Discuss DVDs and Blu-rays released by the BFI and the films on them.

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#1 Post by rapta » Thu Jan 28, 2016 11:56 am

June 20th
AKENFIELD (Dual Format Edition)
A Film by Peter Hall

Loosely based on Ronald Blythe's acclaimed book Akenfield: Portrait of an English Village this unassuming yet powerful film traces three generations of one Suffolk family and their lives in the farming industry.

Described as a work of rural realism, Akenfield features a cast of non-professional actors drawn from the communities of several Suffolk villages. Featuring improvised dialogue and filmed mostly at weekends over the course of a year, the film offers an authentic depiction of country life and the effects of the changing seasons.

Told through the voices of farmhand Tom and his grandfather, all three generations grandfather, father and son are performed by the same actor (local farmer Garrow Shand), with the film painting a compelling picture of a traditional way of life facing a period of great change, brought about by the industrialisation of the 20th Century.

Special features and Extras TBC

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What A Disgrace
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Re: Akenfield (Hall)

#2 Post by What A Disgrace » Thu Jan 28, 2016 1:16 pm

Several of these Q2 releases sound like they could be released under the Flipside sub-label. Is this the case for any of them?

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Re: Akenfield

#3 Post by antnield » Wed May 25, 2016 8:58 am


- 2K restoration by the BFI National Archive
- Original trailer
- Akenfield Revisited (Rex Pyke, 2004, 40 mins): a documentary looking back as the making of Akenfield
- Behind the scenes footage of the filming of Akenfield
- Akenfield at the NFT (audio only, 2004): onstage interview with Sir Peter Hall, Ronald Blythe and Garrow Shand
- On-set interview with Ronald Blythe (1974)
- Interview with actor Garrow Shand (2004)
- Interview with writer Ronald Blythe (2004)
- Interview with director Sir Peter Hall (2004)
- New interview with Rex Pyke, producer of Akenfield (2016)
- Stills Gallery
- Fully illustrated booklet with contributions from Sir Peter Hall and Ronald Blythe

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Re: Akenfield

#4 Post by antnield » Thu Jun 02, 2016 12:45 pm


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Re: Akenfield

#5 Post by MichaelB » Mon Jul 04, 2016 1:07 pm

Full specs announced:
A film by Peter Hall
Based on the best-selling book by Ronald Blythe

Based on Ronald Blythe's acclaimed oral-history book Akenfield: Portrait of an English Village, Peter Hall’s extraordinary long-unseen film Akenfield offers a lyrical yet authentic depiction of British pastoral life. Now newly restored in 2K by the BFI National Archive, it will be released on DVD and Blu-ray for the first time in a Dual Format Edition on 25 July 2016. The discs are packed with special features including a making-of documentary and interviews with cast, crew and author Ronald Blythe.

Akenfield tells the story of a farming family who have lived for generations in the bucolic Suffolk village of the film’s title. Real-life local farmhand Garrow Shand gives a compelling naturalistic central performance, in three roles, as farmhand Tom Rouse, his father and grandfather – a lineage which has experienced hardship, happiness and love, and struggled with the pressures of mechanisation, two world wars and shifting social mores.

A profoundly romantic work of sublime poetic realism, Akenfield boasts compelling performances from its cast of non-professional actors (drawn from the living communities of several Suffolk villages) and a sweeping, rhapsodic orchestral score composed by Michael Tippett (Fantasia Concertante on a Theme of Corelli).

The influences of this quietly dramatic, humorous and deeply moving film, about the family ties that bind and the desire to escape deep roots, can still be felt in the lyrical, personal work of other directors such as Terence Davies and Mark Cousins.

Special features
• Brand new 2K digital restoration by the BFI National Archive
Akenfield Revisited (Rex Pyke, 2004, 39 mins): making-of documentary with extensive interviews
Akenfield on Location (1973, 19 mins): 16mm footage capturing the film’s production
• On-set Interview with Ronald Blythe (1973, 3 mins): filmed on the first day of production
• An Interview with Sir Peter Hall (2004, 12 mins)
• An Interview with Garrow Shand (2004, 11 mins)
• An Interview with Ronald Blythe (2004, 15 mins)
• An Interview with Rex Pyke (2016, 37 mins): newly-filmed interview with the film’s producer
Akenfield Cast and Crew Interview at the National Film Theatre (2004, 27 mins): on-stage interview, presented with original mute 16mm location footage
• Production Stills Gallery (4 mins)
• Illustrated booklet with writing by Sir Peter Hall and Ronald Blythe, and full film credits

Product details
RRP: £19.99/ Cat. no. BFIB1209 / Cert 12
UK / 1974 / colour / English language, with optional hard-of-hearing subtitles / 98 mins / original aspect ratio 2.35:1 // BD50: 1080p, 24fps, PCM mono audio (28kHz/24-bit) DVD9: PAL, Dolby Digital 2.0 mono (192kbps)

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Re: Akenfield

#6 Post by manicsounds » Sun Jul 31, 2016 6:42 am

Seems this is a Blu-ray and DVD debut worldwide? Can't find info on any previous DVD release of this.

Also noticed there is already another "Akenfield" thread but with only one post.

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bottled spider
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Re: Akenfield

#7 Post by bottled spider » Sat Mar 17, 2018 2:18 pm

Any positive reactions to this?

I got this because I'm interested in Peter Hall. My parents liked it. I have to admit, I had trouble getting into it. For one thing I had some mild irritations with volume, the grandfather's voice-overs being too soft and the musical score too loud....

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Re: Akenfield

#8 Post by bottled spider » Thu Jan 31, 2019 1:16 am

On a second look, I have to recant and repent: this is a marvelous film.

The main action or framework is a day in the life of a young farm labourer Tom, specifically the day of his grandfather's funeral. The present action is punctuated by flashbacks to the youth of his grandfather and father, both also named Tom, and both played by the same actor as the present day Tom. And there voice-overs from the grandfather as an old man. One infers the voice-overs are Tom recollecting conversations he had with his grandfather, and the flashbacks are perhaps occurring in Tom's imagination, based on all the anecdotes he's heard. The grandfather had fought in the First World War, and worked under a semi-feudal system at a time when agriculture was as yet little mechanized. The father was killed in the Second World War before Tom was born.

The rich interweaving of past and present, dialogue, voice-over, and the beautiful score make a kind of musical composition. The film emphasizes the harsh life of the previous generations, but the overall mood is highly lyrical.

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