Flipside 027: Sleepwalker

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MichaelB
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Flipside 027: Sleepwalker

#1 Post by MichaelB » Mon May 20, 2013 12:21 pm

Image

Saxon Logan's horror film Sleepwalker has just been confirmed as the next Flipside release, out in September.

IMDB entry here, and considerably more background info here - its Flipside credentials are more than established by the fact that it's barely been seen since its completion in 1985.

I assume, given the 50-minute running time, that there'll be more films in the package.

UPDATE: There will be!
BFI FLIPSIDE PRESENTS
SLEEPWALKER
A film by Saxon Logan

When wealthy couple Richard and Angela visit Marion and Alex in their decaying family home, their differing social and moral attitudes create uneasy tensions. An inharmonious evening of drunkenness and sexual rivalry soon turns bloody as the guests fall victim to an unhinged attacker.

Featuring a rare performance from Bill Douglas (Bill Douglas Trilogy, Comrades), and starring British screen greats Joanna David and Heather Page (both of whom would go on to work with Douglas in Comrades), Sleepwalker is an outrageous and incendiary mix of biting satire and bloody horror that is at once reminiscent of otherwise unlikely bedfellows Lindsay Anderson and Dario Argento. The stellar cast also includes Nikolas Grace, and features cameos by Fulton MacKay, Michael Medwin and Raymond Huntley.

Remastered from the only surviving print, this long-unseen mid-length film is presented here for the first time on any home video format, along with two shorts by its director, Saxon Logan, and the rare 1971 mid-length fantasy, The Insomniac, directed by Rodney Giesler.

Special features

• Presented in High Definition and Standard Definition
The Insomniac (Rodney Giesler, 1971, 45 mins): a man experiences a night-time world that is part foreboding nightmare, part sexual fantasy
Stepping Out (Saxon Logan , 1977, 10 mins): a couple’s untraditional early morning ritual is observed in a short drama which originally supported Polanski’s The Tenant in UK cinemas
Working Surface: A Short Study (with Actors) in the ‘Ways’ of a Bourgeois Writer (Saxon Logan, 1979, 15 mins): Bill Douglas plays a writer struggling with a script about the interior lives of two women (playing by Joanna David and Heather Page)
• Extensive booklet with essays and complete credits

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htshell
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Re: Flipside 027: Sleepwalker

#2 Post by htshell » Mon May 20, 2013 12:58 pm

Never heard of this but I'm all in!

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MichaelB
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Re: Flipside 027: Sleepwalker

#3 Post by MichaelB » Mon May 20, 2013 1:01 pm

...and it's just been confirmed as region-free.

(I'd have been astonished if it was anything else!)

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AlexHansen
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Re: Flipside 027: Sleepwalker

#4 Post by AlexHansen » Mon May 20, 2013 1:21 pm

I'm with htshell on this. Just the kind of blind buy I've been waiting for.

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Ozu Teapot
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Re: Flipside 027: Sleepwalker

#5 Post by Ozu Teapot » Mon May 20, 2013 1:27 pm

That's a great cover! The best Flipside cover yet I'd say!

I've never heard of this either but then that goes for a lot of the Flipside titles and none of them have disappointed! It will be interesting to see what the "extras" are. (EDIT - Oh I see what the extras are!)

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Re: Flipside 027: Sleepwalker

#6 Post by kneelzod » Mon May 20, 2013 4:53 pm

Looking forward to this one.

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What A Disgrace
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Re: Flipside 027: Sleepwalker

#7 Post by What A Disgrace » Thu May 23, 2013 7:43 pm

Flipside is Blind Buy Heaven for me, and this looks like another one of its hidden angels. Lately I've just been more excited for BFI releases than just about anything else, and I think a big part of it is the way some releases (such as this) include multiple films as extra features, and those are really the best kinds of supplements, aren't they? Not to mention that so many of them; and not even just Flipside, are so tantalizingly and romantically unknown is a really adventurous prospect; as if a whole dimension of secret, alternative cinema had been buried in a cabin in the woods, and is slowly being dug up and made available.

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zedz
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Re: Flipside 027: Sleepwalker

#8 Post by zedz » Thu May 23, 2013 8:11 pm

What A Disgrace wrote:Flipside is Blind Buy Heaven for me, and this looks like another one of its hidden angels.
Seconded. They may have introduced me to some terrible films, but none of them were boring.

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knives
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Re: Flipside 027: Sleepwalker

#9 Post by knives » Thu May 23, 2013 8:57 pm

I've been fortunate enough not to have yet encountered any of these terrible films you speak of, though there are a few average ones here and there.

