We kick off our slate in April with a DVD release of the BBC’s landmark sci-fi drama The Year of the Sex Olympics. Written by Nigel Kneale (Quatermass and the Pit) and starring Leonard Rossiter, Suzanne Neve and Brian Cox (Succession), it remains one of the most original pieces of television ever produced, presciently foreshadowing the likes of Big Brother and the phenomenon that is Love Island.
The very best of the Central Office of Information (COI) film collection comes together on Blu-ray this April. Featuring many of the COI’s best-loved public information films – including Apaches, Lonely Water, Design for Today and Charley’s March of Time – the two-disc Best of COI collection presents a curated selection of titles in high definition for the very first time.
Peter Sellers stars in the acclaimed gender-war satire The Battle of the Sexes, directed by Charles Crichton (The Lavender Hill Mob, A Fish Called Wanda). Featuring Sellers at the peak of his powers and a supporting cast including Donald Pleasence and Robert Morley, this classic British comedy will be released on dual format edition Blu-ray and DVD.
May sees Mark Cousins’ epic study of female filmmakers Women Make Film: A New Road Movie through Cinema released on four-disc Blu-ray. This monumental ‘how to make a film’ guide explores 183 films directed by women across 14 hours, with narration by a roster of acclaimed female actors, including Tilda Swinton and Jane Fonda.
As part of the BFI’s Japan 2020 blockbuster, a host of classic Japanese films will be released on Blu-ray in May and June. The first of these will be a 4K restoration of Yausjiro Ozu’s The Flavour of Green Tea over Rice, available on dual format edition Blu-ray and DVD for the first time in the UK.
Toshio Matsumoto’s controversial debut Funeral Parade of Roses also receives its UK Blu-ray premiere in late spring. A counter cultural, anti-establishment milestone, this highly-influential avant-garde classic (which counts Stanley Kubrick among its admirers) is a one-of-kind cinematic experience and one of the most intoxicating films of the 1960s.
June sees the Boulting brothers’ 1948 drama The Guinea Pig receive its first ever Blu-ray release. Starring a young Richard Attenborough, this classic British class-conflict melodrama is presented in a new 2K remaster.
The experimental and political sci-fi drama Friendship’s Death by renowned film theorist Peter Woollen (who died in December) receives its worldwide Blu-ray and DVD premiere. Starring Tilda Swinton and Bill Paterson (Fleabag), the film has been newly remastered by the BFI National Archive, with the release coinciding with a BFI retrospective of Swinton’s career.
Our Japan 2020 releases continue with a brand new 4K restoration of Yausjiro Ozu’s Tokyo Story. One of the greatest films of all time, Ozu’s enduring masterpiece has never looked so good and is an essential addition to any cinephile’s collection.
The Japanese focus also sees us celebrate the work of Takeshi Kitano, with a Blu-ray boxset featuring three of the director’s most popular titles. Violent Cop, Sonatine and Boiling Point come together on the Takeshi Kitano Collection, the first time this influential trio have been available in high definition in the UK.
And finally, following its forthcoming theatrical release this February, Jessica Hausner’s Little Joe receives a dual format edition release in mid-July. This “gloriously offbeat sci-fi indie” (Empire) stars Ben Whishaw and Emily Beecham, the latter in a Cannes Film Festival best actress award-winning performance.