Rude Boy (1980) | When The Clash and punk collided in an electric British classic
Filmed as a fictional documentary, 1980’s Rude Boy follows a Brixton punk (Ray Gange) as he quits his job in a West End sex shop to become a roadie for The Clash during their Clash on Patrol and Sort It Out UK tours of 1978.
Set against the backdrop of late 1970s Britain, this is an unparalleled film document of the iconic band (Joe Strummer, Mick Jones, Paul Simonon and Nicky ‘Topper’ Headon) as they tour the country and headline the legendary Rock Against Racism Carnival in Victoria Park, London (which happened on 30 April 1978), while also going into the rehearsal rooms and the recording studio to lay down tracks for their second album Give ‘Em Enough Rope.
The Clash regretted their involvement with the film after watching the rough cuts and asked producer/directors David Mingay and Jack Hazan to edit the film to just concert footage, when Mingay and Hazan refused the band had pin badges made with the statement ‘I don’t want Rude Boy Clash Film’. The film, however, was released in 1980 and won an Honorable Mention and was nominated for the Golden Bear at the 30th Berlin International Film Festival.
Rude Boy featuring The Clash is available on DVD and for the first time on Blu-ray – fully restored in high definition with all new 5.1 surround sound, from Fabulous Films, from Monday 6 April. It includes 19 songs, 28 performances and 72 mins of live Clash footage.
THOSE EXTRAS IN FULL
• Audio commentary from producer/directors David Mingay and Jack Hazan
• Interviews with Ray Gange and Clash road manager Johnny Green
• Interviews with Jack Hazan and David Mingay
• 2 bonus live tracks that never made the final cut
• 4 deleted scenes
• 1980 theatrical trailer
• 1980 30sec radio ad
• Just Play The Clash’ separate song menu
• Clash discography with original sleeve artwork
• Clash image gallery
• The Clash Live in Munich 3rd October
• 7 songs, plus backstage interview
• Original 1980 promotional fanzine
• Rude Boy photo book
Bad Timing (1980) | Nicolas Roeg hits a raw nerve with his masterful, yet much maligned psycho-sexual thriller
A possessive man . . . An independent lady . . . and a love that turns to tragedy
Parting amicably from her Czech army pilot husband (Denholm Elliott), troubled Milena (Theresa Russell) starts an on-off affair in post-Cold War Vienna with American psychoanalyst-in-residence, Dr Alex Linden (Art Garkunkel).
At first, Alex accepts Milena seeing other men, but gradually he becomes tormented by jealousy, while Milena resents that his interest in her is purely sexual. When Milena has an apparent drug overdose, a police inspector (Harvey Keitel) questions Dr Linden in a bid to start piecing together the sordid details of their all-consuming passion.
A Terrifying Love Story
Nicolas Roeg‘s beautifully-executed, yet deeply disturbing 1980 film set in the city of Klimt and Schiele is a strange brew indeed – an arty, unflinching depiction of a destructive relationship, in which both Art Garfunkel and Theresa Russell bring incredibly intensity to their roles as the bird-like Dr Alex Linden (who masks a fearsome control freak under his massive ginger afro) and the volatile Milena (who just wants to be loved, but ultimately is never satisfied).
Much maligned, Bad Timing remains one of Roeg’s most divisive films (he also described it as an apt summation of his career, believing himself to have often been ahead of time, instead of simply being of it). But it’s certainly worth checking out again. Bleak, brutal and beautiful – at times you think Roeg is breathing masterful life into one of Egon Schiele’s erotic, macabre masterpieces that hang in Vienna’s famed Leopold Museum (which also features in the film).
THE UK BLU-RAY RELEASE
Released on Blu-ray as part of Network’s The British Film collection, Bad Timing is presented in a new High Definition transfer from original film elements in its as-exhibited theatrical aspect ratio. The special features include an interview with producer Jeremy Thomas, theatrical and teaser trailers, deleted scenes, gallery and promotional material in pdf format.
Memoirs of a Survivor (1981) | Julie Christie gives a haunting turn in a faithful adaptation of Doris Lessing’s dystopian novel
In A World Gone Mad, Reality Is The Ultimate Illusion
In a post-apocalyptic London where society has collapsed and gangs of feral-orphaned children roam the streets, middle-aged singleton D (Julie Christie) watches the lawlessness from her Normandie Towers ground floor flat.
One day, D discovers an alternative world, in which little Emily (Georgina Griffiths) resides with her strict Victorian father (Nigel Hawthorne) and unloving mother (Pat Keen). Unseen by the family, D moves like a phantom through the rooms of the great house, which lead to a grand dining room in ruins where nature is taking over.
Back in reality, an orphaned teenager, also called Emily (Leonie Mellinger), is delivered into D’s care. When Emily falls for the enigmatic Gerald (Christopher Guard), a young man determined to create order out of chaos by bringing together all of the neighbourhood’s orphans, D questions her place in this anarchic world and the one beyond her walls…
Curiouser and curiouser
This complex 1981 British drama directed by David Gladwell is a faithful film adaptation of Doris Lessing‘s 1974 feminist science fiction novel of the same name.
Julie Christie gives a haunting turn as a futuristic Alice venturing through her ‘looking glass’ when discovers a Victorian world on the other side of her walls. This mythical dimension is at the heart of Lessing’s novel, an ‘inner space’ piece of fiction, which uses the two time frames to ‘dissolve walls that imprison women within a sexist reality’.
Christie’s D remains an observer throughout the dystopian drama, and says very little as the story unfolds, focusing mainly on the teenage Emily, who is torn between being an independent woman and becoming subservient to Gerald’s sexual needs and his new patriarchal world order.
David Gladwell is best known as the editor of Lindsay Anderson’s If…. (1968) and O Lucky Man! (1973), and he takes a decent stab at tackling Lessing’s major themes here, but they struggle against his surreal imagery, that speaks more about class and socialism than feminism. There’s even an homage to If…. in one scene, in which the orphans take supper on long tables laid out in similar fashion to the public school dining hall in Anderson’s surreal satire.
Despite some suitably arresting visuals, lensed by veteran cinematographer Walter Lassally (a well-dressed elderly couple clambering out of their burnt out terrace house to head out for dinner, a posh family waiting for their helicopter to take them away from the devastation), they don’t match Gladwell’s ambitions, while a lack of realism hangs over the film (a real estate in Norfolk standing in for London), that also suffers from an annoying synth score.
The streets scenes are overly choreographed and everyone behaves ever so nicely, which – for anyone who witnessed the London riots in 2011 – makes these look like a neighbourhood fete. The feral children are also anything but menacing. In fact, I suspected they were plucked out of the Anna Scher acting school even before I saw the end credits. However, despite these misgivings, its Christie’s sutbtle character study that really makes this film worth checking out.
THE UK DVD RELEASE
Memoirs of a Survivor is presented as part of Network Distributing’s The British Film collection in a new transfer from the original film elements in its as-exhibited theatrical 1.85:1 aspect ratio, with mono sound. Region 2/PAL encoded. An image gallery and original trailer are also included.