TOA/V: The Bed Sitting Room

As a preamble, let me say WHOOHOO Fox Spirit! Nominated (for the second year in a row) for best small press in the British Fantasy Awards — as well as several other skulk noms. Well done!

I finally got the Blu-Ray/DVD package of The Bed Sitting Room because it came up in conversation on the J G Ballard group. I have long had a very poor recorded-off-television-on-videotape-then-transferred-to-dvd copy. When the beauty of the photography was mentioned I thought ‘huh?’ and since the dual package was cheap (and meant a copy for each residence) I decided to take the (not especially deep) plunge.

And yes of course it’s Peter Cook and Dud and Spike Milligan and a terrific cast of luminaries and Richard Lester, so of interest naturally to any fans of them all. I remember reading the play written by Spike and John Atrobus in the British Library and trying not to laugh too loud as I always seem to be making too much noise there.

We watched it last night and it’s just as mad as I remember. More a meditation on the absurdity of trying to ‘keep calm and carry on’ in the face of nuclear annihilation than a real story. Some funny moments, but it’s mostly sad. It is indeed beautifully shot though, and filmed (alas) on mostly scouted locations of ugliness, pollution and trash. It’s more a curiosity that works well in bits. You could imagine structuring a lecture about post-apocalypse narratives illustrated with various scenes from it.

I am looking forward to the Braden interviews with Cook, Milligan and Lester, all 20-30 minutes each. When I’ve got a moment between translating bee charms and whatnot.

See all the overlooked gems at Todd’s roundup.


  1. Todd Mason says:

    Somehow i still remember the ending best, the patriotic song in honor of our guiding light. A staple of the Kaiser Broadcasting 8 O’Clock Movie in the 1970s in Boston, at least. Congrats to Fox Spirit and all the little foxes!

    1. katelaity says:

      It’s a great showing from a publisher only three years old.

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