As like buses (or trains more like in this case!) you wait ages for the odd post about British Silent Film and in particular a post about the great British film director Anthony Asquith and then you end up with two or three come along all at once (well, over the course of a few months or so anyway).
We first posted about the early work of Anthony Asquith late last year and then posted an introduction by composer Neil Brand about Asquith’s superb Underground (1928) earlier on this year to co-inside with the screening of Underground at the Curzon Community Cinema in April.
And on top of that we have a copy of Underground to give away to one lucky winner!
All you need to do is answer this very simple question:
What year did the London Underground first become operational?
Simply email the answer to firstname.lastname@example.org with ‘BFI UNDERGROUND’ in the subject header by the afternoon on Friday 14th June. The lucky winner will then be announced later that Friday evening and we will get the copy in the post for you in time for Monday morning. IT might take a little bit longer if you live outside the UK however!
The Underground DVD/BluRay Release:
Now, we’ve already had a very detailed look at the Dual Format release and it’s perfect. The film itself is wonderfully crisp throughout (on both DVD and BluRay) and the music is incredibly clear, just like the recent theatrical release we should add. What is an added bonus however is the great little extras with the release.
The extra films include A Trip on the Metropolitan Railway (1910) which is a typical phantom-ride style travelogue (always good fun), Scenes at Piccadilly Circus and Hyde Park Corner from 1930-32 and a great little 20 minute documentary called Under Night Streets from 1958 about the tube’s nightshift workers.
As alwaysm the booklet is also fantastic, with articles by the BFI’s Bryony Dixon and London Transport Museum’s Simon Murphy and much more. So, even if you don’t win a copy from us, we strongly suggest you buy a copy anyway. It’s fantastic!
But, just in case you don’t know all the excitement behind this release, here is a little bit of background about Underground and the great man behind it, Anthony Asquith. Underground is a subterranean tale of love, jealousy, treachery and murder and evokes the daily life of the average Londoner better than any other film in Britain’s silent canon.
In the late 1920s Asquith, along with Hitchcock, was one of the most audacious young talents in British film and Underground was his own original screenplay. With its scenes of the bustling tube (passenger behaviour is strikingly familiar) and the capital’s parks, double-decker buses, pubs and shabby bedsits, Asquith masterfully balances the light and dark sides of city life, aided by a superb cast of Brian Aherne and Elissa Landi as the nice young lovers and Norah Baring and Cyril McLaglen as their unhappy counterparts.
Restored by the BFI National Archive and following an acclaimed theatrical release in January, the BFI now brings the film to DVD and Blu-ray for the first time on 17 June 2013 in a Dual Format Edition.
Underground is presented with a new orchestral score composed by the great Neil Brand and performed by the BBC Symphony Orchestra; along with five short complementary films and an alternative score by musician/sound recordist Chris Watson.
As always, our thanks to the BFI for restoring and releasing a fantastic film!