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Thread: The BFI Releasing Legend Of The Witches & Secret Rites

  1. #1
    Administrator Ian Jane's Avatar
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    The BFI Releasing Legend Of The Witches & Secret Rites

    Coming in October 14th.

    The 39th release in the long standing BFI Flipside strand sees the release of two far out British films. Exploitation director Derek Ford’s (The Wife Swappers) Secret Rites and Malcolm Leigh’s Legend of the Witches.

    Legend of the Witches (1970, 78 mins): The originally X-rated film documentary which looks in detail at previously hidden magic rites and rituals. Sharing the secrets of initiation into a coven, divination through animal sacrifice, ritual scrying, the casting of a 'death spell', and the chilling intimacy of a Black Mass. It also explores Britain's hidden pagan heritage and its continued influence on our lives today.

    Secret Rites (1971, 47 mins): Part Mondo movie, part countercultural artefact, this strange mid-length 'documentary' by sex film director Derek Ford lifts the lid on witchcraft in 1970s Notting Hill. Mystery band The Spindle provide the groovy, psychedelic sounds while tentative occult enthusiast Penny and a serious-sounding narrator introduce the viewer to three ritual acts. Far out.

    BFI Flipside is dedicated to rediscovering the margins of British film, reclaiming a space for forgotten movies and filmmakers who would otherwise be in danger of disappearing from our screens forever. It is a home for UK cinematic oddities, offering everything from exploitation documentaries to B-movies, countercultural curios and obscure classics, If it's weird, British and forgotten, then it's Flipside.

    Presented in High Definition and Standard Definition
    Worldwide Blu-ray debut
    Feature-length commentary on Legend of the Witches by Maxine Sanders
    Newly filmed interview with Maxine Sanders
    Newly recorded commentary on Secret Rites by Flipside founders Vic Pratt and William Fowler
    Newly commissioned sleeve art by acclaimed illustrator Graham Humphreys
    **FIRST PRESSING ONLY** fully illustrated booklet with essays by Christina Harrington, publisher and expert on the occult Mark Pilkington, and authors of The Bodies Beneath, Vic Pratt and William Fowler. Includes full film credits.
    Other extras TBC

    https://shop.bfi.org.uk/pre-order-le...l#.XUGky-hKhPY

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  2. #2
    Shit hot! Saw Legend of the Witches years ago, haven't seen Secret Rites but I'm always up for something involving one of the Ford brothers. God bless the BFI!
    I'm bitter, I'm twisted, James Joyce is fucking my sister.

  3. #3
    Pitty we won't get the hard-core "export" version of Secret Rites.

  4. #4
    Administrator Ian Jane's Avatar
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    Update!

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    BFI Flipside presents:

    Legend of the Witches
    A film by Malcolm Leigh

    Secret Rites
    A film by Derek Ford

    Dual Format Edition (Blu-ray/DVD), release on 14 October 2019, with simultaneous iTunes and Amazon release for Legend of the Witches and both films will be available on BFI Player

    An eye-opening exploration of the occult, MalcolmLeigh’s X-rated quasi-documentary Legend of the Witches is an imaginative depiction of pagan rituals as they were supposedly practised at the dawn of the downer decade.

    Part mondo movie, part counter-cultural artefact, Secret Rites is a side-step towards documentary territory by notorious exploitation stalwart Derek Ford that purports to lift the veil on witchcraft-as-lifestyle-choice in 1970s Notting Hill. On 14 October, BFI Flipside will presents these films together in a Dual Format Edition, packed with an array of brilliant extras.

    Sharing the secrets of initiation into a coven, divination, ritual scrying, the casting of a ‘death spell’ and a chilling black mass, Legend of the Witches also visits Boscastle’s incredible Museum of Witchcraft, celebrates Britain’s pagan heritage and pays tribute to the perennial power of the witch.

    In Secret Rites, mystery band The Spindle provide psychedelic sounds while groovy hairdresser and tentative occultist Penny is initiated into the coven of Alex Sanders, who features prominently in both films.

    This release will be launched with a special event at BFI Southbank on Monday 14 October at 18:15. After a screening of Legend of the Witches, Doug Weir, BFI Technical Manager, who oversaw digital remastering, and witchcraft scholar Christina Oakley Harrington, PhD FRSA, director of Treadwells Books, will discuss the film with programmers William Fowler and Vic Pratt.

    Special features:

    Both films newly remastered in 2K
    Presented in High Definition and Standard Definition
    Newly recorded audio commentary on Secret Rites by BFI Flipside founders Vic Pratt and William Fowler
    The Witch’s Fiddle (1924, 7 mins): a silent film version of the eerie folk tale
    Out of Step: Witchcraft (1957, 14 mins): investigative journalist Dan Farson interviews the ‘father of Wicca’ Gerald Gardner in this rare TV documentary
    The Judgement of Albion (1968, 26 mins): bold Blakeian imagery populates this ode to resistance by the writer of Blood on Satan’s Claw
    Getting It Straight in Notting Hill Gate (1970, 25 mins): spaced-out sitars, Blue Beat 45s and the prog-rock grooves of Quintessence soundtrack this up-close flashback to Notting Hill Gate in 1970
    Image gallery: rare memorabilia and newspaper cuttings relating to the films, salvaged from the spooky ‘70s
    Newly commissioned sleeve artwork by renowned illustrator Graham Humphreys
    Illustrated booklet (***first pressing only***) with new essays by Christina Oakley Harrington, William Fowler, Vic Pratt, Mark Pilkington, Adrian Smith and Rob Young, notes on the special features and full film credits

    Product details

    RRP: £19.99 / Cat. no. BFIB1352 / BFI Flipside No. 039 / Cert 18

    UK / 1970 and 1971 / black and white, colour / 85 mins + 47 mins / English language with optional hard-of-hearing subtitles / original aspect ratio 1.33:1 / BD50: 1080p, 24fps, LPCM 1.0 mono audio (48kHz/24-bit) DVD9: PAL, 25fps, Dolby Digital mono audio (192kbps)
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  5. #5
    Working my way through this one, it's fantastic. There's some doubt as to whether a hardcore version of Secret Rites ever existed (I'd love to see it if so), although a book was published with a lot more (softcore?) sex photos from the shoot, so maybe.

    Also currently reading The Bodies Beneath. A great book for only a tenner, essential if you like BFI Flipside stuff. Now I'm going to stream Skinflicker, it sounds superb.
    I'm bitter, I'm twisted, James Joyce is fucking my sister.

  6. #6
    Administrator Ian Jane's Avatar
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    Screen caps on this look pretty good.

    http://www.dvdbeaver.com/film5/blu-r...es_blu-ray.htm
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