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One of the most significant films ever made about the Troubles in Ireland, the 1936 Ourselves Alone comes to UK DVD this month from Network as part of 'The British Film' collection.
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Full details of Dissent & Disruption: The Complete Alan Clarke at the BBC

20 April 2016

Already described as ‘The decade’s most exciting home entertainment release’, Dissent and Disruption: The Complete Alan Clarke at the BBC is now in sight, with the release date for the 13-disc Blu-ray box set and two DVD volumes confirmed for 30th May 2016. This much overdue collection finally brings together the long-unavailable BBC TV work of one of Britain’s greatest ever directors. The BFI have also confirmed the full contents of these early awaited sets, which are detailed below.

Although best remembered for three controversial and groundbreaking dramas – the notorious Scum, Made in Britain and The Firm – the breadth of Alan Clarke’s radical, political, innovative, inspirational work, with actors including Gary Oldman, Philip Davis (The Firm), Ray Winstone, Phil Daniels (Scum), Tim Roth (Made in Britain) and even David Bowie (Baal), and his influence on directors like Gus Van Sant, Paul Greengrass, Harmony Korine, Clio Barnard and Shane Meadows should see him rightly regarded as one of Britain’s greatest ever filmmaking talents. While much of his work was documentary-like in its gritty realism, and in the way he focused on society’s marginal groups and underdogs, Clarke’s versatility saw him turn his hand to comedy (Rita, Sue and Bob Too), minimalism (Elephant, Christine) and adaptations of writers as diverse as Bertolt Brecht and Georg Büchner.

These truly magnificent Blu-ray and DVD collections, the most comprehensive packages ever produced by the BFI for a single filmmaker, feature newly remastered presentations of all surviving Alan Clarke BBC TV productions, including Penda’s Fen, Diane, Scum, Nina, Baal, Christine, Road, The Firm and Elephant, along with lesser-known work and previously unseen rarities.

In addition to these enthralling films, there are over 25 special features in the Blu-ray box set. Highlights include a newly recorded commentary by Gary Oldman for The Firm Director’s Cut, five filmed introductions by writer David Leland, extracts from BBC discussion shows Tonight and Open Air, the new multi-part documentary Alan Clarke: Out of His Own Light, nine audio commentaries and a 200-page book containing new essays and full credits. The Blu-ray set also contains a bonus DVD of six long-unseen episodes from Rediffusion’s Half Hour Story strand from the late 1960s. Full details on all special features are below.

After beginning his career at ATV and Rediffusion, Alan Clarke joined the BBC in 1969 and made his mark in the weekly feature-length drama strands The Wednesday Play and Play for Today, with a new and highly distinctive directorial style. He developed a cult following for his hard-hitting work which dissected the darker side of British life, telling stories about neglected or despised groups in contemporary society, like skinheads and football hooligans, and he focused on the troubles in Northern Ireland for his groundbreaking works Contact and Elephant. Clarke worked with a regular team of high-calibre writers that included David Leland, David Rudkin, Roy Minton, Alun Owen and Edna O’Brien. In 1977, Scum, his violent exposé of shockingly brutal conditions in a borstal, was banned by a nervous BBC and not shown for 14 years. Determined to see the story told, Clarke then made the film version released in 1979 to great acclaim.

Working in television during a significant period in the evolution of TV drama, Clarke’s peers were the likes of Mike Leigh, Ken Loach, Dennis Potter and Stephen Frears, who said, in the Foreword to Alan Clarke (Ed: Richard Kelly, Faber & Faber, 1998): “He was sceptical, cynical of authority, rebellious but not ideological, instinctively principled but also practical and canny, solitary but the best company, authoritative but not in search of power…as serious and as funny as anyone I’ve ever met”. Interviewed in Corin Campbell Hill’s documentary Director: Alan Clarke (1991) made the year after Clarke’s death, Frears simply said: ”He was the best of all of us.”

Dissent and Disruption Blu-ray

Dissent & Disruption: Alan Clarke at the BBC (1969-1989) – Limited Edition 13-disc Blu-ray box set | RRP: £149.99

Includes all surviving BBC TV productions directed by Alan Clarke, extensive extra features (as detailed below), a 200-page book with new essays and full credits, and an exclusive bonus DVD containing six of the seven surviving Half Hour Story episodes directed by Clarke:

