Tuesday, 3 July 2012

BFI DVD: Roll Out The Barrel

Roll Out The Barrel is a compilation of short films on the British pub.
The 2 disc collection of 20 films in black and white and colour begins with The Story of English Inns from 1944 and ends with Local Life from 1982.
What we get is a combination of documentaries and trade films, some entertaining and some lacklustre.

There are a few highlights for me beginning with All In Good Time, shot by one of my favourite cinematographers, Peter Jessop and set in a pub in Banbury where one of a newlywed couple steals an ashtray from a pub table.
Under The Table You Must Go is a tour of London pubs and clubs with TV and radio personalities of the time including Jon Pertwee, Jimmy Hill and Richard "Stinker" Murdoch. My favourite clip is the light hearted look at the history of pubs starring Richard Wattis, What'll You Have?

Guinness For You is a fairly abstract trade film with an abstract soundtrack that wouldn't be out of place on a Throbbing Gristle or Anal album.
Some of Monty Python's Flying Circus demonstrate how to clean keg lines in Henry Cleans Up.

It's an interesting collection, some of the films I shall watch again, others I won't.
The DVD comes with a warning that it contains scenes of, prepare to be shocked folks, drinking.

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