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zedz
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Re: Flipside 027: Sleepwalker

#10 Post by zedz » Thu May 23, 2013 10:20 pm

Nightbirds, London in the Raw and Primitive London all strike me as unambiguously awful (but nevertheless utterly fascinating).

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htshell
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Re: Flipside 027: Sleepwalker

#11 Post by htshell » Thu May 23, 2013 11:58 pm

What A Disgrace wrote:I think a big part of it is the way some releases (such as this) include multiple films as extra features, and those are really the best kinds of supplements, aren't they?
100% agreed and it's because of the really excellent curatorial choices that BFI is tops. Short films from the marginal directors that Flipside features are the best kind of supplements, for example the Don Levy short films on Herostratus I think rival or perhaps even surpass the greatness of the feature. Similarly, the way the curators utilize industrial or other "orphan" type films is second-to-none, with prime examples being Peter Greenaway's industrial film portrait of Terence Conran on the Belly of an Architect release and the absolutely hilarious Anatomy of a Pinup on the disc of Her Private Hell.

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Re: Flipside 027: Sleepwalker

#12 Post by Flanell » Fri May 24, 2013 1:54 am

Anything that involves Bill Douglas gets my vote.

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Re: Flipside 027: Sleepwalker

#13 Post by MichaelB » Fri May 24, 2013 2:08 am

htshell wrote:100% agreed and it's because of the really excellent curatorial choices that BFI is tops. Short films from the marginal directors that Flipside features are the best kind of supplements, for example the Don Levy short films on Herostratus I think rival or perhaps even surpass the greatness of the feature. Similarly, the way the curators utilize industrial or other "orphan" type films is second-to-none, with prime examples being Peter Greenaway's industrial film portrait of Terence Conran on the Belly of an Architect release and the absolutely hilarious Anatomy of a Pinup on the disc of Her Private Hell.
This is where having a full-time two-dozen-strong curatorial unit on top of one of the world's biggest film archives gives the BFI an unmatchable advantage. When you have in-house specialists painstakingly trawling through the complete surviving output of, say, the Central Office of Information or National Coal Board Film Unit's output, making copious notes along the way and being specifically charged with digging up hidden gems for possible exploitation... well, that's the kind of thing you end up with!

Although I'd say that the primest examples are the wonderfully bizarre Here's a Health to the Barley Mow and Roll Out the Barrel.

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knives
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Re: Flipside 027: Sleepwalker

#14 Post by knives » Fri May 24, 2013 3:33 pm

zedz wrote:Nightbirds, London in the Raw and Primitive London all strike me as unambiguously awful (but nevertheless utterly fascinating).
Ah, and I've only seen the former (which I adore) though it's extra feature is superior.

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reaky
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Re: Flipside 027: Sleepwalker

#15 Post by reaky » Sat May 25, 2013 3:34 am

London In The Raw and Primitive London are unashamed exploitation schlock, but as products of their time, fascinating. I can just watch them for the stylings.

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Re: Flipside 027: Sleepwalker

#16 Post by charal » Tue May 28, 2013 6:09 am

Up for preorder at BFI and Amazon. The Amazon price is not discounted which is unusual since all the current and recent BFI preorders have been Reduced. SLEEPWALKER is listed at 19.99.

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RossyG
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Re: Flipside 027: Sleepwalker

#17 Post by RossyG » Tue May 28, 2013 7:47 am

I expect the Amazon price will drop, but there's always MovieMail - who pay their taxes and don't treat their staff like shit - where the price is currently £13.99: http://www.moviemail.com/film/dvd+blu-ray/Sleepwalker/" onclick="window.open(this.href);return false;

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Re: Flipside 027: Sleepwalker

#18 Post by AidanKing » Wed May 29, 2013 9:23 am

RossyG wrote:I expect the Amazon price will drop, but there's always MovieMail - who pay their taxes and don't treat their staff like shit
I'd second the above: I think it's always worth using MovieMail, even if you occasionally have to pay a little more, for the reasons Rossy states. Thanks for reminding us of the relative ethics of online retailers.

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antnield
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Re: Flipside 027: Sleepwalker

#19 Post by antnield » Mon Aug 12, 2013 7:57 am

New extra added...
O Lucky Man: Saxon Logan in Conversation (2013, 75 mins): the director of Sleepwalker discusses his career, recalling his collaborations with the likes of Lindsay Anderson and Bill Douglas, in this exclusive interview.

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Re: Flipside 027: Sleepwalker

#20 Post by What A Disgrace » Mon Aug 12, 2013 8:55 pm

I'm probably more excited for this than I am for any other Blu-ray release this year, and I don't quite know why.

