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Set in post-nuclear-holocaust England, where a handful of bizarre characters struggle on with their lives in the ruins, amongst endless heaps of ash, piles of broken crockery and brick, muddy plains, and heaps of dentures and old boots. Patriotically singing "God Save Mrs. Ethel Shroake, Long Live Mrs. Ethel Shroake", they wander through this surrealistic landscape, forever being warned by the police to "keep moving", and prone to the occasional mutation into a parrot, cupboard, or even, yes, a bed sitting room with "No Wogs" scrawled in the grime on its windows. In particular, this story revolves around the odd "love story" of a girl who lives with her parents in one compartment of a London Underground train, the commuter in the next compartment, and the doctor they meet after returning above ground in search of a nurse for the heavily pregnant girl. Written by
Sonya Roberts <email@example.com>
This is a visually stunning, funny, brilliant, and extravagantly weird film that should best be compared to El Topo, Barbarella, Playtime, and the Cremaster series. It's the kind of movie made with a big studio budget and free artistic reign; a combination that existed in other late 60s and early 70s bombs that have become cult classics.
Imagine if Monty Python did a lot of LSD, spent a million dollars on art direction, and then made a nuclear-apocalypse satire. Each shot is as sumptuous and symbolically rich as any Mathew Barney created - what with middle class Brits walking on a field of broken china, Underground escalators that end in mid-air, and Cathedrals submerged in water. Plot-wise, this is as free-of-field as an experimental film. Whether you think it profoundly beautiful or profoundly ugly, the look is in the Quay brothers'/Dubuffet mold. Its narrative loosely strings together amazing images, costumes, and poignant, often hilarious scenes of British society desperately trying to hold on to any remaining shards of civilization. The Bed Sitting Room is full of sarcastic comments and profound notions. It is not full of plot - it's amazing without it.
If there is any chance to see this movie on screen, take it. Any frame is worth the price of admission.
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