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Tales Out of School - Four Films by David Leland [DVD]

4.8 out of 5 stars 4 customer reviews

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Product details

  • Actors: Jim Broadbent, Robert Stephens, Graham Crowden, Derrick O'Connor, Tim Roth
  • Directors: Mike Newell, Edward Bennett, Jane Howell, Alan Clarke
  • Format: PAL
  • Language: English
  • Region: Region 2 (This DVD may not be viewable outside Europe. Read more about DVD formats.)
  • Aspect Ratio: 4:3 - 1.33:1
  • Number of discs: 2
  • Classification: 18
  • Studio: Network
  • DVD Release Date: 4 July 2011
  • Run Time: 300 minutes
  • Average Customer Review: 4.8 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (4 customer reviews)
  • ASIN: B004AGEOL6
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 48,731 in DVD & Blu-ray (See Top 100 in DVD & Blu-ray)

Product Description

These four television films brought the emerging writing talent of former actor David Leland to national attention. He would subsequently win a BAFTA Award for his writing and directorial debut Wish You Were Here and an Emmy Award for directing Bastogne in the Band of Brothers series. Featuring early roles for Tim Roth and Jim Broadbent, the films form a scathing portrait of British society in the early 1980s, focusing in particular on the polarisation of attitudes towards the role and methods of education in an increasingly fragmented society. Without overtly offering solutions, Leland s films depict - often with unnerving acuity and foresight - the experience of individuals within systems that have become inadequate in dealing with the fallout of social breakdown. Of the four films presented here, Made in Britain, directed by the celebrated Alan Clarke, inevitably aroused the strongest controversy, with Tim Roth s astonishing portrayal of a nihilistic, racist teenage skinhead captured by Chris Menges innovative cinematography. Contentious, truthful and oftentimes harrowing, this hard-hitting quartet of films won both the Prix Italia and Prix Futura, fully justifying its controversial stance and determination to break new ground in television drama. SPECIAL FEATURES: Twice-Told Tales: the writer and producer join a group of high school pupils and look back at Tales Out of School 30 years on. Digging for Britain: cast and crew reflect on the making of Made in Britain Commemorative booklet on Tales Out of School by media historian and Alan Clarke biographer Dr. Dave Rolinson Image gallery, featuring pictures from the deleted original ending to Made in Britain

Customer Reviews

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One can only sadly concur with the previous reviewer regarding the lamentable state of current tv fiction drama after watching these deeply affecting and bracingly provocative dramas written by David Leland in 1981.Remarkably, he was given a completely free hand at ITV Central by fearless Scum producer Margaret Mathieson to fill four or five hours of airtime on the subject of the education system.
Made in Britain speaks for itself and unsurprisingly, considering Alan Clarke's direction and Tim Roth's performance, is the most renowned and almost certainly the best of the four.
Birth of a Nation, an ambitious, subversive and wonderfully funny dissection of life in an overburdened London comprehensive, covering issues such as bullying, corporal punishment and sex education is directed by Mike (Four Weddings) Newell.His ensemble work, with particular regard to the performances of Jim Broadbent and Robert Stephens, is an absolute joy.
RHINO, an acronym for Really Here in Name Only, concerns a neglected teenage black girl at another London comprehensive, who regularly truants in order to look after her brother's abandoned baby.The film charts with searing honesty and wit, her rejection by the education system and her subsequent manipulation by the judicial and social care system.
Flying into the Wind offers a possible coda to the intolerable state of affairs in schools as they were then at the time of the Toxteth and Brixton riots exactly 30 years ago. Leland knew a family who were involved in a bitter struggle with the courts in order to educate their children at home and this film recounts with great detail and tenderness the ways in which the children learn without the need for any form of coercion.
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This collection of David Leland's four feature length films made in 1982 and screened in the following year is a timely reminder of the potential value that great TV can have on influencing cultural and political thinking. In these films Leland addresses a whole gamut of social issues including mandatory education, youth culture and rebellion, corporal punishment, youth detention centres, social workers and crime. The principal 'message' Leland is trying to convey (or, more accurately, question he is trying to pose) is whether the mandatory education system (as defined by the 1944 Education Act) needs necessarily to mean school education according to a defined curriculum, or whether education at home can also be effective. It is particularly interesting to consider whether the issues raised by Leland 30 years ago have changed materially through to today.

The four films each cover different elements of Leland's social and educational commentary, and can been seen as something of a logical progression. The first, Birth Of A Nation, is based on life in a comprehensive school and focuses on the pros and cons of corporal punishment and the challenges of engaging children in the education process (to the extent that maverick teacher Geoff Figg, brilliantly played by Jim Broadbent, conducts a lesson on masturbation!). The film also features superb performances by Robert Stephens as Vic Griffiths and Bruce Myers as the unfashionably progressive teacher Twentyman. Birth Of A Nation ends with a school riot, calling to mind Lindsay Anderson's masterpiece If..
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Tales Out Of School - Four Films by David Leland [Blu-ray] [1983]
I bought this Blu ray release as a pre-order and it is one I have watched. These films are feature length titles that I don't believe I have seen before and may not have TV screened in Australia. Being TV films I was not expecting outstanding quality but in fact I got it. The Blu Ray color quality is truly superb and the audio likewise. The original elements must have been in good order. As for the films I enjoyed them all but I think the first story was by far the best and is certainly one I look forward to seeing again soon. I watch these Blu Ray films on a 46inch Panasonic Plasma screen. Would rate it the best Blu Ray from TV elements over 20 years old in my expanding Blu Ray collection currently.
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Long lost TV drama's gutsy and gripping and the added bonus NO commercial breaks the video to DVD transfer is excxellent as is the audio (Sadly Mono naturally).

If you like truth and warts an' all and NOTHING PC then this is one for you not a chick flick , very much a guy pic! This is Grange Hill and Mr Bronson up a notch when CP ruled and a male version of "Cathy Come Home" "It's 'ard mate! Well 'ard and it's British drama at its worst (best) .

Nice thoughtful packaging and screen bio and notes.
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