Thursday, 21 March
End of the Road Cinema: The Bed Sitting Room
THE BED SITTING ROOM 1969
Directed by Richard Lester 90 minutes In English with English subtitles
Directed by Richard Lester (A Hard Day's Night) and set in post-nuclear-holocaust England, where a handful of bizarre characters struggle to carry on with their lives in the ruins... among endless heaps of ash, piles of broken crockery and brick, muddy plains, and piles of dentures and old boots. They wander through this surrealistic landscape, forever being warned by the police to "keep moving". The nuclear fallout has unpredictable effects, and people are prone to the occasional mutation into a parrot, cupboard, or even, yes, a bed sitting room. In particular, this story revolves around a girl who lives with her parents in a London Underground train, who falls in love with a man in the next carriage. But the real narrative of this film is the quirky and sarcastic sense of humor that only the British can capture.
If you want a reference for this film, just think: Monty Python before the Pythons existed. This film was clearly a big influence on all of their work. The film is cast with the brilliance of Dudley Moore, Spike Milligan and the wild-eyed Marty Feldman.
One viewer's comment:"This is a visually stunning, funny, brilliant, and extravagantly weird film that should best be compared to El Topo, Barbarella, Playtime, and the Cremaster series. It's the kind of movie made with a big studio budget and free artistic reign; a combination that existed in other late 60s and early 70s bombs that have become cult classics. Imagine if Monty Python did a lot of LSD, spent a million dollars on art direction, and then made a nuclear-apocalypse satire. Each shot is as sumptuous and symbolically rich as any Mathew Barney created - what with middle class Brits walking on a field of broken china, Underground escalators that end in mid-air, and Cathedrals submerged in water. Plot-wise, this is as free-of-field as an experimental film. Whether you think it profoundly beautiful or profoundly ugly, the look is in the Quay brothers'/Dubuffet mold. Its narrative loosely strings together amazing images, costumes, and poignant, often hilarious scenes of British society desperately trying to hold on to any remaining shards of civilization. The Bed Sitting Room is full of sarcastic comments and profound notions. It is not full of plot - it's amazing without it."
This will be a high-definition screening.
Date & Time: