Monday, 30 July 2012

Barbarella Blu-ray Day

If anyone is remotely interested in owning this strange but insanely groovy film in high definition, then today is the day and Nick Setchfield has written a review of its Blu ray release over at SFX. It's certainly not a film you would watch for the story but visually it's pretty unique and completely of its time. I remember first reading about it in Photoplay film magazine when I was a teenager and wanting to see it, but having to wait until it was shown on tv. In these days of instant accessibility it seems strange to recall just how long we would have to wait to see a film and the constant checking of the tv listings for fear of missing it.

The other factor was of course that there was absolutely no way to 'keep' a film and watch it later. There were no video recorders and heaven forbid if my parents wanted to watch something on the other channel at the same time! Anyhow as it so happened, it did finally show up in the listings and it was on so late that my folks had gone to bed anyway. I had my SLR camera set up on a tripod with the shutter speed set at 1/15th of a second to avoid any diagonal tv scan lines. I also had a cassette player to record the music soundtrack which I'd heard was a good one. I did actually manage to get some pretty good shots, considering there was no replay and the soundtrack, well, I've always liked it and its one of those that has been heavily sampled over the years by the likes of Dimitri from Paris. Anyway, I guess this is why owning a good quality copy of the film for me is a pretty big deal. 

A couple of years after the tv screening and by chance, I was lucky enough to discover a massive photo album of original on-set bromide prints in a little back-yard movie memorabilia shop. They were pretty expensive for a teenager who was earning his money working after school in the local supermarket and I kick myself now for not asking my father for a loan to buy what would now be worth an absolute fortune. I did however manage to buy a few of the prime shots and I have never seen these in print or on the internet since. One day I may scan them...

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