Offbeat: British Cinema’s Curiosites, Obscurities and Forgotten Gems


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Offbeat: British Cinema’s Curiosities, Obscurities and Forgotten Gems edited by Julian Upton

Paperback – Headpress – Apr 2022 – 600 pages

For years there has been consensus about the merits of Britain’s ‘cult films’ — Peeping TomWitchfinder GeneralThe Italian Job — but what of The MarkUnearthly StrangerThe Strange AffairThe Squeeze? Revisionist critics wax lyrical over Get Carter and The Wicker Man, but what of Sitting Target, Quest for Love, and The Black Panther? Offbeat redresses this imbalance by exploring Britain’s obscurities, curiosities and forgotten gems — from the buoyant leap in film production in the late fifties to the dying days of popular domestic cinema in the early eighties.

Featuring essays, interviews and in-depth reviews, Offbeat provides an exhaustive, enlighting and entertaining guide through a host of neglected cinematic trends and episodes, including:

  • The last great British B-movies
  • ‘Anti-swinging sixties’ films
  • Sexploitation — from Yellow Teddy Bears to Emmanuelle in Soho
  • The British rock’n’roll movie
  • CIA-funded British Cartoons
  • Asylums in British cinema
  • The Children’s Film Foundation
  • The demise of the short as supporting feature
  • Val Guest, Sidney Hayers and the forgotten journeymen of British film
  • Swashbucklers, crime thrillers, and other non-horror Hammers


Now updated with more than 150 pages of new reviews and essays, featuring:

  • The Beatles in Colour!
  • The History of the AA Certificate
  • Ken Russell’s 1980s Films
  • Iris Murdochs’s A Severed Head
  • Curating Offbeat films in the Digital Age


And much more!


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