Movies that are slightly off.
The Bed-Sitting Room
In the hazy aftermath of World War III, the fallout from a 'nuclear misunderstanding' (which lasted two minutes and twenty eight seconds, including the signing of the peace treaty) is producing strange mutations amongst the survivors, and the noble Lord Fortnum finds himself transforming into a bed sitting room.
According to Spike Milligan, who co-wrote the original stage play, The Bed-Sitting Room is an ultra-cynical examination of man's inability to escape the past. That cynical attitude pervades the superficial absurdity on display of post-apocalyptic Londoners going about as if nothing ever happened. Men in rags step behind broken TVs to read the news to an audience of one, a man pedals a stationary bicycle to power an electrical tower to keep the now-residential tube running on schedule, and life continues on apace.
Well, except for people turning into wardrobes, parrots, and the aforementioned bed-sitting room.
Reminiscent of the antic absurdist styles of Airplane!, Monty Python, and Benny Hill, The Bed-Sitting Room might have been just a little too helter-skelter…
Richard Lester (A Hard Day’s Night) directs this post-apocalyptic ensemble comedy about a group of disparate Brits trying to survive after World War III. The film features a who’s who of British comedy talent with the likes of Spike Milligan, Peter Cook, Dudley Moore, Arthur Lowe and Marty Feldman all having prominent parts. To call The Bed Sitting Room a strange experience is a bit of an understatement. It is an absurd and surrealist trip that happily pokes fun at the British culture, the class divide and stiff upper lips.
The thing that struck me most about the film was actually how beautiful it was at times. Although very much played for laughs, Lester has still created a striking film…
Massively underrated. You don't get many post-apocalyptic comedies anyway but Bed Sitting Room is definately an interesting watch. A truly surreal and peculiar piece of cinema showing Richard Lester, Spike Milligan and Peter Cook at their most bizarre. Plus a great Blu-ray transfer from the BFI as part of the Flipside series.
Eh? One of those magnificently madcap movies all but guaranteed to leave you scratching your head, this gathers a prime selection of top-level British comic talent to give us an absurdist take on a post-WWIII England. The BFI DVD rather rudely insinuates a far greater deal of Peter Cook than I was actually treated to, something I heavily begrudge it. His and Moore's roles are quite small, though still finely funny supports to an often surrealistic series of events that had me having to stuff a blanket in my mouth to avoid waking slumbering members of the household with my violent cacklings. It might be best described as a very British Dr Strangelove, in that without ever abandoning the crucial comic structure the story dons it attains an air of hopeless abandon, looking at humanity's future with the bleakest of smiles. A bizarre and baffling gem, it's a hysterical and kind of horrifying slice of post-apocalyptic life.
Delightfully bonkers British dystopia played with a completely straight face. To quote Ronan Doyle this is a bizarre and baffling gem, it's a hysterical and kind of horrifying slice of post-apocalyptic life. And very, very, British indeed. Made me laugh more than any Python or Pete and Dudley movie ever has, even if it runs out of steam towards the end.
"I hear a rumour sir, the Popes now allowing contraception for all occasions, except during sex and intercourse."
Very of its time and possibly forgotten about, until the BFI released it, i only knew about this film from a still i saw in a film book from over thirty years ago! This image of Dandy Nichols dressed as the Queen on a horse, under a construction of old washing machine, which are made to look somewhat like Marble Arch, as stayed with me ever since!
A very surreal and 'British' comedy about a post nuclear Britain. Sending up British characteristics that seem to be long gone and are kind of 'doubtfully' recognisable in 2009. A shame really; the british upper-classes carry on to be labored on by lesser classes in what seems to be a quarry or a…
"Surreal" is the best word I can describe this ludicrously awesome satire. More real than real, Dick Lester's The Bed-Sitting Room will be our reality, if we let Trump put his small fingers on the big button.
Lester's wit is our salvation. In an era where we can't seem to tell a good satire from a bad one, we can always look at the 60s comedies of Lester to find inspiration and the ultimate in chic, cool, and crazy. The Bed-Sitting Room is all three.
A dark comedy with bite and bark and a bonkers spin on the apocalypse doomsday scenario, it starts strong and only gets bitterer and better as it crawls along. In the aftermath of WWIII, Britain…
"The Bed-Sitting Room" is definitely the film equivalent of Marmite, but this was even sweeter the second time around. You really have to be in the right mood for this absurdist, post-apocalyptic, satirical black comedy (i.e. silly) film about the aftermath of World War III and an old lord mutating into a bed-sitting room, but if you are this really hits the spot. It looks spectacular with some great location work and Arthur Lowe does a very convincing parrot.
never had it so good
A family living on a functioning subway train in post-apocalyptic London travels to the surface, where they find Marty Feldman in drag and Ralph Richardson, whom the radiation has mutated into a bed-sitting room. You can see the roots of Monty Python in this Spike Milligan/John Antrobus scripted, Richard Lester directed absurd black farce that satirizes British propriety more than nuclear anxiety.
Two enjoyable, lengthy interviews with Peter Cook and Spike Milligan on the BFI Flipside Blu-ray extra features. I was fearing the worst when Spike was asked leading questions about women’s lib and immigration, but he gave thoughtful, intelligent answers throughout
Underrated and as sad as funny. I prefer HOW I WON THE WAR, which is both nastier and funnier, but the overwhelming melancholy of this post-apocalypse story is rather impressively unique. Helluva cast, too.
Despite the chilling views of post-nuclear London, the spectacular cast of sixties comic talent, the overlap with Lindsay Anderson's, Derek Jarman's and Peter Watkins' work... this is too dull, whimsical and oblique to work effectively. Milligan's words sound wrong when spoken by non-Goons, despite Ralph Richardson and Arthur Lowe. The constant, surreal puns are at odds with the bleak subject. I love everyone involved, especialky the director, but I really didn't get into it. Still looks great though!
"In didactic terms I don't think that it succeeds but I don't know that it's supposed to succeed."
From his book Essential Cinema.
A huge thanks to everyone who added films, helped me find films with alternate titles,…
I'm a sucker for films set after an apocalypse so I thought a list might be useful. It is by…