The Archers (Powell & Pressburger): S/D

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Can the Brits on this board tell me a bit about The Archers? Because gol'darn A Canterbury Tale is a rich and strange film.... And yet, I feel there's something in it, something profound, that I can sense but not fully appreciate as yet.... Something British perhaps.

amateur!st (amateurist), Saturday, 19 June 2004 01:46 (fifteen years ago) link

"Pity..."

"Pity?"

"Pity when you get home and people ask you what you've seen in England and you say, 'I saw a movie in Salisbury... and I made a pilgrimage to Canterbury and saw another one.'"

"You've got me all wrong. I know that in Canterbury I have to look out for a cathedral."

"Do look out for it. It's just behind the movie theater, you can't miss it."

amateur!st (amateurist), Saturday, 19 June 2004 01:50 (fifteen years ago) link

ARCHERS OF LOAF, FOOL!

sorry

mookieproof (mookieproof), Saturday, 19 June 2004 01:51 (fifteen years ago) link

Well, on first view of A Canterbury Tale I couldn't quite get past the little-of-consequence-happening aspect (I'm not British). There's probably something more to it. I'd like an explanation too in fact. Search A Matter of Life and Death anyway, and Colonel Blimp. I Know where i'm going is pretty uneventful too, but has a bit more engaging social intercourse.

, Saturday, 19 June 2004 09:30 (fifteen years ago) link

I love P&P. Search The Red Shoes. In some moods at least I think this is the *Best Film Ever Made*.

I loved A Canterbury Tale but I've only seen it once & long ago so cannot be too helpful about it. I'm not sure that there is anything profound underlying its mysticism but it is quintessentially English and beautifully done. I need to see this film again, it's the only major Archers film I haven't seen several times and I suspect it'd be at least my second favourite.

A Matter of Life and Death, Peeping Tom (not Pressburger, from memorty) and Black Narcissus all excellent, but I've never managed to get much enthusiasm up for Colonel Blimp despite it probably being regarded as among their best (if not their best?).

frankiemachine, Saturday, 19 June 2004 10:12 (fifteen years ago) link

Does the version you saw start with pilgrims heading for Canterbury, or on top of a skyscraper, with a GI telling the story in flashback, amateurist? I've never seen the latter, American cut, but it sounds like it spoils things rather.

I admire it most for its beautiful, and somewhat eerie evocation of a centuries-old way of English life.

N. (nickdastoor), Saturday, 19 June 2004 12:08 (fifteen years ago) link

The BFI gives a fair summary of the film, I think.

N. (nickdastoor), Saturday, 19 June 2004 12:11 (fifteen years ago) link

The Life And Death Of Colonel Blimp is among my all-time favourite films, even ahead of A Matter Of Life And Death. Their films are full of stunning imagery that looks like nothing else ever (think heaven in A Matter Of, tolling the bell in Black Narcissus, lots in the red Shoes and so on), and really interesting things to say about people.

Martin Skidmore (Martin Skidmore), Saturday, 19 June 2004 13:32 (fifteen years ago) link

i saw the english version, on an english dvd (here! here!)

amateur!st (amateurist), Saturday, 19 June 2004 19:41 (fifteen years ago) link

I dare someone to find a firm one to destroy. Yes, there are films that are weaker than others, but I'll gladly watch any of them any day.

I saw Jack Cardiff a few weeks ago, and he told some great stories. And apparently Michael Powell loved almost every suggestion that he got from people. "Wonderful! Let's do it!" or something to that effect - he said exactly the same phrase every time.

Girolamo Savonarola, Saturday, 19 June 2004 19:59 (fifteen years ago) link

i thought jack cardiff died several years ago! hence the "red shoes" tribute at the oscars.

amateur!st (amateurist), Saturday, 19 June 2004 20:02 (fifteen years ago) link

Not only is he not dead, but he's still active!

http://www.imdb.com/name/nm0002153/

Anyway, no, that wasn't a death tribute - that was the prelude to his Honorary Oscar. (Which, IIRC, is the only honorary one ever awarded to a technician.)