The Last Train Through Harecastle Tunnel (1969) / Sovereign’s Company (1970) / The Hallelujah Handshake (1970) / To Encourage the Others (1972) / Under the Age (1972) / Horace (1972) / The Love-Girl and the Innocent (1973) / Penda’s Fen (1974) / A Follower for Emily (1974) / Diane (1975) / Funny Farm (1975) / Scum (1977) / Nina (1978) / Danton’s Death (1978) / Beloved Enemy (1981) / Psy-Warriors (1981) / Baal (1982) / Stars of the Roller State Disco (1984) / Contact (1985) / Christine (1987) / Road (1987) / The Firm: Director’s Cut (1989, previously unreleased) / The Firm: Broadcast version (1989) / Elephant (1989)

Special features:

  • Exclusive bonus DVD with six Clarke-directed Rediffusion Half Hour Story episodes: Shelter (1967, 27 mins); The Gentleman Caller (1967, 25 mins); Goodnight Albert (1968, 26 mins); Stella (1968, 26 mins); The Fifty-Seventh Saturday (1968, 26 mins); and Thief (1968, 26 mins)

  • George’s Room (1967, 25 mins): Clarke’s colour production for Rediffusion, written by Alun Owen, and starring Geraldine Moffatt and John Neville

  • Alan Clarke: Out of His Own Light (2016, 230 mins approx): twelve-part documentary featuring interviews with fifty of Clarke’s collaborators, family and friends

  • Alan Clarke at The Questor’s Theatre: stills gallery documenting Clarke’s time as a theatre director in Ealing

  • David Leland introduces To Encourage the Others (1991, 3 mins)

  • Diane audio commentary with Janine Duvitski and Richard Kelly (2016)

  • David Leland introduces Scum (1991, 7 mins)

  • Scum audio commentary with David Threlfall, Margaret Matheson, Phil Daniels and Nigel Floyd (2004)

  • Tonight: Scum discussion (1978, 11 mins)

  • Arena: ‘When is a play not a play?’ (1978, 46 mins): fascinating documentary examining the then-new trend in TV plays which combined elements of documentary and drama to create gritty, and often brutal, work

  • Bukovsky (Alan Clarke, 1977, 50 mins): Alan Clarke’s never-before-seen documentary

  • Bukovsky outtakes (50 mins): location footage, including sections featuring Clarke himself

  • Bukovsky audio commentary with Jehane Markham, Grenville Middleton and Sam Dunn (2016)

  • David Markham interview with Alan Clarke (20 mins, audio only): recorded during the production of Bukovsky

  • Alan Clarke’s letters to the Markhams: stills gallery, with readings by Jehane Markham
    David Leland introduces Contact (1991, 4 mins)

  • Contact audio commentary with Sean Chapman and Allan Bairstow (2016)

  • AFN Clarke on Contact (2016): the writer of Contact recalls the production and working with Alan Clarke

  • Christine audio commentary with Corin Campbell Hill and Sam Dunn (2016)

  • David Leland introduces Road (1991, 3 mins)

  • Road audio commentary with Corin Campbell Hill, Stuart Walker and Sam Dunn (2016)

  • Open Air: Road discussion (1987, 26 mins): audience feedback programme featuring Road star Mossie Smith, co-producer Andrée Molyneux and Alan Clarke

  • Alan Clarke on location: gallery of previously-unseen photographs

  • David Leland introduces The Firm (1991, 3 mins)

  • The Firm (Director’s Cut) audio commentary with Gary Oldman

  • The Firm (Broadcast version) audio commentary with Lesley Manville, Phil Davis, David Rolinson and Dick Fiddy (2007)

  • Elephant audio commentary with Danny Boyle and Mark Kermode (2004)

  • Open Air: Elephant discussion (1989, 21 mins)

  • Alan Clarke interview (1989): Clarke discusses Elephant and The Firm in an interview shot in LA

  • Fully illustrated 200-page book with a foreword by Molly Clarke, an introduction by Danny Leigh and new essays by David Rolinson, Lisa Kerrigan, Alex Davidson, Mark Duguid, Nick Wrigley, Kaleem Aftab, Sukhdev Sandu, Lizzie Francke, Ashley Clark, Sam Dunn, Allan Bairstow, Richard T Kelly and Nick James; and full production credits

 

Dissent DVD cover

Alan Clarke at the BBC, volume 1: Dissent (1969-1977) – 6-DVD box set | RRP: £69.99

Includes newly remastered presentations of all surviving Alan Clarke BBC TV productions up to 1977, as well as filmed introductions by writer David Leland, extracts from BBC discussion shows Tonight and Arena, parts 1–6 of new multi-part documentary Alan Clarke: Out of His Own Light, audio commentaries and a 100-page book containing new essays and full credits.

