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Customer Review

VINE VOICEon 16 April 2009
There are a few movies out there which can be considered "lost" classics, movies unavailable in any format for years and worthy of great praise at the same time (hence, you couldn't call something like a Frank Stallone film a "Lost" classic, obviously). Ken Russell's "The Devils" is one, and Richard Lester's "The Bed-Sitting Room" is another. But the wait is over, as that indispensible institution the BFI are preparing to release this seminal film as part of their new "Flipside" range of little-known classics.

The film is an Absurdist classic of gargantuan proportions, almost as if Salvador Dali and Philip K. Dick cooked the whole thing up whilst drinking tea in Kings Cross one day. In cinematic history only the works of Luis Bunuel really come close, and Hell, he wasn't funny really, was he? In a post-nuclear British landscape dominated by broken crockery and other bric-a-brac, we soon learn that apparently only 20 people survived the apocalypse, and hence, the next in line to the throne is Mrs Ethel Schroake of 393a High Street, Leytonstone. Otherwise other odd characters such as Lord Fortnum of Alamein (Ralph Richardson) who is metamorphosising into a Bed-Sitting Room, and a mad Postman (Spike Milligan) who spouts mad non-sequiturs at random people populate the landscape. I could go on forever about the characters and their quirks (amd transformations), but that would spoil the film somewhat. Let's just say that you'll be suprised how far a film script can go in terms of insanity.

As per usual, the BFI doesn't skimp on the Extra Features where available, and you can expect a lavish illustrated booklet with an essay on the film by journalist Michael Brooke; and archival interviews with Lester, Milligan and Peter Cook. God bless the BFI - And with releases of other lost classics planned in the near-future, they deserve our respect. Buy and watch in awe!
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