Girolamo Savonarola, Saturday, 19 June 2004 22:30 (fifteen years ago) link

I Know Where I'm Going and The Spy In Black have both been on tv here in the last couple of months. Great shots of wilds of Scotland in both (and the grumpy scotsman from Dad's Army turns up in the former). the latter has a great twist in it.

am hoping A Canterbury Tale gets a repeat shortly (the ch4 matinees seem to repeat on a yearly basis - things are turning up again now that i watched this time last year, The Spy In Black being one of them).

Red Shoes was on in the last month or so too but i think i was helping hopkins move house.

koogs (koogs), Monday, 21 June 2004 07:53 (fifteen years ago) link

Here I sit, shocked that Black Narcissus hasn't come up.

Lee G (Lee G), Monday, 21 June 2004 16:18 (fifteen years ago) link

It has twice already.

Girolamo Savonarola, Monday, 21 June 2004 18:04 (fifteen years ago) link

Ack.

Lee G (Lee G), Monday, 21 June 2004 23:41 (fifteen years ago) link

three weeks pass...
next week, bbc2 (UK) has:

monday 19th 13:15: the elusive pimpernel
tuesday 20th 13:00: a canterbury tale
thursday 22nd 13:20: ill met by moonlight

koogs (koogs), Friday, 16 July 2004 11:25 (fifteen years ago) link

one year passes...
season at nft presently (billed 'michael powell', i think duuuuuuh). i'm seeing 'contraband' tonight.

N_RQ, Thursday, 11 August 2005 13:00 (fourteen years ago) link

In addition to all the obvious ones, The Small Back Room is a nice tense b&w psychodrama/romance/thriller, and Tales of Hoffman is watchable tho not my cup of High Music tea. And that WW2 film where Olivier is a Canuck fur trapper -- the 49th Parallel?

Dr Morbius (Dr Morbius), Thursday, 11 August 2005 13:43 (fourteen years ago) link

'small back room' is GRATE.

N_RQ, Thursday, 11 August 2005 13:48 (fourteen years ago) link

'contraband' is GREATE.

Enrique, naked in an unfamiliar future where corporations run the world... (Enri, Sunday, 14 August 2005 13:23 (fourteen years ago) link

Also see: 'I know where I'm going'.

Jerry the Nipper (Jerrynipper), Sunday, 14 August 2005 13:30 (fourteen years ago) link

What everybody said. But

Destroy: Powell's autobiography, rivaled only by Isaac Asimov's in length and tediousness.

The Pressburger bio that came out several years back was pretty good though. Maybe the guy who wrote it was his nephew or grandson?

And has anybody seen any of Powell's quota quickies? I have this strange memory of being in a hotel and a movie called something like Rynox came on the television and then it said "Directed by Michael Powell," but I had to go out so I didn't watch it. The beginning was nothing special.

k/l (Ken L), Sunday, 14 August 2005 19:01 (fourteen years ago) link

i don't think powell 'counts' any of his films pre-'edge of the world', but 'rynox' is his earliest surviving film. the pressburger book is indeed by his grandson, who i think is kevin macdonald, who i think directed 'touching the void'.

N_RQ, Monday, 15 August 2005 07:34 (fourteen years ago) link

guardian reported a new box set out this week. no details on amazon but i found this:

http://telegraph.co.uk/arts/main.jhtml?xml=/arts/2005/08/13/bfdvds13.xml&menuId=564&sSheet=/arts/2005/08/13/ixfilmmain.html

The Powell & Pressburger Box Set:
Battle of the River Plate;
A Canterbury Tale;
49th Parallel;
I Know Where I'm Going;
Ill Met by Moonlight;
The Life and Death of Colonel Blimp;
The Red Shoes;
A Matter of Life and Death;
They're a Weird Mob
Granada Ventures, DVD (9 discs), £17.99; only in HMV

18 quid is a good deal.
"only in HMV"?

koogs (koogs), Monday, 15 August 2005 07:39 (fourteen years ago) link

Yowser. That's a GREAT deal! Perhaps only HMV have it that cheaply and it's a grillion pounds elsewhere...

Lucretia My Reflection (Lucretia My Reflection), Monday, 15 August 2005 07:42 (fourteen years ago) link

that is damn fine. alas i have most of those, and paid more than that for 'em separately. if you don't have them, DO SO.

N_RQ, Monday, 15 August 2005 07:44 (fourteen years ago) link

'grillion'.

I saw A Canterbury Tale last year, then went to Canterbury with the Vicar and Rener! It was a bit like, in the film.

