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 Post subject: My Beautiful Laundrette
PostPosted: Sat May 13, 2017 8:41 am 

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From a press release for the India on Film season:

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New Blu-ray release of My Beautiful Laundrette
Presented on Blu-ray in the UK for the first time, Hanif Kureishi’s and Stephen Frears’ Oscar®-nominated first film collaboration, My Beautiful Laundrette (1985) will be released as a Dual Format Edition on 21 August. Kureishi’s cross-cultural love story starring Gordon Warnecke and Daniel Day Lewis was a cultural landmark in representing South Asian British experience on film. The film also proved a watershed moment for both fledgling broadcaster Channel 4, who went on to form Film4 Productions, and producer Tim Bevan, who went on to launch Working Title with Sarah Radclyffe.


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PostPosted: Sat May 13, 2017 3:00 pm 
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Was anticipating this, kind of surprised Criterion jumped the gun on it. I hope the BFI get around to Prick Up Your Ears too, since Criterion missed the boat on that one, as well as Maurice & Another Country.


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 Post subject: My Beautiful Laundrette
PostPosted: Wed Jun 07, 2017 10:13 am 
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From the latest BFI press release:
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On 21 August Stephen Frears’ Oscar-nominated drama My Beautiful Laundrette is released in a Dual Format Edition. One of the most controversial British films of the 1980s, with its ground-breaking approach to race, culture and sexuality, the film also launched the career of multiple Academy Award-winner Daniel Day-Lewis. The film will be supported with a wide range of contextualising extras.


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PostPosted: Wed Jun 07, 2017 10:56 am 
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PostPosted: Wed Jun 07, 2017 11:08 am 
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Extras, from the BFI website.

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Century of Cinema: Typically British (Stephen Frears, 1994, 74 mins): Director Stephen Frears explores the wealth of stylish and familiar images created by the British film industry in the 20th century, aided by fellow directors Alexander Mackendrick, Michael Apted, and Alan Parker and writer Gavin Lambert

I’m British But… (Gurinder Chadha, 1989, 30 mins): fascinating documentary on what it meant to be a young British Asian in the 1980s from the director of Bend it Like Beckham

Memsahib Rita (Prathiba Parma, 1994, 20 mins): Using a blend of magic realism and realist drama, Memsahib Rita looks at the physical and emotional violence of racism. Starring Nisha Nayar & Meera Syal.

Fully illustrated booklet with new writing on the film and full credits


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PostPosted: Thu Jun 08, 2017 11:40 am 
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I've never seen Century of Cinema: Typically British, but Jonathan Rosenbaum's review of the work was pretty damning and convincing, to the extent that I'd need to be told that Rosenbaum straight up lies about the film's content for me to ever consider giving it a watch.


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PostPosted: Thu Jun 08, 2017 12:17 pm 
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I enjoyed Typically British enormously - it was nowhere near the best of the series, and it's entertaining rather than informative, but I was very pleased to see this included as an extra. It's a shame they didn't go with the original (announced) title - Bollocks To Truffaut.

Actually, it would be nice to see more from the series released - I think I caught most of them at the time, but apart from Scorsese's no others (AFAIK) have been released.


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PostPosted: Thu Jun 08, 2017 2:13 pm 
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Typically British is OK but a bit partial. I don't remember there being much about 'popular' film trends such as Hammer or Carry On films (or any 'art' film trends such as Derek Jarman or Peter Greenaway from what I remember, though I may be mistaken). But I seem to recall that there's a great montage about the trope of characters being offered very "typically British" cups of tea in response to a crisis in 1940s cinema! (Its at its best discussing Ealing of the 1940s, as well as Lean, Reed and Hitchcock) Plus if you've ever wanted to see some behind the scenes footage from Mary Reilly, which Frears was filming around the same time as this documentary was being made and broadcast, its in here!

I remember that Mary Reilly footage being quite a big draw at the time, for me at least, as we were seeing footage from a film a year away from release. Though that's likely to be a rather dated element (and may even be a head-scratching one) over twenty years later and it does slightly damage the idea of the documentary being 'objective' if we consider that the timeline of British cinema is apparently being traced from the 1940s (no silents feature as far as I recall) up to the 'pinnacle end point' of Julia Roberts in an offbeat Jekyll and Hyde adaptation! Yet I suppose that could have had a function to illustrate in another documentary the shift towards the 'industrialisation' of UK cinema as factories and studio spaces for multinational productions rather than for indigenous cinema, even if it was still a decade or two before London came to the fore for CGI graphics production and so on. But there's not really any wider statement like that: its really there just because it was Fears' latest film of the moment!

