Still from The Other Side Of Underneath, directed by Jane Arden (1972)
I’ve been to some screenings of Jane Arden’s work recently and have found her films disorientating, curious, and visually inquisitive, not to mention a bit dull and unintentionally hilarious, which is quite a mixture of feelings. There are tons of eye-catching images in The Other Side Of Underneath, one of which you can see above, depicting the fragmented female identity of the main character(s).
One of my complaints about this film and Separation (1967) is the often heavy-handed use of metaphor and the overly-theoretical language shoe-horned into the adventurous, free-form visual stylings. However, when I consider that The Other Side... is (shamefully) the only female-directed British film of the 1970s, I can see the importance of Arden and her desire to capture an unmitigated view of femininity and female psychology. The soundtrack of this particular film was often amazing, with a cello simultaneously mimicking the dialogue to create an oppressive, alienating atmosphere. Extra points go to the appearance of the Newport Transporter Bridge, which reminds me of the one in Middlesbrough!