Powell & Pressburger

April 7, 2011

Powell & Pressburger

Marty loves them, and Thelma married one of them. Check ‘em out and see what all the hubbub is about. These guys produced some interesting stuff that doesn’t look like anyone else. You must also pay attention to theirI still haven’t seen all their stuff yet.

The Thief of Baghdad – Sabu goes on a magic carpet ride without the help of hard core hallucinogens.

The 49th Parallel (The Invaders) – This is interesting. A WWII movie taking place in Canada where a  German U-boat crew tries to make their way to the US of A. I believe this was a propaganda ploy to get the neutral Yanks into the war.

The Life and Death of Colonel Blimp – The transition from present to past is extremely clever and as it was happening I was going, “Are they really doing this in 1943?” Roger Livesey is great.

A Matter of Life and Death – Interesting little movie with some great visuals. See Dr. Zira play a human. Double feature it with Defending Your Life or Jigoku.

Black Narcissus – The late Jack Cardiff kicked all kinds of ass. He was a great technicolor cinematographer, and won the Oscar for this.

The Red Shoes – This was my first introduction to The Archers (P&P’s production company), and it’s good place to start cuz it’s got all their trademarked style.

The Small Back Room (Hour of Glory) – Boom!! Double feature it with The Hurt Locker or Ernest Goes to Camp.




Peeping Tom – Ok, ok, this isn’t a Powell & Pressburger, it’s just Powell. This is the one that pretty much shut down Michael’s career. Far more psychological and disturbing than Psycho. Peeping Tom had ideas, whereas Psycho was more of an amusement park ride. I do think something is missing from this, and that something is Pressburger. I think they needed each other in order to be a complete filmmaker (which is even more apparent in one of Powell’s last works, Age of Consent (which the only thing enjoyable about it is ingenue Helen Mirren’s frequent nudity)).

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