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Primitive London (BFI Flipside) (DVD + Blu-ray)

Arnold L. Miller    Suitable for 15 years and over   Blu-ray
3.7 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (3 customer reviews)
Price: £9.38 & FREE Delivery in the UK on orders over £10. Details
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Frequently Bought Together

Primitive London (BFI Flipside) (DVD + Blu-ray) + London in the Raw (BFI Flipside)(DVD + Blu-ray) + The Bed Sitting Room (BFI Flipside) (DVD + Blu-ray)
Price For All Three: £34.15

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Product details

  • Directors: Arnold L. Miller
  • Format: Dolby, HiFi Sound, PAL
  • Region: Region B/2 (Read more about DVD/Blu-ray formats.)
  • Number of discs: 2
  • Classification: 15
  • Studio: BFI Flipside
  • DVD Release Date: 24 Oct 2011
  • Run Time: 87 minutes
  • Average Customer Review: 3.7 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (3 customer reviews)
  • ASIN: B005R0RM04
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 44,182 in DVD & Blu-ray (See Top 100 in DVD & Blu-ray)


Product Description

BFI Flipside presents

A film by Arnold L. Miller

THE FLIPSIDE: rescuing weird and wonderful British films from obscurity and presenting them in new high-quality editions.

The sensational follow-up to London in the Raw, Primitive London sets out to reflect society's decay through a sideshow spectacle on 1960s London depravity and manages to outdo its predecessor. Here, we confront mods, rockers and beatniks at the Ace Café, cut some rug with obscure beat band The Zephyrs, smirk at flabby men in the sauna and goggle at sordid wife-swapping parties as we discover a pre-permissive Britain still trying to move on from the post-war depression of the 1950s.

Special Features

  • Presented in both High Definition and Standard Definition
  • English and French language versions of the feature
  • Original trailer
  • Carousella (1965, 26 mins): John Irvin's controversial dramatized documentary on the lives of a group of striptease artists
  • Three Bernard Braden interviews: Al Burnett, Soho nightclub owner (1967, 18 mins); Stuart McCabe, Soho strip club manager (1968, 16 mins); 'Shirley', Soho stripper (1968, 6 mins)
  • Illustrated booklet with essays by Iain Sinclair, Vic Pratt (BFI Curator) and William Fowler (BFI Curator)

UK | 1965 | colour | English language, with optional English hard-of-hearing subtitles | 87 minutes | Original aspect ratio 1.33:1

Disc 1: BD50 | 1080p | 24fps | PCM mono audio (48k/24-bit)
Disc 2: DVD9 | PAL | Dolby Digital mono audio (320kbps)

Customer Reviews

5 star
2 star
1 star
3.7 out of 5 stars
3.7 out of 5 stars
Most Helpful Customer Reviews
47 of 48 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Hard to get 60s exploitation movie. 14 Jun 2009
Format:DVD|Verified Purchase
This kind of shock-doc was a bit of a staple of early 60s cinema, the opportunity to show the odd nipple or two getting by under the pretence that these movies were educational rather than merely prurient. So under the unconvincing pretext that we are looking at how the utamed beast that is man still lurks under the veneer of civilisation, we have a series of bizarrely random featurettes that are purport to show how the caveman is still extant on the streets of contemporary London. A baby is born in queasy detail. Strippers. Mods buying clothes. More strippers. Two women get their hair styled. A city gent being fitted for a bowler hat. A fashion parade of 'Topless Swimsuits' Rockers at the Ace Cafe. Beatniks listening to a blues combo. a pop group at a club. A series of completely incomprehensible comedy inserts set at a radio station featuring a young Barry Cryer. And so on. It's all pretty interesting, more because of the period detail than the subject matter, this vision of a knackered postwar society determinedly dragging itself into consumer capitalism.