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Re: Flipside 027: Sleepwalker

#21 Post by MichaelB » Tue Aug 13, 2013 7:25 pm

antnield wrote:New extra added...
O Lucky Man: Saxon Logan in Conversation (2013, 75 mins): the director of Sleepwalker discusses his career, recalling his collaborations with the likes of Lindsay Anderson and Bill Douglas, in this exclusive interview.
I've just watched it - I was slightly dubious about the 75-minute running time (half as long again as the main feature!), but it turned out to be a really absorbing first-person account of what it was like trying (and often failing) to make films in Britain in the 1970s and 80s. It also effectively doubles as a director's commentary on all of his films, without the timing restrictions of the commentary format.

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MichaelB
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Re: Flipside 027: Sleepwalker

#22 Post by MichaelB » Wed Aug 21, 2013 6:58 am

Full specs announced:
BFI Flipside presents
Sleepwalker
A film by Saxon Logan

The 27th title in the BFI’s pioneering Flipside series, which is generously supported by celebrated film director Nicolas Winding Refn, is Saxon Logan’s long-unseen incendiary horror satire Sleepwalker. Released on 23 September 2013, it is remastered from the only surviving print and presented for the first time on any home video format. This Dual Format Edition (Blu-ray and DVD) also contains two short films by Saxon Logan and the rare 1971 mid-length fantasy, The Insomniac, directed by Rodney Giesler.

When wealthy couple Richard and Angela visit Marion and Alex in their decaying family home, an evening of drunkenness and sexual rivalry turns bloody as the guests fall victim to an unhinged attacker. Featuring a rare acting performance from acclaimed director Bill Douglas (My Childhood, Comrades), and starring Joanna David and Heather Page (both of whom would go on to work with Douglas in his final film, Comrades), this outrageous mix of biting satire and bloody horror recalls the work of otherwise unlikely bedfellows, Lindsay Anderson and Dario Argento. The stellar cast also includes Nickolas Grace (An Ideal Husband, Two Deaths), and features cameos by Fulton Mackay (Porridge), Michael Medwin (Shoestring, The Army Game) and Raymond Huntley (Upstairs, Downstairs).

Special Features
• Presented in both High Definition and Standard Definition;
The Insomniac (Rodney Giesler, 1971, 45 mins): a man experiences a night-time world that is part foreboding nightmare, part sexual fantasy;
Stepping Out (Saxon Logan, 1977, 10 mins): a couple's untraditional early morning ritual is observed in a short drama which originally supported Polanski's The Tenant in UK cinemas;
Working Surface: A Short Study (with Actors) in 'The Ways' of a Bourgeois Writer (Saxon Logan, 1979, 15 mins): Bill Douglas plays a writer struggling with a script about the interior lives of two women (played by Joanna David and Heather Page);
• O Lucky Man: Saxon Logan in Conversation (2013, 75 mins): the director of Sleepwalker discusses his career, recalling his collaborations with the likes of Lindsay Anderson and Bill Douglas, in this exclusive interview.
• Extensive illustrated booklet with essays and film notes by Julian Grainger, Alex Davidson and Vic Pratt on all films, as well as complete credits.

Product Details
RRP: £19.99 / cat. no. BFIB1147 / Cert 15 / Flipside cat no: 027
UK / 1984 / colour / English language (optional English hard-of-hearing subtitles)
50 mins (+ extras) / Original aspect ratio 1.85:1
Disc 1: BD50 / 1080p / 24fps / PCM mono audio (48k/24-bit)
Disc 2: DVD9 / PAL / Dolby Digital mono audio (192kbps)

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MichaelB
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Re: Flipside 027: Sleepwalker

#23 Post by MichaelB » Thu Sep 12, 2013 9:48 am

Mondo Digital:
Now here's a horror film truly unlike anything else you've ever seen. Made during the last gasps of the British governmental subsidies for films with running times for a few minutes to nearly feature length, Sleepwalker is a once-lost and essentially unseen rarity from Saxon Logan, a compatriot of director Lindsay Anderson and one of the many fascinating figures who drifted through the English filmmaking scene during the 1970s and '80s. Part gory slasher film and part biting social satire, it's a wild revelation that will probably confound a few viewers but leave many others shaking their heads that this daring, stylish stunner has remained hidden for so long.

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antnield
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Re: Flipside 027: Sleepwalker

#24 Post by antnield » Sat Sep 14, 2013 1:48 pm

The Digital Fix:
[A] real prize, rediscovering two fine films in Sleepwalker itself and The Insomniac. With the excellent Logan interview and the inclusion of his early films with the fine booklet, this is one of the releases of the year so far.

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MichaelB
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Re: Flipside 027: Sleepwalker

#25 Post by MichaelB » Thu Sep 19, 2013 7:10 am

More reviews:

Strange Things Are Happening (David Flint)
New Empress (Martyn Conterio)
The Edge (Barnaby Walter)

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