BFI Flipside: Seedy, sleazy and ignored British cinema!by MovingPictures1 | created - 26 Oct 2011 | updated - 11 Oct 2012 | Public
BFI is restoring and making available lots of overlooked British films. The Flipside series contains mainly films from the sixties and the seventies. Most of the films were ignored by the general public at the time of their release. They are also seedy, sleazy, and certainly not to everyone's taste. All Flipside releases comes with several short films, documentaries, and even feature films as bonuses, which also are included in this list. There are some arthouse, some science fiction, some flipside sexuality to experience, but also interesting music from the time the films were made. Lots of "Zeit-Geist"!
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1. The Bed Sitting Room (1969)
R | 90 min | Comedy, Sci-Fi
Set in post-nuclear-holocaust England, where a handful of bizarre characters struggle on with their lives in the ruins, amongst endless heaps of ash, piles of broken crockery and brick, ... See full summary »
2. London in the Raw (1965)
Not Rated | 76 min | Documentary
"The world's greatest city laid bare!", roars the tagline to LONDON IN THE RAW (1964), a salacious documentary that tours the strip-clubs and underground dives of the still-swinging city.
British, low-budget, exploitation documentary, presenting some of what went on in 1960's London. Colour. Apparently two versions exist, one 45 and one 74 minutes. Stanley A Long is director of photography. In the Blue Angel club, Joy Marshall sings "Bill Bailey" and "Forbidden Fruit".
3. Chelsea Bridge Boys (1965)
30 min | Documentary, Short
A documentary about the riders who belong to a British motorcycle club. Included are interviews with both male and female bikers.
Black and white documentary with interviews with several bikers and girls. 30 minutes.
4. Strip (1966)
26 min | Short
Excellent fly on the wall documentary about a strip club and its girls made at around the start of 'The Sexual Revolution' of the mid sixties. The film neither glamorizes nor sullies what it captures which is a interesting moment in time.
Black and white documentary with interviews, from Soho strip club The Phoenix, Old Compton Street, in London. 25 minutes.
Black and white documentation of the inside of The Approach Tavern, Approach Road, in East London. 15 minutes. The film is shot in 16mm, and actually from 1962.
6. Primitive London (1965)
Not Rated | 80 min | Documentary
Exploitation film documentary on 'Swinging London' as it actually happened. Arnold Louis Miller, the director of 'Nudist Memories', interviews mods, rockers and beatniks. Wife Swapping, an ... See full summary »
8. Herostratus (1967)
142 min | Drama
When Max, a young poet hires a marketing company to turn his suicide-by-jumping into a mass-media spectacle, he finds that his subversive intentions are quickly diluted into a reactionary ... See full summary »
18. Man of Violence (1971)
107 min | Action, Drama, Thriller
A mercenary joins forces with 2 crooked cops in an attempt to steal a fortune in gold bullion from a corrupt Arab country.
Very speculative violence and nudity in this gritty british clubland thriller with gangster and spy connections. Michael Latimer is Moon, the man of violence. I believe The Wallace Collection is the band that plays in a gay-club.
19. The Big Switch (1968)
Not Rated | 68 min | Crime
Playboy John Carter is implicated in the murder of a blonde from a discotheque and is forced by gangsters into posing for pornographic photographs.
This Pete Walker film has less graphic violence but is very exploitative with nudity. Seems like the export-edition is about ten minutes longer. Somewhat british gangster melodrama with a shoot-out at a ghost-train in an amusement park on a pier in Brighton. There is also a good (unidentified) progressive rockband playing in a club right at the beginning of the film. 67 minutes.
20. Privilege (1967)
103 min | Comedy, Drama, Music
Steven Shorter is the ultimate British music star. His music is listened to by everyone from pre-teens to grandparents. He has no trace of public bad habits or drug involvement. Everyone in... See full summary »
23. That Kind of Girl (1963)
Not Rated | 78 min | Drama
London is in full '60s swing in THAT KIND OF GIRL, a shamelessly entertaining exploitation film that revels in sexual titillation while moralizing about the dangers of STDs.
27. Permissive (1970)
X | 90 min | Drama
Suzy arrives in London with nowhere to stay. She meets a friend, Fiona, a groupie who has settled into a relationship with Lee, bass player and singer with a rock-band.
28. Bread (1971)
79 min | Musical
On their way home from the Isle of Wight Pop Festival, Jeff, Trev and Mick along with girlfriends Marty and Cathy decide to pitch a tent on private land. In the morning the land's owner ... See full summary »
32. The Rocking Horse (1962)
24 min | Short
A chance love affair between a Teddy Boy & a painter set in London in 1962
"Atmospheric short about a romantic encounter between a teddy boy and an artist".