But this was also one of the key issues behind all of this series of documentaries - that it seems each director was asked for a 'personal, subjective' vision of their country's cinema, presumably to match Scorsese's piece, but that ended up with a series of films that were often quite solipsistic and didn't exactly fulfil a function of introducing the outline of a national cinema to those unfamiliar with it. Which is kind of the function they needed to fulfil as well. Scorsese could do, and had the running time to do, both (and only Oshima really successfully matches his approach of mingling narrative film history and subjective personal history). But especially when you get to someone like Godard, who'd already done his history of French cinema in his own unorthodox way, you were never going to get something easily comprehendable and providing just the facts!

So if you want to use the documentary to find out about obscure British films (even Ken Russell and Nicolas Roeg are a little bit beyond the documentary's ken, though I think they get namechecked), you'll be a bit disappointed. You are better off looking at the sterling work the BFI has been doing on home video for the last decade to come away with a wider breadth of UK cinema. But if you want to know about Frears' mindset and his approach to cinema, its more worthwhile, and makes sense as an extra feature on one of his films too. And while I'm ambivalent about the documentary it is really great that we're finally seeing some of this series, outside of Scorsese's documentary, getting preserved.

(My favourite of that whole century of cinema series, aside from Scorsese's masterwork, is Oshima's 100 Years of Japanese Cinema piece that actually did run through a huge number of films in clips and stills, many of which decades on we're only just seeing get releases such as in Arrow's Kiju Yoshida set)


Last edited by colinr0380 on Fri Jun 09, 2017 3:56 am, edited 10 times in total.

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PostPosted: Thu Jun 08, 2017 2:29 pm 
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If I'm not mistake, wasn't this originally intended as a television film? I thought theatrical release wasn't even seriously considered until after it was completed.


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PostPosted: Thu Jun 08, 2017 2:36 pm 
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I presume that was Channel 4 Film/Film on Four's remit at the time? To release theatrically but also broadcast on the channel very soon afterwards to capitalise on the publicity?

I'll always remember about 7 or 8 being babysat by an elderly old lady neighbour whilst my parents were working nights and My Beautiful Laundrette being on one evening (I'll always associate that neighbour in Cornwall with introducing me to this, Private Benjamin and World According To Garp. As well as L.A. Law and The Equalizer!). Though I was dividing my attention between the film and my maths book at the time (yes I was a maths nerd for a brief but shining period before fractions were introduced and I gave up!)


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 Post subject: My Beautiful Laundrette
PostPosted: Fri Jun 09, 2017 1:19 pm 
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It was indeed made for TV with no initial plan for a commercial theatrical release - but it was such a huge hit at that year's Edinburgh Film Festival that plans were swiftly changed.

Frears was later asked why he didn't shoot in 35mm and plan for a theatrical release from the outset, and he replied that the subject matter seemed almost wilfully uncommercial at the time. In the 1970s and 80s, mainstream British television was far more adventurous than mainstream British cinema when it came to tackling controversial social and political issues, which is one of the reasons why directors like Frears, Ken Loach and Mike Leigh flitted between the big and small screens. And of course Alan Clarke made all but three of his films for TV - and the television work was generally far more confrontational.


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PostPosted: Fri Jul 21, 2017 7:18 am 
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Full specs announced:

Quote:
My Beautiful Laundrette
A film by Stephen Frears


Dual Format Edition (DVD/Blu-ray) release on 21 August 2017

Written by Hanif Kureishi (The Buddha of Suburbia), My Beautiful Laundrette’s bold exploration of issues of sexuality, race, class and generational difference is compassionate, humorous and entertaining.

On 21 August the BFI will release it in a new Dual Format Edition (DVD and Blu-ray discs) with extensive special features and a booklet containing a variety of new essays by writers including Sarfraz Manzoor and Sukhdev Sandhu.

In director Stephen Frears’ groundbreaking and hugely successful drama, Omar (Gordon Warnecke), the son of a Pakistani immigrant, embarks on a venture to renovate his uncle's laundrette with the help of his childhood friend, ex-National Front member Johnny (Daniel Day-Lewis).

A commercial and critical success, My Beautiful Laundrette earned Hanif Kureishi an Oscar nomination for Best Screenplay and launched the career of Daniel Day-Lewis, who recently announced his retirement from acting.