The Last Train Through Harecastle Tunnel (1969) / Sovereign’s Company (1970) / The Hallelujah Handshake (1970) / To Encourage the Others (1972) / Under the Age (1972) / Horace (1972) / The Love-Girl and the Innocent (1973) / Penda’s Fen (1974) / A Follower for Emily (1974) / Diane (1975) / Funny Farm (1975) / Scum (1977)

Special features:

  • Alan Clarke: Out of His Own Light (2016): parts 1-6 of a new documentary featuring interviews with fifty of Clarke’s collaborators, family and friends

  • George’s Room (1967, 25 mins): Clarke’s colour production for Rediffusion, written by Alun Owen, and starring Geraldine Moffatt and John Neville

  • Alan Clarke at The Questor’s Theatre: stills gallery documenting Clarke’s time as a theatre director in Ealing

  • David Leland introduces To Encourage the Others (1991)

  • Diane audio commentary with Janine Duvitski and Richard Kelly (2016)

  • David Leland introduces Scum (1991, 7 mins)

  • Scum audio commentary with David Threlfall, Margaret Matheson, Phil Daniels and Nigel Floyd (2004)

  • Tonight: Scum discussion (1978)

  • Arena: ‘When is a play not a play?’ (1978): fascinating documentary examining the then-new trend in TV plays which combined elements of documentary and drama to create gritty, and often brutal, work

  • Fully illustrated 100-page book with a foreword by Molly Clarke and new essays by Alex Davidson, Mark Duguid, Nick Wrigley, Kaleem Aftab, Sukhdev Sandu, Lisa Kerrigan, David Rolinson, Lizzie Francke and Ashley Clark; and full production credits

 

Disruption DVD cover

Alan Clarke at the BBC, volume 2: Disruption (1978-1989) – 6-DVD box set | RRP: £69.99

Includes newly remastered presentations of all Alan Clarke BBC TV productions from 1978 to 1989, as well as three filmed introductions by writer David Leland, extracts from BBC discussion show Open Air, parts 7-12 of new multi-part documentary Alan Clarke: Out of His Own Light, footage from Alan Clarke’s unbroadcast documentary Bukovsky (1977), two versions of The Firm, five audio commentaries and a 100-page book.

Nina (1978) / Danton’s Death (1978) / Beloved Enemy (1981) / Psy-Warriors (1981) / Baal (1982) / Stars of the Roller State Disco (1984) / Contact (1985) / Christine (1987) / Road (1987) / The Firm: Director’s Cut (1989, previously unreleased) / The Firm: Broadcast version (1989) / Elephant (1989)

Special features:

Alan Clarke: Out of His Own Light (2016): parts 7-12 of a new documentary featuring interviews with fifty of Clarke’s collaborators, family and friends

Bukovsky (Alan Clarke, 1977, 50 mins): Alan Clarke’s never-before-seen documentary

Bukovsky outtakes (50 mins): location footage, including sections featuring Clarke himself

Bukovsky audio commentary with Jehane Markham, Grenville Middleton and Sam Dunn (2016)

David Markham interview with Alan Clarke (20 mins, audio only): recorded during the production of Bukovsky

Alan Clarke’s letters to the Markhams: stills gallery, with readings by Jehane Markham

David Leland introduces Contact (1991, 4 mins)

Contact audio commentary with Sean Chapman and Allan Bairstow (2016)

AFN Clarke on Contact (2016): the writer of Contact recalls the production and working with Alan Clarke

Christine audio commentary with Corin Campbell Hill and Sam Dunn (2016)

David Leland introduces Road (1991, 3 mins)

Road audio commentary with Corin Campbell Hill, Stuart Walker and Sam Dunn (2016)

Open Air: Road discussion (1987, 26 mins): audience feedback programme featuring Road star Mossie Smith, co-producer Andrée Molyneux and Alan Clarke

Alan Clarke on location: gallery of previously-unseen photographs

David Leland introduces The Firm (1991, 3 mins)

The Firm (Director’s Cut) audio commentary with Gary Oldman

The Firm (Broadcast version) audio commentary with Lesley Manville, Phil Davis, David Rolinson and Dick Fiddy (2007)

Elephant audio commentary with Danny Boyle and Mark Kermode (2004)
Open Air: Elephant discussion (1989, 21 mins)

Alan Clarke interview (1989): Clarke discusses Elephant and The Firm in an interview shot in LA

Fully illustrated 200-page book with a foreword by Molly Clarke, an introduction by Danny Leigh and new essays by David Rolinson, Lisa Kerrigan, Alex Davidson, Mark Duguid, Nick Wrigley, Kaleem Aftab, Sukhdev Sandu, Lizzie Francke, Ashley Clark, Sam Dunn, Allan Bairstow, Richard T Kelly and Nick James; and full production credits; and full production credits