12 June 2024

BFI Releasing Elizabeth Taylor’s The Driver’s Seat On Blu-ray

The Driver's Seat (1974) will be released in the UK by BFI from 26th June 2023Later this month the BFI are set to give Giuseppe Patroni Griffi’s The Driver’s Seat (aka Identikit) on Blu-ray.

Never before released in the UK, the film remains the most obscure, bizarre and wildly misunderstood film of Elizabeth Taylor’s illustrious career. Adapted from an unnerving novella by Muriel Spark (The Prime of Miss Jean Brodie), the film marked a bold step into the unknown for the screen icon in the early 70s. The Driver’s Seat stunned critics and audiences alike on its premiere in 1974.

Now newly restored in 4K by Cineteca di Bologna and Severin Films. The BFI will also release the film with a number will include a number of extras that include a filmed introduction, an audio commentary and a selection of complementary archival films.

Elizabeth Taylor stars as a troubled woman who, upon arriving in Rome, finds a city fragmented by autocratic law enforcement, leftist violence and her own increasingly unhinged mission to find the most dangerous liaison of all.

Special features

  • Restored in 4K by Cineteca di Bologna and Severin Films, and presented in High Definition
  • Introduction by Kier-La Janisse, author of House of Psychotic Women (2022, 6 mins)
  • Audio commentary with curator and programmer Millie De Chirico (2022)
  • A Lack of Absence (2022, 22 mins): writer and literary historian Chandra Mayor on Muriel Spark and The Driver’s Seat
  • The Driver’s Seat credit sequences (1974, 4 mins)
  • Darling, Do You Love Me? (1968, 4 mins): in a parody of her media persona, Germaine Greer stars as a terrifyingly amorous woman who pursues a man relentlessly
  • Waiting For… (1970, 11 mins): a woman embarks on a filmmaking project after being given a camera and told to capture her everyday reality
  • The Telephone (1981, 4 mins): a young woman enacts imaginative revenge on her boyfriend
  • National Theatre of Scotland trailer (2015, 2 mins): a promotional clip for the UK’s first stage production of The Driver’s Seat
  • ***First pressing only*** illustrated booklet with new essays by Simon McCallum and Bruce LaBruce, an essay by Kier-La Janisse originally published in the book House of Psychotic Women, notes on the special features and credits

Italy, West Germany / 1974 / colour / 102 minutes / English language with optional descriptive subtitles / original aspect ratio 1.85:1 / BD50: 1080p, 24fps, LPCM 2.0 mono audio (48kHz/24-bit)

Co-starring Ian Bannen, Mona Washbourne and Andy Warhol. The film also features cinematography by three-time Oscar winner Vittorio Storaro (Apocalypse Now).

The Driver’s Seat will be released by BFI on Blu-ray, iTunes and Amazon Prime on 26th June.

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