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It's Been A Long Time...,
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This review is from: Here We Go Round the Mulberry Bush (BFI Flipside) (DVD + Blu-ray) (DVD)
This film has had cult status for years. Made even more cult by its unavailabilty. Us many fans of the film felt as though it had been totally forgotten and overlooked and that made us love it all the more and it does, indeed, have a very loveable innocence about it, largely due to Barry Evans's warm, bright-eyed performance.
Jamie McGregor (Evans) is a sweet, vulnerable, cheeky, 17 year old, with girls on his mind and everytime he notices one he likes, a romantic little tune plays. The girls he likes are also quirky and loveable and they wear bright colourful 60s clothes.
Jamie races around the New Town of Stevenage looking for the right one and wherever he goes 60s music, mostly written for this film, plays. The original and very good soundtrack songs are mostly performed by two terrific pop groups of the era, Traffic and The Spencer Davis Group. The music alone gives this film substance and the director, Clive Donner, took great care having them commisioned especially for the film.
It's the innocence and colourfulness of this film that makes it fulfil our fantasies of England during this decade, that in many ways, belonged to England. Usually these types of films were set in London, but Clive Donner felt the market had been saturated with films with London locations, so he chose Stevenage and it does make for an interesting backdrop.
So, finally, Mulberry Bush is available on DVD. It was never even released on VHS, so this is quite a happening in itself. The quality of the picture and sound on this DVD is top notch, without losing its original 60s quality.
There are two extra short films included. A nice little film about the town and people of Stevenage, made in 1971, that is quite insightful and nostalgic plus a short black & white film about the day in the life of a public school boy, which for the most part is rather lifeless but not without value. Look out for the 'cheeky' (if that's the right word) surprise at the end!
I would have preferred extras that relate to Mulberry Bush. There are so many people alive today who were involved in the making of the film and I would have thought that we fans of the film, as well as everyone else, deserve to see and hear what they have to say. But I hate to grumble because it's tremendous that this gem from 1967 is finally commercially available. Second gripe: the strange image on the cover doesn't capture the colourful ambience of the film, at all. They should have used some more original 60s looking artwork.
But, all in all, the actual film is tremendous and light hearted and endearing and very 60s in the best possible way and yes, you should buy it!
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Showing 1-3 of 3 posts in this discussion
Initial post: 21 Jan 2011 16:27:11 GMT
I Have Seen the Fnords says:
I agree with what you say about the bonus features, maybe the BFI could have traced the makers of the "Then & Now" locations documentary that graced the fan made and distributed DVD-R bootleg edition a few years back?
That said, this is as good a version of the movie as we're ever gonna get on DVD and well worth a purchase. No doubt the enclosed blu-ray disc looks even better but as I'm in no hurry to get a blu-ray player, or indeed the (at least 42") HD TV, HD cabling and surround sound system you need make owning one worthwhile, it'll be a good while until I ever find out.
On an unrelated note, I hope the BFI get around to doing Flipside editions of "Work Is a Four Letter Word" and "Smashing Time" in the near future.
In reply to an earlier post on 21 Jan 2011 18:54:20 GMT
Peter Shilpot Freeman says:
I so agree. Those two are top of my list for DVD release and a few others...
In reply to an earlier post on 18 Apr 2012 06:01:35 BDT
Amazon Customer says:
i8 dont like surround sound and have a 16 ans 19 inc tv a supermarket own brand and use blu ray you do not need surround sound and 42 inch tv
i mainly buy blu ray for additional features and new documnetaries ansd longer releases so icarefully look out for such blu rays and leave others ih ave in my collection on dvd or even own tapoed vhs 30 yrs old some of mine are i am not worried too much about pic quality vhs was more than ok for me yes i do see siddeances on my blu rays even on `19 inch and not uasing surround sound but two 80 watt spoeakers
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