By Sarah Street
Black Narcissus, now heralded as a masterpiece, is a landmark movie within the influential canon of Michael Powell and Emeric Pressburger. With the centenary of Powell's beginning in 2005 this well timed book--the first devoted solely to the film--draws on archival records, unique set drawings and stills to illustrate its amazing achievements, either as a construction and as a car for concepts. taking a look at the film's enduring photographs of either position and gender, Sarah highway additionally examines Black Narcissus as a masterly technical accomplishment, in addition to a meditation at the finish of empire. taking a look too on the film's debatable reception by way of overseas critics and censors, and its next impression on experimental filmmakers, road explores problems with process, variety, functionality and interpretation to bare the ongoing relevance of the movie this present day.
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Extra info for Black Narcissus (British Film Guides)
93 The transition from novel to ﬁlm had therefore taken place in a relatively short period of time, between 1945 and 1947. The production beneﬁted from a source novel that lent itself well for screen adaptation by Powell and Pressburger (both worked on the screenplay) and Jack Cardiﬀ ’s skills with Technicolor cinematography. Powell’s clear directorial vision, supported by the excellent technical team and cast, produced a ﬁlm remarkable on many levels, not least for the timing of its release. 94 This creative triumph of artiﬁce can be seen as a fascinating cultural meditation on the end of empire.
Of a diamond-shaped frame within a frame privileged voyeuristic looks that undoubtedly add to the ﬁlm’s overall structures of suspense. 89 Junge did, however, use Godden’s description of blue walls for the central room with a sofa in the middle. It is this room where both the old General and later Kanchi admire themselves in the mirror and where Kanchi performs a sensual dance; its opulence suggests a deﬁant reminder of the palace’s past. ) In this way, despite Godden’s objections, the ﬁlm stayed true to a consistent sense of visual style that was appropriate in a cinematic context.
In the immediate post-war years his screen career had reached a low ebb, since none of the studios was planning a major imperial epic. 78 While depicted as mischievous and in league with Mr Dean, Angu Ayah is cast in the much the same mould as Sabu and Joseph Anthony – as a comic, rather childlike character who at times is embarrassing to watch. Yet arguably her appearance and portrayal, as with Esmond Knight’s old General, is an obvious and ‘amusing’ masquerade. May Hallatt was an established character 25 ORIGINS actress associated with playing ‘eccentric’ roles such as this.
Black Narcissus (British Film Guides) by Sarah Street