I seem to have had half an eye on I Know Where I'm Going so many times.

A Matter Of Life and Death will always be the central picture for me.

the bellefox, Monday, 15 August 2005 11:27 (fourteen years ago) link

> Perhaps only HMV have it that cheaply and it's a grillion pounds elsewhere...

including the HMV website (where it's still 40 quid). i guess this is an instore deal or the website's old. (or the guardian and the times were both wrong)

koogs (koogs), Monday, 15 August 2005 12:40 (fourteen years ago) link

i'm not mad about IKWIG. i think 'canterbury tale' might be best.

N_RQ, Monday, 15 August 2005 12:42 (fourteen years ago) link

Reports Back from the Other Place (ie HMV Victoria) inform it's still £39.99, it's the first day out and they aren't aware of any cheaper editions coming out - so unless the bigger stores have it cheaper then I guess WE HAVE BEEN FED LIES.

Lucretia My Reflection (Lucretia My Reflection), Monday, 15 August 2005 12:43 (fourteen years ago) link

just checked and the guardian says 17.99 also.
http://www.guardian.co.uk/theguide/film/story/0,,1547982,00.html
time to start a class action lawsuit. or just wait until ch4 shows them in the afternoon again (i think the weird mob is the only one i haven't seen listed in the last 18 months)

koogs (koogs), Monday, 15 August 2005 13:19 (fourteen years ago) link

Black Narcissus is my favorite. When I was a nipper, I was confused and thought Black Narcissus and Black Orpheus were the same movie, never having seen but only having heard of them. The first time I saw BN I couldn't always tell which nun was which, and I'm not sure if this wasn't intentioanal.

I saw a (WWII?) lifeboat movie that was shot by Jack Cardiff once that was pretty interesting- google tells me it was called Western Approaches.

k/l (Ken L), Monday, 15 August 2005 14:22 (fourteen years ago) link

i didn't know JC shot that! 'westerna approaches' was directed by, i forget who, but the GPO-Crown documentary people -- ie archer foes.

N_RQ, Monday, 15 August 2005 14:25 (fourteen years ago) link

It wasn't Len Lye or the Brazilian guy, that's for sure.

k/l (Ken L), Monday, 15 August 2005 14:33 (fourteen years ago) link

I've rewatched Colonel Blimp since I posted to this thread last and completely changed my opinion of it. Great, great film.

frankiemachine, Monday, 15 August 2005 14:37 (fourteen years ago) link

bensonsworld says that box is "off the schedule."

Eric H. (Eric H.), Monday, 15 August 2005 17:17 (fourteen years ago) link

Duh. I guess that would make sense since it's not HMV...

Is it only £17.99 if you pick it up "in store"? I'm not familiar with HMV as I'm not from the UK. But damn, I want this.

Eric H. (Eric H.), Monday, 15 August 2005 17:33 (fourteen years ago) link

Was there some business in I Know Where I'm Going about talking on the radio and using "Roger" and "Over"? It's been so long since I've seen it.

k/l (Ken L), Monday, 15 August 2005 17:38 (fourteen years ago) link

i think you've confused it with 'airplane' -- easily done.

Enrique, naked in an unfamiliar future where corporations run the world... (Enri, Monday, 15 August 2005 17:51 (fourteen years ago) link

Maybe I confused it with A Matter Of Life And Death?

No, the radio subplot involves her fiancé. Checking up on this led me to discover that Petula Clark has a small role in the movie.

k/l (Ken L), Monday, 15 August 2005 17:58 (fourteen years ago) link

> Is it only £17.99 if you pick it up "in store"?

not even then according to starry who popped out at lunchtime. appears both papers were incorrect.

koogs (koogs), Tuesday, 16 August 2005 07:37 (fourteen years ago) link

one month passes...
A Matter Of Life Or Death is on english TV (channel 4) friday afternoon (about 1).

koogs (koogs), Sunday, 18 September 2005 09:53 (fourteen years ago) link

It's on Turner Classic Movies over here next Saturday, I think.

k/l (Ken L), Sunday, 18 September 2005 11:36 (fourteen years ago) link

I misspoke. It was just on, although there is probably another airing or two during the week. I watched the last half hour. Raymond Massey didn't annoy me nearly as much as the last time I saw it. I didn't realize the woman from Black Narcissus was in it. What did Kim Hunter ever do besides this and Planet Of The Apes? Black Narcissus is on in five minutes.

