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2018: Andrew – The Corn Mother 44/52

The Corn Mother novella weekly serialisation artwork

When I first started thinking about finding The Corn Mother in the eighties, like most people, I only had chance to see a film during the few weeks it was showing at the cinema. Maybe after saving up a bit of pocket money I might be able to rent it when it was finally released on video or if it went straight to rental. Generally I couldn’t buy it, as back then official copies of films mostly cost silly money as they were often only made for the rental market.

If you were lucky a few years later it might be shown on TV. Seeing it then meant noticing it in the TV listings and, if it was on later at night, setting up the video recorder’s timer and hoping it worked okay. There are a fair few films that I saw most of and then I’d set the timer wrong and it wouldn’t record the last five minutes or so.

All that’s changed nowadays. You can see almost everything with just a few clicks of your remote. Either by starting a subscription for a streaming service or paying for individual films online. And that’s before I get to all the DVD and Blu-ray releases. Both official ones and those available on sites that sell copies of films and TV programmes that have never been officially released, often not great quality and sometimes originally taped from a TV broadcast. Plus there are all the unofficial uploads of films on public video streaming sites.

But of course The Corn Mother’s never appeared on any of them.

It’s a strange thing but it could be said that the idea of films being lost is an obsolete idea but it’s not really true. There are some films that are thought to have been genuinely lost and also there are a lot more that you know exist but for rights reasons etc, they’re very hard to see. Like Hippie Hippie Shake based on the memoirs of Richard Neville, the editor of underground sixties satirical magazine Oz. There seem to have been a few preview screenings of that and then it was just caught in some release limbo.


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