Great old-school 'Balham-Gateway to The South' stylee voiceover, a great booklet featuring an essay by Iain Sinclair, and some nice extras on the DVD. Music fans might be tempted by the fact that 60s composer and electronic music pioneer Basil Kirtchner does the soundtrack.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Interesting historical document 30 April 2013
By Fletch-a-sketch TOP 1000 REVIEWER VINE VOICE
Format:Blu-ray|Verified Purchase
Interesting historical document of a London passed, maybe some of it could be described as gratuitous and at no point could it be considered politically correct. The seamier side of London is spot lighted he general area of Soho.
The Picture quality is very good on the Blu Ray the BFI extracting the best they can from the film stock, the sound quality is pretty good but obviously not up to the standards of Modern Movie making. I suspect of you are reading the review you will be interested in the film and all I can say is I enjoyed it.
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7 of 11 people found the following review helpful
By Mr. Stuart Bruce TOP 1000 REVIEWER VINE VOICE
Though it probably attracts more attention masquerading as a soft porn film, "Primitive London" is a bizarre snapshot of the London of 1965, constructed of a series of practically unrelated scenes, some of them 'straight' documentary style (meeting Mods, Rockers and beatniks) along with staged reconstructions (a wife-swapping party, a radio voiceover recording). Some of the tenuous links between scenes are hilarious and inspired. Whether intentionally or not, it ends up being a great historical record of the fashions and excesses of the time.

However, though I'd recommend it to some people, it has to be pointed out how incredibly mysogynistic and hypocritical it is. The sometimes insane voiceover over the wife-swapping scenes describes it as "the death of love", yet the same filmmaker has no problem with continually returning to show yet another scene at a strip club. Even for the time the sexism is excessive- comments like "and women tend to get what they want" occur throughout. If you can tolerate this you're left with a curious alternative piece of 60s memorabilia.

Blu-Ray extras are pretty good- three totally unedited contemporary interviews, some more relevant to the main feature than others, and an additional 25-minute black and white mini-feature along the same lines but 'grittier'.
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews on (beta) 1.8 out of 5 stars  8 reviews
4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars When Men Were Men?... 4 July 2013
By Bindy Sue FrÝnkŁnschtein - Published on
An interesting documentary about cultural / social change in 1965 London, England. Opens w/ a burlesque show, segues into an explicit live birth (!!), then moves on to fashions, and various groups, including: Mods, Rockers, and Beatniks. The interviews are priceless! Next, we are shown a dance class for female strippers. Their male instructor is hysterical! Moving on, we are introduced to a topless fashion show, followed by a judo class for women, complete w/ historically appropriate, sexist remarks. Next, we are schooled in haberdashery, and hairstyles. Then, it's off to a strip club! Yep, they were definitely different in 1965! More like watching a semi-naked musical! This scene gives way to an undulating bodybuilder guy, and a gym full of sweaty wrestlers. Yikes! Suddenly, we're plunged into the mysterious world of swimsuit, beauty contests! Uh-oh! We're off to the tattoo parlor. Women getting inked! What now? Oh god, a group of rotund men in a Turkish bath! Ugh! Man-a$$ alert! Hey, now it's two women wearing jeans in the bathtub! A string quartet? Where did they come from? A groovy rock band appears, doing their best Beatles impression! Here are the Rockers again! They're interesting blokes. Leather and motorbikes. Wha? Now, we're talking about car fatalities and... Wha?? Jack the Ripper? Wow! This movie has it all! This leads to a primer on the dangers of being a prostitute. Back to the burlesque show! Of course, no documentary of this type can ignore the "key party". A stand-up comedian takes the stage. Where did the topless gals in leopard tights come from? Teen idols? Bowling? Goldfish surgery?! Chicken slaughter??! Oh well, you get the picture. All of these segments / vignettes revolve around a rather dull advertising production. OK, in a weird sort of way...
2 of 3 people found the following review helpful
1.0 out of 5 stars Terrible Movie 14 Feb 2014
By M. Moreira - Published on
Not sure if this movie was supposed to be a documentary or a work of fiction, either way it was terrible. The "story" is about the decadence of modern society, i.e. strip joints with dancers in patsies; teenagers at rock 'n' roll clubs; and finally married couples who are swingers. There isn't any nudity or anything else that wouldn't be shown on regular television. Give this movie a pass.
0 of 1 people found the following review helpful
1.0 out of 5 stars Fell asleep 21 Mar 2014
By Marinesxx - Published on
Fell asleep watching as it didn's seem to hold my intrest, because I was tired and it seemed borning then.
0 of 1 people found the following review helpful
1.0 out of 5 stars Typical '60s titilation 11 Feb 2014
By Fred S - Published on
Just a typical trip back to the '60s with boring music, boring hype and side show razzle dazzle to draw you in. Buy yourself some popcorn, sit back with a large dring of some sort and watch the grass grow instead!
0 of 1 people found the following review helpful
1.0 out of 5 stars primitive for watching 22 Jan 2014
By Razec - Published on
Not worth watching, too old to keep me entertain, boring, ,. I don't even finish. Its too primitive to be watch.
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