k/l (Ken L), Monday, 19 September 2005 00:56 (fourteen years ago) link

Gong has become bullseye had become two Himalayan horns! See you in 1h 40min.

k/l (Ken L), Monday, 19 September 2005 01:05 (fourteen years ago) link

"Sausages! They will eat sausages."

k/l (Ken L), Monday, 19 September 2005 12:27 (fourteen years ago) link

Nope that was their only screening of A Matter Of Life and Death.

Next Sunday is The Red Shoes and the TCM premiere of- they said it couldn't be shown on television - Peeping Tom.

k/l (Ken L), Tuesday, 20 September 2005 07:16 (fourteen years ago) link

I've seen it on TV at least twice.

Martin Skidmore (Martin Skidmore), Tuesday, 20 September 2005 11:08 (fourteen years ago) link

Really, Martin? I was kidding actually. Because the guy said it was "the TCM premiere."

k/l (Ken L), Tuesday, 20 September 2005 11:54 (fourteen years ago) link

Tales of Hoffmann showing soon in Astoria, Redd

ice cream social justice (Dr Morbius), Wednesday, 6 December 2017 14:36 (one year ago) link

two weeks pass...

Recently learned that George Romero’s favorite movie is The Tales of Hoffmann and Wayne Shorter’s is The Red Shoes.

Steely Rodin (James Redd and the Blecchs), Monday, 25 December 2017 14:08 (one year ago) link

4K premiere run of A Matter of Life and Death begins in NYC on Friday

ice cream social justice (Dr Morbius), Tuesday, 26 December 2017 03:46 (one year ago) link

Oh yeah, saw that

Steely Rodin (James Redd and the Blecchs), Tuesday, 26 December 2017 04:06 (one year ago) link

Hadn't remembered that Kathleen Byron is in it.

Steely Rodin (James Redd and the Blecchs), Friday, 29 December 2017 23:48 (one year ago) link

James, you asked my opinion of TSBR in another thread, so --

I thought it was really good, though I'm partial to Powell/Pressburger and am pretty blind to any faults they may have. (Still couldn't finish Tales of Hoffman, though.) I really liked its relatively unmelodramatic take on alcoholism -- Sammy keeping the bottle front and center and not hiding (from) it. Great German-expressionism dream sequence. I thought David Farrar and Kathleen Byron were great in Black Narcissus and liked that Powell put them in the leads in very different roles. The thermos-bomb plot is a bit thin and nonsensical from most angles, but ultimately it does make sense that the Defense Ministry would want to know how they're built even if the advice to the public wouldn't change -- "hey, don't touch that, call the local Home Guard."

WilliamC, Saturday, 30 December 2017 00:11 (one year ago) link

Filmstruck showing all the powburgers on streaming

i believe that (s)he is sincere (forksclovetofu), Saturday, 30 December 2017 00:22 (one year ago) link

Trying to remember if I’ve ever seen Farrar or Bryson in anything but those two films plus Bryson in AMOLAD.

Dr. Winston ‘Merritone’ Blecch (James Redd and the Blecchs), Saturday, 30 December 2017 16:25 (one year ago) link

Okay, Farrar is in another Archers film, Gone To Earth that I’ve never seen. Forgot that Bryson was in Saving Private Ryan and never realized she was in The Elephant Man.

Dr. Winston ‘Merritone’ Blecch (James Redd and the Blecchs), Saturday, 30 December 2017 16:34 (one year ago) link

Wonder if I am the only one who clicks through credits on Mubi.

Dr. Winston ‘Merritone’ Blecch (James Redd and the Blecchs), Saturday, 30 December 2017 16:34 (one year ago) link

i always think this thread is about the soap opera thing

akm, Saturday, 30 December 2017 17:53 (one year ago) link

Ah, see that I already had this discussion about Farrar with Morbius three years ago

Dr. Winston ‘Merritone’ Blecch (James Redd and the Blecchs), Saturday, 30 December 2017 17:57 (one year ago) link

Still don’t really like the, um, somewhat heavy-handed nature of the trial scene, which I guess was the motivation for the production of the film, but everything else in AMOLAD is aces.

