack is a more coherent whole, but the DVD audio makes more sense in the context of the images.

I totoally expected to hate this movie, but I'm almost tempted to call it a perfect summary of humanity. It's not, but it comes pretty close. Well done.
1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
I really wanted to like this film. 22 Feb. 2011
By TRK - Published on
Format: DVD Verified Purchase
I really wanted to like this film. I really did. As a rule, I have very much enjoyed this sans-narrative style of film-making . . . a montage of mountains of artfully chosen archival footage held only together by a loose theme and the thinnest story arch or "plot" accompanied by thoughtful, creative, compelling music. I also am familiar with and appreciate Johnny Greenwood as a composer/musician.

Some cinema in this genre can reach sublime levels of visual/poetic poignancy - think "Koyaanisqatsi", "Powaqqatsi", "Naqoyqatsi" and "Baraka" if you are familiar with them. Johnny Greenwood's score for "Bodysong" (if occasionally dark and abrasive) certainly doesn't disappoint as far as that goes, but the rest of the film is of rather spotty quality and poorly held together.

Also, while I was entirely prepared to view some shocking imagery (births, deaths, and all manner of human experience and suffering in between) I was not really prepared to be exposed to (what even the filmmaker proudly highlights in the special features to be) re-appropriated archival pornography snippets as well.

Birds do it. Bees do it. Bonobos do it. And, so do we. But the salacious, graphic and slimy nature of much of the scenes in the "Sex" section especially left me feeling like I wish I could "un-see" them. I thought of the explaining I'd have to do if one of my children had wandered into the living room, and was extremely relieved that they had not.

This film may still have it's artistic merits, but I will not be keeping the DVD around to view again. If you like Greenwoods work with Tom York and Radiohead (or his other major score for movie "There Will Be Blood") buy the soundtrack and skip this film. There is nothing in it that is especially enlightening, or ennobling, and certainly nothing about it that makes me feel like I am a better-rounded, broadened human being for having viewed it.

Sadly, I am rather left with the opposite feeling . . . regretting having spent the money . . . and never wanting to see a single frame of it again.
body song 22 Mar. 2006
By Juan Perez Figueroa - Published on
Format: DVD Verified Purchase
It is an awesome project nothing like any other. It has a impressive compilation of images that have so much in common but at the same time have nothing to do with each other that makes these film an impressive film. The combination between music and images is absolutely impressive; it is a good film to have...
4 of 7 people found the following review helpful
i guess its okay, if you want to watch an hour forty five minute music video 15 Dec. 2008
By Bridget Niki - Published on
Format: DVD
I liked the background music by Radiohead lead singer man. I felt like some of the images didnt really come together for a complete story. There were all these experiences you have within a family and a home, then later on you see is the Tienanmen Square thing (kinda bummed there was not the burning monk scene in it ).

This film would have definitely received an NC-17 rating or worse if it went through the MPAA. Just a warning. There are some eye candy moments but just from the lack of cohesiveness, it can get a little overwhelming at times. Some of the scenes are really heavy to watch. You see people getting shot, babies coming out of vajayjays (that went a little overkill, imho), old school porn whatnot. The riot scenes and the masses conglomerating around religious relics were pretty awesome. I dont know, it just seemed as if this was a film you'd send out to space to give aliens an idea of what we're like. If your favorite movie is Elf or something, not for you.
Five Stars 25 Dec. 2014
By Victoria Rose - Published on
Format: DVD Verified Purchase
<3 <3 <3
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