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Permissive (Flipside Spine # 009) [Blu-ray]

(aka "Suzy Superscrew")


(Lindsay Shonteff, 1970)




Offered as a Dual Format Edition October 24th, 2011



Blu-ray: BFI



Region: FREE! (as verified by the Momitsu region FREE Blu-ray player)

Runtime: 1:29:54.555

Disc Size: 38,109,351,032 bytes

Feature Size: 16,222,095,744 bytes

Video Bitrate: 20.17 Mbps

Chapters: 12

Case: Standard Blu-ray case

Release date: January 25th, 2010



Aspect ratio: 1.33:1 matted to 1.78

Resolution: 1080p / 23.976 fps

Video codec: MPEG-4 AVC Video



LPCM Audio English 2304 kbps 2.0 / 48 kHz / 2304 kbps / 24-bit



English, None



• Original Permissive trailer

• Bread: Whilst hitch-hiking back from the Isle of Wight Festival, a group of friends decide to stage their own music event. But how will they afford it? (1:08:24)

• Bread - Deleted scenes: newly transferred from the original negative (16:33)

• Ave You Got a Male Assistant Please Miss? A humorous film in which a permissive couple are given some useful advice (4:27)

• Extensive illustrated booklet with contributions by I Q Hunter and Lee Dorrian, and Comus band-members' recollections if working with Lindsay Shonteff



The Film:

When Suzy arrives in London to visit an old school friend, she is unwittingly plunged into the ruthless world of the 'groupie'. Fuelled by sex, drugs and jealousy, her new lifestyle fosters in her a cold cynical instinct for survival. But tragedy is never faraway. With its effective blend of gritty location work, brooding flash-forward devices, and a soundtrack by cult acid folk and prog rock legends Comus, Forever More - who also star - and Titus Groan, Permissive is a dark British countercultural artefact that is shot through with grim authenticity.

Excerpt of review from BFI located HERE


Image:   NOTE: The below Blu-ray captures were taken directly from the Blu-ray disc.

As the accompanying booklet tells us, the film has undergone a full video restoration to remove scratches and dirt, replace missing frames and improve stability, and has undergone a full DVNR restoration. The good news, however, is that unlike some other production companies that use DVNR as a shotgun approach to give a quick clean and consistent image to their product, the BFI has used it in the right way, meticulously going through frame by frame to clean up the picture and thereby avoiding some of the easy pitfalls that have given the process a bad name. What's more, the MPEG-4 AVC Video/1080p transfer looks quite gorgeous on my system, with colors (reds in particular) looking vibrant and the contours of shapes looking sharp and well defined. Overall, its certainly a lovely transfer with satisfying clarity and richness of texture that you wouldn't expect given the source materials.















Audio & Music:

The Linear PCM audio track does an acceptable job with the dialogue and music (it's also free of all background interference like pops and hisses). Although it's a bonus feature, I'll mention here that the short film "Bread" has a good deal of background interference (mostly hissing) that I could only detect when the volume on my system was a little higher than usual. Like most of their releases, this disc comes with optional English subtitles.




Although I enjoyed the main film, I have to admit loving the short "Bread" even more. The film tells the story of a group of hippies outside of London that want to put on their own rock festival. Lacking the funds, they trick a country estate owner into lending them his manor for a week. While the set up may not sound like much, the film itself is oftentimes hilarious and worth the price of the disc alone. Also included are 17 minutes worth of silent outtakes from "Bread" and the original trailer for the main feature. Next, there's also a humorous short entitled "Ave You Got a Male Assistant Please Miss?" about a madcap dash to purchase contraceptives after a narrator tells a couple in bed about unwanted pregnancies. Finally, there's the typically thoughtful and gorgeous illustrated booklet, with numerous essays covering the film, its music, the director, and "Bread".



Bottom line:

The BFI has done another stellar job with this entry in their flipside series. It would be all too easy to write this film off as another instance of hippie sexploitation, but to do so would miss the point. While it may not be up to their caliber, I couldn't help but be reminded or Roeg's "Performance" and Schroeder's "More" in their attempt to mix the free love counterculture with the zeitgeist of the era. Its a worthy attempt and one that I doubt that I'd even have heard of if it weren't for this flipside series. When you add to that the bountiful extras on the disc, then you have one heck of a good release. Definitely recommended.

January 25th, 2010



Offered as a Dual Format Edition October 24th, 2011





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