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Offbeat: British Cinema's Curiosities, Obscurities and Forgotten Gems [Kindle Edition]

Julian Upton
4.6 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (5 customer reviews)

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Book Description

Critics may sing from an over familiar hymn sheet of so-called 'cult films’, but there remains an epoch of British cinema still awaiting discovery that is every bit as provocative and deserving of attention. And there could be no finer guide to these uncharted domains than OFFBEAT. This is the book for the more intrepid cinema lover. A passionate, irreverent and informative exploration of British cinema’s secret history, from the buoyant leap in film production in the late fifties to the dying embers of popular domestic cinema in the early eighties. So, move over Peeping Tom, Get Carter and The Wicker Man -- it’s time to make way for The Mark, Unearthly Stranger, The Strange Affair, The Squeeze, Sitting Target, Quest for Love, and a host of forgotten gems. OFFBEAT features in-depth reviews of more than 100 films, plus interviews and eye-opening essays that together tell the wider story of film in Britain, its neglected cinematic trends and its unsung heroes. The last great British B-movies Anti-swinging London films Sexploitation The British rock’n’roll movie CIA-funded cartoons Madness in British film The Children’s Film Foundation The short as supporting feature The forgotten journeymen Non-horror Hammer, and more!

Product Description


'Every so often a book comes my way that I wish I had written. Offbeat is one such title... you can use this as a great reference book, and each film title includes production details and credits alongside a thorough analysis and review.' --Cinema Retro
'You have to love Offbeat, Julian Upton's perverse guide to British cinema's strangest films because it disinters Peter Cushing's ghastly low-point Corruption and lists The Impersonator, in which (spoiler alert) the killer is a pantomime dame.' --The Independent

Product details

  • Format: Kindle Edition
  • File Size: 13606 KB
  • Print Length: 444 pages
  • Publisher: Headpress (11 Sept. 2013)
  • Sold by: Amazon Media EU S.à r.l.
  • Language: English
  • Text-to-Speech: Enabled
  • X-Ray:
  • Word Wise: Not Enabled
  • Average Customer Review: 4.6 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (5 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: #380,994 Paid in Kindle Store (See Top 100 Paid in Kindle Store)
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews
7 of 8 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A Must-Buy for Cinephiles!!! 20 April 2013
By Ali
A labour of love on the evolution of the inventive, but often derided, British B Move. A must for all film fans and aspiring film directors. The writers involved are extremely knowledgable and offer authoritative (and often witty) insight into the productions which were usually made under the constraints of a miniscule budget. This book has opened my eyes to the hidden history of British cinema and I will definitely be tracking a lot of these films down on the back of these reviews. The artwork for the British B movie was often entertaining and the book is copiously illustrated throughout. I cannot recommend this book highly enough. A must buy for cinephiles!
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6 of 7 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Wonderful selection of British Cults and curios.. 20 April 2013
Format:Paperback|Verified Purchase
OFFBEAT consists of over 100 reviews of obscure, forgotten and neglected British films from the mid-fifties to 1985 in chronological order interspersed with short overviews of trends in UK cinema such as Rock'n'Roll, Sex (of course) and The Children's film Foundation. These are not the obvious or widely known 'cult films' (so no Get Carter or Peeping Tom) but the lesser known, curios and oddities from Sitting Target to Slade in Flame, Girl in the Headlines to And Soon the Darkness, from the obscure B-movies to the inexplicably popular. Of course, the target audience for this book will have heard of most of these, (and argue what should have been included) but this is a wonderful, flawed, collection which encourages re-watching, revisiting and re-appraisal. There's rare stills, ads and posters on nearly every page but, this being a truly independent publisher, the quality is not as great as a book like this deserves. Each review consists of a small paragraph synopsis and a two or three page discussion, each written by a different author so some emphasis trivia or background others re-appraisal and context, often illustrating what British cinema was really like rather than the 'official' history of film.
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6 of 7 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars The best book ever on brit cult cinema 18 July 2013
Format:Paperback|Verified Purchase
Offbeat is by far the best book on british cinema that i have ever read.It is that good.Tired of reading about the same old cult films such as get carter and the wicker man,this book on obscure and forgotten brit films from the fifties to the eighties has now set me off on a journey to locate films such as i start counting,and soon the darkness,and flight of the doves.The boys in blue has always been a guilty pleasure,but how many fans of cult cinema have ever seen the tv-spin off The lovers starring the genius that was richard beckinsale.This book will point out to you things that you never realised-such as the fact that in get carter the gangster jack carter played by michael caine supposedly returns on a vengeance mission to his native newcastle without retaining even the slightest hint of a regional accent.It is these observations that make offbeat a must buy for any cult movie geek like myself.
Mi verdict-just buy the flipping thing!
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5 of 7 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Excellent 23 Jun. 2013
Format:Paperback|Verified Purchase
Great book, just buy it if you have more than a passing interest in cult films, you wont be dissapointed, oh and very funny too !!!!
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0 of 1 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Read it in small doses 3 Jan. 2015
By R. Sims
Format:Paperback|Verified Purchase
An effort like this using so many contributors requires a strong editor, otherwise clichés abound, and we get every writer trotting out the old 'It was such a low budget, it wouldn't have even covered... (insert big budget comparison here). We understand. British films had lower budgets. It's really something we all need to get over, and move on. Here there are some odd inclusions, odd omissions - inevitable I suppose, but US studio financed films are hardly offbeat. Surprised not to see, say, The Brute, The Final Programme or The Fiend. Slightly smaller type, and pretty much every British 1970s production could have been given a mention. At it's heart is a plethora of laddish views, sometimes well-researched, sometimes embarrassingly wide of the mark, haranguing you in the way a mate down the pub would. So a little goes a long way. (No one down the pub is going to have anything worthwhile to say on the subject of Altman's Images, for example).

The collective failing of the contributors (I can take a pretty accurate guess at their age range) is that they cannot believe the X certificate was for any other purpose than horror or titillation. In fact, the X certificate, particularly in the 1960s, was used for films that appealed to an adult sensibility, something that the infantalised film-goer of today finds hard to credit. So films that dealt with uncomfortable sexual and social topics got an X. Yes, schoolgirls thought about sex, (e.g. I Start Counting). And yes, film-makers portrayed that - in the days when films weren't just appealing to 12-year-olds. If you want to see real bravery in dealing with inappropriate relationships, try Charles Crichton's The Third Secret. Now that's offbeat!
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