Friday, August 05, 2005

Repertory watch/NFT

Still from Black Narcissus

To celebrate the centenary of Michael Powell, arguably the greatest film director to come out of Britain, the BFI is releasing his classic Black Narcissus, one of the many films he made in partnership with Emeric Pressburger . Powell was a prominent director in the 1940s and 1950s (he directed the surrealist A Matter of Life and Death), but the world wasn’t ready for his voyeurist Peeping Tom, which came out at the same as Hitchcock’s Psycho, and his career was ruined. Michael Scorcese has been a key figure in the Michael Powell revival; Scorcese quotes Powell as a major influence and source of inspiration.

Black Narcissus tells the story of the young Sister Clodagh, who is appointed Superior of a new convent in a remote region of the Himalayas. Things go wrong almost immediately after the nuns arrive at the House of Women, a former harem given to them by the local ruler, whose son is more is more interested in a dancer than in his studies. To complicate things further, Sister Ruth falls in love with the ruler’s agent, an Englishman with little time for nuns. Sister Ruth sees Clodagh as her rival for his attention. Passions arise and the nuns find themselves fighting for their sanity and faith. UNMISSABLE. (see NFT link for details)

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