Saturday 14th July 2007
Surreal, highly controversial, and bloodily anti-establishment, If... was made to shock. Filmed in 1968, at the time of the Paris student uprisings, this acclaimed trailblazing film won accolades at the time of its release and continues to pull in plaudits more than thirty years later. In 1969, If... won the Grand Prix at the Cannes film festival, and has recently been voted 12th in The British Film Institute's 'Favourite British Films of the Twentieth Century' poll.
Directed by Lindsay Anderson and shot at his own school in Cheltenham, If... is the story of rebellion against autocracy, but represents something far darker. Showcasing one of Malcolm MacDowell's earliest great performances, it was If... that caught Stanley Kubrick's eye while he was casting A Clockwork Orange.
MacDowell's Mick Travis is returning to his public boys' school for a new term. Terminally persecuted by the Whips, Travis and his non-conformist gang encounter all of the stereotypical traditions of boarding school life. Choosing to ask when we live, rather than fitting in to life thrust upon them, Travis and his friends embark on a series of misadventures that protract their experience of eroticism, authority and violence.
The film sets out with scenes of eerie reverie and shocking brutality, such as genital inspections and confirmation classes. As the prison-like nature of school tries to take hold and beatings become routine, Travis's reactions become increasingly bold, eventually culminating in breathtaking scenes of tyranny and destruction.
Nominated for two BAFTAs for direction and screenplay, If... stunned critics and firmly established MacDowell in the big league. Now released for the first time ever on DVD, If... comes with a realm of extras to enhance the 'up-yours' experience.
- A 2003 episode of the BBC Scotland series 'Cast & Crew' hosted by Kirsty Wark, and with guests Producer Michael Medwin, Screenwriter David Sherwin, Director of Photography Miroslav Ondricek and Assistant to the Director, Stephen Frears, and with contributions from Malcolm McDowell. This programme is an in-depth discussion of the history and the making of 'if'. A rarely seen and thoroughly worthwhile addition for collectors
- Thursday's Children : Lindsay Anderson's Academy Award winning documentary from 1955 about a school for deaf children. Produced by Guy Brenton, the film is narrated by Richard Burton. For followers of Lindsay Anderson's work, film aficionados and social historians, 'Thursday's Children' is essential viewing. The film is the quintessential example of the British documentary movement of the 1950s and 1960s and is testament to Anderson's versatility as a filmmaker
- Also included in this package is a newly recorded interview with Graham Crowden (the History Master), who stands out as probably the most sympathetic of Mick's teachers in 'if'. Crowden is both funny and informative as he remembers his work on the film
- Each DVD comes with 5 postcards showing memorable film stills. Amazon are also selling the DVD with the original screenplay included