Elizabeth Taylor in
THE DRIVER’S SEAT (IDENTIKIT)
A film by Giuseppe Patroni Griffi
BFI Blu-ray, iTunes and Amazon Prime release on 26 June 2023
Never before released in the UK, THE DRIVER’S SEAT (aka IDENTIKIT) remains the most obscure, bizarre and wildly misunderstood film of Elizabeth Taylor’s illustrious career. Adapted from an unnerving novella by Muriel Spark (The Prime of Miss Jean Brodie), the film marked a bold step into the unknown for the screen icon in the early 70s. Now newly restored in 4K by Cineteca di Bologna and Severin Films, the BFI brings it to Blu-ray on 26 June 2023. Extras include a filmed introduction, an audio commentary and a selection of complementary archival films.
Elizabeth Taylor stars as a troubled woman who, upon arriving in Rome, finds a city fragmented by autocratic law enforcement, leftist violence and her own increasingly unhinged mission to find the most dangerous liaison of all.
Co-starring Ian Bannen, Mona Washbourne and Andy Warhol, THE DRIVER’S SEAT stunned critics and audiences alike on its premiere in 1974. The film also features cinematography by three-time Oscar winner Vittorio Storaro (Apocalypse Now).
• Restored in 4K by Cineteca di Bologna and Severin Films, and presented in High Definition
• Introduction by Kier-La Janisse, author of House of Psychotic Women (2022, 6 mins)
• Audio commentary with curator and programmer Millie De Chirico (2022)
• A Lack of Absence (2022, 22 mins): writer and literary historian Chandra Mayor on Muriel Spark and The Driver’s Seat
• The Driver’s Seat credit sequences (1974, 4 mins)
• Darling, Do You Love Me? (1968, 4 mins): in a parody of her media persona, Germaine Greer stars as a terrifyingly amorous woman who pursues a man relentlessly
• Waiting For… (1970, 11 mins): a woman embarks on a filmmaking project after being given a camera and told to capture her everyday reality
• The Telephone (1981, 4 mins): a young woman enacts imaginative revenge on her boyfriend
• National Theatre of Scotland trailer (2015, 2 mins): a promotional clip for the UK’s first stage production of The Driver’s Seat
• ***First pressing only*** illustrated booklet with new essays by Simon McCallum and Bruce LaBruce, an essay by Kier-La Janisse originally published in the book House of Psychotic Women, notes on the special features and credits
RRP: £19.99 / Cat. no. BFIB1489 / 15
Italy, West Germany / 1974 / colour / 102 minutes / English language with optional descriptive subtitles / original aspect ratio 1.85:1 / BD50: 1080p, 24fps, LPCM 2.0 mono audio (48kHz/24-bit)
Discuss DVDs and Blu-rays released by the BFI and the films on them.
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- Joined: Fri Aug 11, 2006 6:20 pm
- Location: Worthing
Full specs announced:
- Joined: Fri Mar 28, 2008 3:56 pm
- Location: Aldershot, Hampshire, UK
As far as I know, just an alternate title, which was used in the US. The restoration on which this release is based has the Identikit title.
According to the booklet (the review disc hasn't arrived yet), this credits sequence comes from a black and white copy.
- Joined: Fri Jun 13, 2014 12:55 pm
The credits are on Severin's release -- the only new features to the BFI are their curated shorts and the booklet -- and like the Italian credits, they are black lettering on a white background. The biggest difference other than the language is that Andy Warhol gets his own "with the special participation of" card. And they are unrestored, so there are specks and pops.