33. The Meeting (1964)
10 min | Short
A young woman (Cleo Boman) walks through a village to a train station. The station is deserted and she waits nerviously. Whilst waiting she is startled by an intercity train thundering past.... See full synopsis »
"A young woman's unconventional encounter with a mysterious lover".
34. The Party's Over (1965)
94 min | Drama
An American businessman visits London and is horrified to discover his nubile teenage daughter has become involved with a gang of thuggish "beatniks". Her involvement leads to wild parties, sex, death and necrophilia.
35. The Party (1962)
15 min | Short
An art school get-together. No dialogue, just the sound of jazz records played. Some actors from "The Party's Over", and the appearance of Pete Brown, later of Piblokto! fame.
Two children explores a churchyard. Shot in colour. No dialogue. BFI call it: "an expressive meditation on the loss of innocence, from the producer of The Party's Over".
38. Because That Road Is Trodden (1969)
23 min | Short, Fantasy
A boy at that awkward age between childhood and adulthood wonders what life is all about and fantasizes about what the realities may contain.
"Dream-like confessional concerning the fantasies of a public schoolboy".
39. Stevenage (1971)
22 min | Documentary, Short
A positive profile of the first place in England to be designated a "new town", meaning it had its own development corporation set up to make vast improvements and modernization.
Director: Gordon Ruttan
"Documentary celebration of Britain's first New Town".
40. Bronco Bullfrog (1970)
86 min | Drama
Del and his friends agree to take part in a robbery with a boy fresh from the borstal. When Del falls in love with Irene they decide to run away from their nagging parents - and the law.
British social realism with non-professional actors. The soundtrack contains "Darkness All Around" played by AUDIENCE!
41. Everybody's an Actor, Shakespeare Said (1968)
31 min | Documentary, Short
An east London youth drama group improvises scenes based upon their everyday life under the tutelage of Joan Littlewood
Short documentary on Joan Littlewood's theatre work with the teenagers who would star in BRONCO BULLFROG. 30 minutes.
42. Seven Green Bottles (1975)
34 min | Short
Seven wayward juveniles (the "Green Bottles" of the title) spend their days truanting and thieving. One by one they are caught and made to face the consequences of the choices they have ... See full summary »
Short, cautionary tale of seven young juvenile delinquents, played by non-professional actors. 35 minutes.
44. The Last Chapter (1974)
29 min | Short, Drama
Dark tale in which a successful middle-aged writer (Denholm Elliot) is unbalanced by an assured young fan (Susan Penhaligon).
BFI: "Dark tale in which a successful middle-aged writer is unbalanced by an assured young fan".
45. St. Christopher (1967)
60 min | Documentary
BFI: "Barney Platts-Mills' affecting observational documentary about the education of mentally handicapped youngsters".
46. Duffer (1971)
75 min | Drama
An intense and bizarre study of obsession that is by turns lyrical and disconcerting, Duffer tells the deranged story of a teenage boy torn between the womanly charms of a kindly prostitute... See full summary »
Shot in beautiful black and white, and with only three main characters. It is not clear what is going on.
47. The Moon Over the Alley (1976)
107 min | Drama, Musical
A very unusual musical, situated around a lodging-house near Portobello Road in London. Very kitchen sinkish! Many odd, but familiar, characters appear. In one scene a young couple goes to the cinema, and we are treated with Kevin Brownlow and Andrew Mollo's dystopian sci-fi film IT HAPPENED HERE (1965). Galt MacDermot has written the music for it. Captivating all through.
48. Joanna (1968)
R | 108 min | Comedy, Drama, Musical
A provincial girl is entangled in the mod morality of London.
1960's swinging London pictured in a creative and playful way, through gorgeous colour, surrealistic dream sequences and breaking of the fourth wall. Geneviève Waite is Joanna, who meets Christian Doermer [Sarne's alter ego], Glenna Forster-Jones, Calvin Lockhart, and Donald Sutherland as the foppish Lord Sanderson. Fun to watch!
49. Road to Saint Tropez (1966)
31 min | Comedy, Short
Fenella Fielding narrates a satirical "travelogue" in this road movie along the french riviera, against a background consisting of a 22 years old Udo Kier working as gigolo, abandoning Gabriella Licudi for Melissa Stribling. 30 minutes.
