Comfort and Joy (1984)
Thursday 18th February 2016
Bill Forsyth's charming and quirky urban fairy tale Comfort and Joy, the follow-up to his hit films Gregory's Girl and Local Hero, is a comedy gem about ice cream van wars in Glasgow. Featuring the director's trademark eccentric, gentle humour, and described as 'his masterpiece' by The Spectator, Comfort and Joy is being released for the first time on Blu-ray in the UK on 29th February 2016, courtesy of StudioCanal.
Bill Paterson stars as Glasgow radio host Alan Bird, who, after witnessing an ice cream van being attacked, becomes embroiled in a feud between two Italian families, a turf war over who gets to sell ice cream where in the city.
Scottish writer/director Bill Forsyth burst onto the cinema scene with in 1981 with Gregory's Girl, showcasing his unique talent for whimsical comedy. He went on to make Local Hero in 1983 with Hollywood star Burt Lancaster, a box office hit that won him the BAFTA for Best Director. Comfort and Joy, one of his best-loved films, paved the way for him to go to Hollywood, where he would work with the likes of Robin Williams and Burt Reynolds.
Bill Paterson is one of Scotland's most celebrated actors. Star of over 100 film and TV dramas, including memorable roles in The Witches, Truly Madly Deeply, The Killing Fields and The Singing Detective, he won a Scottish BAFTA in 1997 for Best Actor for his role in the TV adaptation of Iain Banks' The Crow Road. He is soon to be seen in the big screen version of Dad's Army as Private Fraser.
Glaswegian actress Clare Grogan shot to fame in Bill Forsyth's Gregory's Girl and Comfort and Joy, and has since gone on to act in Red Dwarf, EastEnders and Father Ted.
The brilliant soundtrack is by superstar guitarist Mark Knopfler from Dire Straits, who also composed the memorable score to Forsyth's BAFTA-winning Local Hero in 1983. Lyrics from Dire Straits songs are used in Comfort and Joy's script.
The film was inspired by real ice cream wars that took place in Glasgow in the 1980s.
Doctor Who star Peter Capaldi (who appeared in Forsyth's Local Hero) comes from a family of ice cream makers, who supplied ice cream for use in the film. Ron Donachie, who has a small role in Comfort and Joy, recently played Rodrik Cassel in Game Of Thrones. The film was shot by Chris Menges, who would go on to win Oscars for his work on The Killing Fields and The Mission.
Comfort and Joy is part of the Vintage Classics Collection - some of the most iconic films in British cinema history, digitally restored on DVD and Blu-ray, featuring brand new bonus material.
Comfort and Joy is part of the BFI's Britain on Film project, in which 1000's of titles will be digitised and made available online via BFI Player, as well as this physical release. Britain on Film was launched on July 7th. The Digital Film restoration was funded by StudioCanal in collaboration with the BFI's Unlocking Film Heritage programme (awarding funds from the National Lottery). To find out more visit bfi.org.uk/britain-on-film
- Brand new interview with stars Bill Paterson and Clare Grogan, and director Bill Forsyth