The Bodies Beneath
224 pp., 6 x 8 in, 48 b&w illus.
- Published: August 13, 2019
From occult rites in soft porn discos to Sooty the TV puppet's amphetamine problem, a feast of curiosities from British film and TV.
The past, they say, is another country, but as seen through the lens of British film and television, it is a deeply strange and unfamiliar land. From occult rites in soft porn discos to Sooty the TV puppet's amphetamine problem, from Old Mother Riley, and Vampire Hunter to Vincent Price's heart-attack-inducing cookery program, in this book veteran curators William Fowler and Vic Pratt have delved deep into the archives of the British Film Institute to serve up a feast of curiosities that will tempt the palate of even the most jaded cinephile.
Each chapter considers a key aspect of British life as seen through the psychotronic lens of pop culture. Do All the Right Noises and Under the Doctor tell us more about attitudes to marriage and sexuality than a sociological survey? Can American musicologist Alan Lomax capture a truer image of the weird rites of Cornish folk culture than a native Cornishman? Why was Peter Watkins's The War Game banned from TV screens? These crucial questions, and many more, will be answered, and awkward truths told, by our highly informed, erudite and amusing guides to this cultural hinterland.