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You're Human Like the Rest of Them: The Films of BS Johnson DVD+Blu-ray

BS Johnson, 1967-74

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Film Details

Directed by BS Johnson

Produced in 1967-74

Main Language - English

Countries & Regions - British Film

Film Description

Although perhaps best known for ground-breaking novels such as The Unfortunates and Christy Malry’s Own Double-Entry, BS Johnson was also the director a number of a number of extraordinary and daring films that have been out of circulation for decades. You’re Human Like the Rest of Them brings these rare and fascinating works - experimental shorts, humorous animation, provocative agitprop and uniquely personal documentaries - together for the first time, revealing Johnson to have been as radical and inventive a filmmaker as he was a writer. From his award-winning 1967 experimental film You’re Human Like the Rest of Them, which was based on his own poem, written in decasyllabics, to his ground-breaking TV films, including The Unfortunates (BBC) and the extraordinary Fat Man on a Beach (HTV), Johnson’s work is fuelled by his passionate belief in the power of words and images to convey the truth of our existence, and is filled with his infectious sense of humour. Amongst the ten premiere presentations in this unique collection is Not Counting the Savages, Johnson's uncompromising 1972 TV play, directed by Mike Newell. Considered lost for decades, it is presented from the only surviving material a black and white video recording discovered only a few months ago in the Johnson family home.

Contains: You're Human Like the Rest of Them (1967, 17 mins): multi-award-winning tale of a teacher confronting his own mortality; Paradigm (1968, 9 mins): William Hoyland gives a performance of supreme virtuosity in this arresting experimental film; The Unfortunates (1969, 15 mins, DVD only): Johnson brings aspects of his book to life in this short BBC TV film; Up Yours Too Guillaume Apollinaire! (1969, 2 mins): a humorous animated take on the calligrams of the famous poet and eroticist; Unfair! (1970, 8 mins): provocative agitprop piece with Bill Owen; March! (1970, 13 mins): documentary made for the ACTT union; Poem (1971, 1 min): poignant short set to the words of Samuel Beckett; B. S. Johnson on Dr. Samuel Johnson (1972, 26 mins): a learned and full-bodied appreciation of the great writer; Not Counting the Savages (1972, 29 mins, DVD only): Mike Newell's adaptation of Johnson's intense play, made for BBC TV's Thirty Minutes Theatre; Fat Man on a Beach (1974, 39 mins): part documentary, part creative exploration, this was a highlight of 1970s TV programming.

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DVD+Blu-ray Details

Certificate: 15

Publisher: BFI

Length: 160 mins

Aspect ratio: 4:3

Format: DVD+Blu-ray Colour

Region: 2

Released: 15th April 2013

Cat No: BFIB1145

DVD+Blu-ray Extras

  • 2 discs
  • The Johnson Papers - A documentary on the British Library's BS Johnson Archive
  • Extensive booklet with new writings by contributors including directors Bruce Beresford and Michael Bakewell, Johnson biographer Jonathan Coe, and acclaimed comedy writer David Quantick.

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