Course You Can Malcolm

Wednesday, October 5 2011
Course You Can Malcolm

We’ve oft stated our affection for the BFI’s wonderful Flipside label, the imprint dedicated to unearthing lost treasures from British cinema history; forgotten classics presented in sumptuous dual format editions, complete with comprehensive extras and booklets. 

There’s a flurry of activity involving the Flipside in the coming weeks, as it presents a batch of new releases as well as preparing to reissue some of its classic titles. 

The former sees a brace of new releases coming to the market. The first, the marvellously-titled Little Malcolm And His Struggle Against The Eunuchs, is a somewhat timely outing, in that it is produced by George Harrison, the former Beatle who is himself the subject of a high profile release this month. Little Malcolm, the trailer is featured below and the film has already benefited from coverage in Mojo’s major Harrison feature. Released alongside it is the 1981 film Voice Over, one that is from a later period than other Flipside releases, but no less worthy for that. 

Talking of the other Flipside releases, the Sony DADC fire has forced the BFI to accelerate its plans to reissue its first raft of titles in what is now the standard dual format for its releases. They had, at first, come in separate DVD and Blu-ray editions, but are now being released in both forms as standard.

Head of BFI Video Publishing Sam Dunn says: Reissuing the first Flipside titles as Dual Format Editions was always on the cards for us, but the fire at Sony Enfield has accelarated our plans.  The 24 October release date of the 20th and 21st Flipside titles (Little Malcolm and Voice Over) provides a perfect moment for us.”

Now we’re self-proclaimed devotees of the label, but don’t just take our word for it. Here’s director Nicolas Winding Refn, the man behind the camera for, among others, what is arguably this year’s hippest film, Drive, as well as the likes of Bronson: “Every time BFI Flipside releases a newly discovered film I always go and get it. It’s like finding lost treasure.”

And here’s another fan, another director, Ben Wheatley, whose most recent outing, Kill List, is as cool as Drive: “Flipside provides a window onto a time in British cinema when real film artists stalked our land.”

So how did these ambassadors come to profess their love for the Flipside?

Sam Dunn explains: “The story with Nicolas Winding Refn is that he called me out of the blue around a year ago to say that Flipside was his favourite DVD label, and that he was in town so we should meet up for a drink.  He’s so knowledgeable and passionate about cinema, especially about films that are off the beaten track, or which were made by filmmakers who have never had their day in the sun.  Of course, the purpose of Flipside is precisely about uncovering the hidden history of British cinema, so it’s right up Nicolas’ street.

Ben Wheatley’s the same. His praise for Flipside comes from his passionate belief in cinema as an artform, and his commitment to bold and uncompromising filmmaking, which not only describes his own work, but also that of the directors who are represented in the Flipside range.”

Here’s the trailer for Little Malcolm…

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