BFI has included a bit for this Flipside title, placing all of the special features on the first disc with widescreen version of the film (the second disc only includes the full screen version.) As usual all features are presented in high-definition with lossless audio.
Taking up most of the supplements are some short films by Levy. First is a 25-minute student film feature by Levy (who was going to school for his PhD) called Ten Thousand Talents, which humoursly covers life at Cambridge University. Itís a decent enough student feature (and even features a small bit of narration by a young Peter Cook) with some smiles and is certainly worth a viewing, though I suspect people far more familiar of Cambridge may get more out of it.
The leap from that film to Herostratus is rather large. While somewhat inventive and quickly edited Ten Thousand Talents is pretty straightforward. The next short film found on here, Time Is, comes a little closer to Herostratus. This 29-minute short film appears to be a science film (of sorts) on the subject time. This film is far more experimental, Levy getting more creative with his editing (including speeding up and slowing down the film) and imagery. Accompanied by a Sitar score itís actually quite effective and Levyís sure direction and editing stops the filmís subject matter from becoming too dry.
Five Films is the shortest one, running about 8-minutes. Itís a series of very short works which I think aim at simply conveying emotions. Made just before Herostratus this one closes off any gap between his short film work and that feature film. Made up of a series of images edited together (some of which appear in Time Is) with sound effects (though the first one is silent) and poetic narration itís the most experimental of the three shorts included here.
The final feature is 38-minute interview with Don Levy that was recorded in 1973. It can be a little dry at times but is worth listening to overall as Levy talks about the film, first starting with the story of the real Herostratus, and then talking about the film itself, including the production and eve giving a walkthrough that covers everything about the story of the film, but stops shy of giving away the ending. He also talks about his actors (coming off incredibly hard on Gabriella Licudi and her choice of film roles before and after his film) and the various themes in the film. Since we donít get a commentary or any other piece on the film this makes a great inclusion.
And finishing off the set is a 33-page booklet. Inside you get an essay on the film by Amnon Buchbinder and then another piece by Henry K. Miller on Levyís time at the Slade School of Fine Art. A copy of press blurbs are included on one page followed by biographies on Don Levy and the filmís star, Michael Gothard. There are then a collection of small notes on the short films included here and another note on the different aspect ratios for the film.
For a film like this I probably would have appreciated more analytical supplements but BFI have included some excellent material, Levyís short films being wonderful inclusions, displaying his growth as a filmmaker. 7/10