The film is being released as part of the BFI’s activity (from June onwards) to mark the 50th anniversary of the Sexual Offences Act 1967. This includes a major two month film and TV season, Gross Indecency, and a one month Joe Orton season at BFI Southbank, a new online BFI Player collection – LGBT Britain on Film, a UK-wide touring programme of archive film and an international touring programme of classic LGBT shorts from directors including Derek Jarman, Isaac Julien and Terence Davies.

Special features
• Presented in High Definition and Standard Definition
• 1986 Q&A at the ICA with Stephen Frears, Hanif Kureishi, Sarah Radclyffe and Tim Bevan (1986, 98 mins, audio only)
• Gordon Warnecke on My Beautiful Laundrette (2015, 25 mins)
• Original theatrical trailer
Typically British: A Personal History of British Cinema by Stephen Frears (Michael Dibb & Stephen Frears, 1994, 77 mins): the director’s affectionate exploration of British cinema and the films that influenced him
I’m British But... (Gurinder Chadha, 1989, 30 mins): fascinating documentary on what it meant to be a young British Asian in the 1980s from the director of Bend It Like Beckham
Memsahib Rita (Prathiba Parma, 1994, 19 mins): a short film starring Nisha Nayar and Meera Syal exploring the physical and emotional violence of racism
• Illustrated booklet with full film credits and essays by Sarfraz Manzoor, Sukhdev Sandhu, Simran Hans, Michael Brooke and Alex Davidson

Product details
RRP: £19.99/ Cat. no. BFIB1281 / Cert 15
UK / 1985 / colour / 98 mins / English language with optional hard-of-hearing subtitles / original aspect ratio 1.66:1 // BD50: 1080p, 24fps, PCM 1.0 mono (48kHz/24-bit) / DVD9: PAL, 25fps, Dolby Digital 1.0 mono (192kbps)


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PostPosted: Fri Jul 21, 2017 7:21 am 
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Dr Amicus wrote:
I enjoyed Typically British enormously - it was nowhere near the best of the series, and it's entertaining rather than informative, but I was very pleased to see this included as an extra. It's a shame they didn't go with the original (announced) title - Bollocks To Truffaut.

Actually, it would be nice to see more from the series released - I think I caught most of them at the time, but apart from Scorsese's no others (AFAIK) have been released.

Sorry, I've only just spotted this - the Polish entry, Paweł Łoziński's 100 Years at the Cinema (100 lat w kinie), is included on the DVD compilation of Łoziński's work released by Poland's National Audiovisual Institute (with English subtitles). I remember at the time much was made of Krzysztof Kieślowski's involvement, but he only seems to have been a consultant.


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PostPosted: Fri Jul 21, 2017 4:06 pm 
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MichaelB wrote:
Dr Amicus wrote:
I enjoyed Typically British enormously - it was nowhere near the best of the series, and it's entertaining rather than informative, but I was very pleased to see this included as an extra. It's a shame they didn't go with the original (announced) title - Bollocks To Truffaut.

Actually, it would be nice to see more from the series released - I think I caught most of them at the time, but apart from Scorsese's no others (AFAIK) have been released.

Sorry, I've only just spotted this - the Polish entry, Paweł Łoziński's 100 Years at the Cinema (100 lat w kinie), is included on the DVD compilation of Łoziński's work released by Poland's National Audiovisual Institute (with English subtitles). I remember at the time much was made of Krzysztof Kieślowski's involvement, but he only seems to have been a consultant.


Some of them are available for streaming on BFI Player. Night of the Filmmakers (Germany), 100 Years of Polish Cinema Typically British, Irish CInema - Ourselves Alone?, A Century of Australian Cinema, Cinema of Unease (New Zealand) and Yang±Yin: Gender in Chinese Cinema are all available to rent for £2.50 each (£2.13 for BFI members). 100 Years of Japanese Cinema, A Personal Journey Through American Cinema (in three parts) and 2 x 50 Years of French Cinema are available as part of a BFI Player+ subscription.


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PostPosted: Fri Jul 21, 2017 10:38 pm 
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And The Cinema on the Road (Jang Sun-woo's entry on Korean cinema) is included as a bonus with the book East Asian Cinema by David Carter. Frankly the "bonus" is the only reason to bother with it.

Also, Jean-Pierre Bekolo's Aristotle's Plot is out on DVD in France. This is an interesting case in that it was commissioned as the African entry in the series but was eventually cut loose because it didn't fit in, being an allegorical narrative about a running dispute between Hollywood-obsessed gangsters and a filmmaker recently returned from overseas. The disc only has French subs but the audio is in English.


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