50. Death May Be Your Santa Claus (1969)
50 min | Drama
Presents the nihilistic visions of a young black European militant.
Ken Gajadhar as a nihilistic black militant in London experiences unexplained violent and lustful encounters. Related to ongoing french new wave, especially Jean-Luc Godard's "Week End" (1967) and "Sympathy for the Devil" (1968). The progressive rock band, The Second Hand makes the soundtrack, and even plays live in The Second Hand Store. 36 minutes.
51. Lunch Hour (1963)
64 min | Comedy
A young designer and a married executive may be about to start an affair. A series of lunch hours play out the relationship.
In this 63-minute film, Shirley Anne Field and Robert Stephens fall in love with each other. They can only meet at lunch break. Finally they rent a room for one hour by Kay Walsh. But things gets complicated in a weird way. Absolutely fascinating!
52. Skyhook (1958)
17 min | Documentary, Short
Colour documentary financed by BP.
53. Giuseppina (1960)
32 min | Short
Oscar® - winning short in which a young girl observes the array of quirky characters who pass her father's rural petrol station.
Oscar-winning documentary. An Italian girl wants to go the the fair, but ends up staying at her father's petrol station. Several characters appear during that day. Tati-esque!
54. The Home-Made Car (1963)
27 min | Short
A young man restores an old Morris. Various characters help or hinder him. Beautiful. Won a Silver Bear in Berlin.
David Gladwell's first feature. Colour. Non-professional cast: Vic Smith and villagers from Witnesham and Metfield. Suggestive about memories, and imaginative with dreamlike qualities. Underlines tensions between past and present in a surreal way. Uses elements from all Gladwell's previous short films. 68 minutes.
Black and white short with a slightly weird dream sequence in colour. 15 minutes.
Black and white short. Beautifully photographed. Not action-oriented, but somewhat surprising. 23 minutes.
58. The Great Steam Fair (1964)
17 min | Documentary, Short
Documentary short in colour. 17 minutes.
Montage-oriented short. Beautifully photographed in black and white. 9 minutes.
60. Deep End (1970)
R | 88 min | Drama, Romance
15-year-old Mike takes a job at the local swimming baths, where he becomes obsessed with an attractive young woman, Susan, who works there as an attendant. Although Susan has a fiancé, Mike... See full summary »
Excellent and obscure German/English co-production by Jerzy Skolimowski, about possessive love in a London swimming baths. Jane Asher, John Moulder-Brown and Diana Dors are excellent in this funny and bizarre film. In the soundtrack Cat Stevens plays "But I Might Die Tonight", and CAN plays all 14.30 minutes of the excellent "Mother Sky"! A feast for eyes and ears.
75 min | Documentary
A fascinating and absorbing documentary about the making of Jerzy Skolimowski's cult favourite, DEEP END, which was shot in 1970 as a US-German co-production on location in London and ... See full summary »
62. Careless Love (1976)
10 min | Short, Drama
A man tells to his lover he won't get engaged to someone who has already been married.
Disturbing short with Jane Asher and Richard Heffron. 10 minutes.
109 min | Comedy, Drama
An art student is thrown out of college. Depressed, he comes up with the Party of Dynamic Erection, a near fascist "party" that promotes male sexual dominance and which attracts a couple of other unsavory confused characters.
Based on a 1959 David Halliwell play called LITTLE MALCOLM AND HIS STRUGGLE AGAINST THE EUNUCHS. Malcolm Scrawdyke (John Hurt) leads his pseudo-fascistic Party of Dynamic Erection, consisting of Wick (John McEnery), Irwin (Raymond Platt), and Nipple (David Warner), on a crusade in the northern british town of Oldham. The film was produced by Apple Films and George Harrison, who also wrote some of the music for the soundtrack. It won the Silver Bear at the 1974 Berlin Film Festival. The film is completely hilarious and very bleak at the same time. The dialogue are at times electrifying. This is a true overlooked gem you don't want to miss!
64. Put Yourself in My Place (1974)
25 min | Short, Comedy
What happens when a husband and wife change roles?
Judy Geeson starring in Francine Winham's fun proto-feministic gender-bending short. 24 minutes.
65. The Contraption (1977)
8 min | Horror, Short, Thriller
A man toils at building an elaborate contraption. As he builds you begin to determine what exactly it is he is building. It is a mousetrap, only the mouse it would catch would have to be ... See full summary »
Richard O'Brien, from Rocky Horror Picture Show, builds a sinister contraption in this short. 7 minutes.