Dr. Winston ‘Merritone’ Blecch (James Redd and the Blecchs), Monday, 1 January 2018 00:17 (one year ago) link

one month passes...

saw COLONEL BLIMP for the first time and loved it. the methods deployed to show the passage of time in this film were marvelous and drolly comic, excepting the flipping of the memory book (where the last few pages are black.)

starting off with a valiant soldier type walking in on a seemingly pompous visual buffoon and then going back to deconstruct this buffoon and build him up again into an honorable if flawed figure is quite something. the casting of Deborah Kerr in the three roles could seem like a stunt elsewhere but it doesn't overplay its hand and her separate performances are subtly different enough that it doesn't come off like cheap magic realism. Livesey and Walbrook are both very funny and very touching together. The empathy for all the characters is itself quite moving, and the ending is perfect.

omar little, Tuesday, 6 February 2018 19:44 (one year ago) link

i saw the red shoes for the first time a few weeks ago (it's the first film i've seen from them, the directors poll made me antsy about the gaps in my knowledge). it's... completely magnificent

flamenco drop (BradNelson), Tuesday, 6 February 2018 19:49 (one year ago) link

picking Gone to Earth next because that's my favorite David Sylvian album.

lol i almost did this for the exact same reason

flamenco drop (BradNelson), Tuesday, 6 February 2018 19:50 (one year ago) link

naah pick off the klassiks

ice cream social justice (Dr Morbius), Tuesday, 6 February 2018 19:51 (one year ago) link

P&P and Fassbinder were two top 10'ers I was thrilled made it as high as they did.

"Minneapolis" (barf) (Eric H.), Tuesday, 6 February 2018 19:52 (one year ago) link

A Canterbury Tale and I Know Where I'm Going are two must views.

"Minneapolis" (barf) (Eric H.), Tuesday, 6 February 2018 19:52 (one year ago) link

I'm probably going to buy all the P&Ps on Criterion.

Black Narcissus remains one of my top five favorite films of all time.

omar little, Tuesday, 6 February 2018 19:53 (one year ago) link

I'm hoping that A Matter of Life and Death with get a Criterion blu-ray release this summer... seems likely!

erry red flag (f. hazel), Tuesday, 6 February 2018 20:06 (one year ago) link

for sure, they just ran a 4K at Film Forum in NY

ice cream social justice (Dr Morbius), Tuesday, 6 February 2018 20:08 (one year ago) link

Theo walking away from Clive in the POW camp, as Mendelssohn's Hebrides Overture starts up, killed me on last rewatch.

jmm, Tuesday, 6 February 2018 20:37 (one year ago) link

oh that is fantastic news!
though I suppose I wouldn't otherwise have ever seen Age of Consent if it hadn't been paired with AMOLAD on the DVD

you can't go wrong with any of the classic Archers. I might recommend a b&w one if you've just seen Red Shoes or Blimp, so Eric otm

rob, Tuesday, 6 February 2018 20:40 (one year ago) link

Age of Consent!

morning wood truancy (Alfred, Lord Sotosyn), Tuesday, 6 February 2018 20:41 (one year ago) link

Wild, huh? Here's Kehr on the set: http://www.nytimes.com/2009/01/06/movies/homevideo/06dvds.html

reading that made me want to rewatch the opening to AMOLAD immediately

rob, Tuesday, 6 February 2018 20:46 (one year ago) link

I need to watch it again. Parts of it reminded me of the Lubitsch Heaven Can Wait, which was too aw-shucks for me.

morning wood truancy (Alfred, Lord Sotosyn), Tuesday, 6 February 2018 20:48 (one year ago) link

if you mean AMOLAD, it does drag in the final act with the big trial (Heaven Can Wait is a bit slow too, especially for Lubitsch), but I love the set up and everything that happens on Earth. And Livesey's camera obscura is quintessential P&P visual bravura: http://www.tcm.com/mediaroom/video/1075290/Matter-Of-Life-And-Death-A-Movie-Clip-Camera-Obscura.html. Also fun to see Marius Goring in such a different role from Red Shoes.

if you meant Age of Consent... I don't remember much of it

rob, Tuesday, 6 February 2018 21:00 (one year ago) link

eleven months pass...

I watched Criterion's blu-ray of AMOLAD last night and it is absolutely stunning--the upgrade really brings home what a visual achievement it is. What I said in my previous post about the trial still stands, but the rest is pure joy.

I've only watched the first 20 minutes, but there's also an odd but compelling special feature, a 1986 episode of the South Bank Show, that functions as something of a miniature adaptation of A Life in Movies.

rob, Sunday, 6 January 2019 18:06 (ten months ago) link

seven months pass...

enjoyed Black Narcissus but didn't like The Red Shoes as much

Dan S, Tuesday, 6 August 2019 01:27 (three months ago) link

The Small Back Room was on tv over the weekend. I've not watched it yet and can't remember if I've seen it before.

koogs, Tuesday, 6 August 2019 01:52 (three months ago) link

If you saw it I think you would have remembered it.

Another Fule Clickin’ In Your POLL (James Redd and the Blecchs), Tuesday, 6 August 2019 02:01 (three months ago) link

The Small Back Room is the next film of theirs I'm planning to watch

Dan S, Tuesday, 6 August 2019 02:05 (three months ago) link

yes, then read my archived review.

a Mets fan who gave up on everything in the mid '80s (Dr Morbius), Tuesday, 6 August 2019 02:42 (three months ago) link

NYers: The Small Back Room is showing at the Film Forum on August 26, part of Marty Scorsese & Jay Cocks' double feature festival (paired w/ the '26 silent The Magician)

Josefa, Tuesday, 6 August 2019 16:37 (three months ago) link

half an hour into SBR and it's still not ringing any bells.

koogs, Tuesday, 13 August 2019 19:09 (three months ago) link

saw The Red Shoes again. the hyper-stylization annoyed me at first, but I was more drawn in seeing it again. the climactic ballet sequence was beautiful

watched The Small Back Room today. I liked your review Morbs

Dan S, Sunday, 25 August 2019 00:05 (three months ago) link

Thanks. As I still own the Bluray, I may not make the NYC screening (tho I need to see that silent), but we'll see.

a Mets fan who gave up on everything in the mid '80s (Dr Morbius), Sunday, 25 August 2019 07:13 (three months ago) link

don't have anything to add to the discussion about A Canterbury Tale except to say that I just saw it now for the first time and enjoyed it

Dan S, Sunday, 1 September 2019 22:57 (three months ago) link

liked hearing the Toccata and Fugue in the cathedral near the end

Dan S, Sunday, 1 September 2019 23:48 (three months ago) link

I rewatched A Matter of Life and Death and had no memory that the first person Niven meets after his bailout is a nude shepherd boy (cut for US release btw).

My favorite detail of that great first Niven-Kim Hunter scene is that he's cracking bad jokes while he's using his last moments to quote every poet he can think of. "Andy Marvell, what a marvel!"

My only caveats are that all that US vs UK stuff in the celestial trial is just weird now (apparently the film office asked them to make a film about Yank-Brit unity), and

S
P
O
I
L
E
R

you can see Roger Livesey's death coming from his second scene.

a Mets fan who gave up on everything in the mid '80s (Dr Morbius), Wednesday, 4 September 2019 01:21 (three months ago) link

Bbc2 have been showing a few of these as matinees (and a bunch of other decent b&w films as well *)

Life and death today
River plate on Saturday
Blimp on Monday

(* Wooden horse, 633 squadron, triple cross, Odette, man who never was)

koogs, Wednesday, 4 September 2019 02:37 (three months ago) link

nude shepherd boy, hmm

haven't seen it yet

Dan S, Wednesday, 4 September 2019 02:42 (three months ago) link

The number of nude shepherd boys I was exposed to my fully clothed boy life astonishes me to this day.

Pauline Male (Eric H.), Wednesday, 4 September 2019 03:03 (three months ago) link

lol

Dan S, Wednesday, 4 September 2019 03:20 (three months ago) link

(apparently the film office asked them to make a film about Yank-Brit unity)


yep, this was still within the frame of wartime propaganda, and as you say they were specifically asked to make a film about that (hence obv the central relationship as well).

Fizzles, Wednesday, 4 September 2019 06:11 (three months ago) link

one month passes...

really liked Peeping Tom

Dan S, Friday, 4 October 2019 03:24 (two months ago) link


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