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 (twenty 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 (twenty years ago) link

ARCHERS OF LOAF, FOOL!

sorry

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

It has twice already.

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

Ack.

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

'small back room' is GRATE.

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

'contraband' is GREATE.

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

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

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

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

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

bensonsworld says that box is "off the schedule."

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

"Sausages! They will eat sausages."

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

I've seen it on TV at least twice.

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

But you don't need to take my word for it: https://www.slantmagazine.com/dvd/the-small-back-room-dvd/

Thrapple from the Apple (James Redd and the Blecchs), Sunday, 14 July 2024 13:48 (five days ago) link

it's definitely on the minor list for me—I still haven't gotten around to The Tales of Hoffmann, but otherwise SBR would be bottom of my personal P&P rankings—though I remember the defusing scene being the brilliant high point

rob, Sunday, 14 July 2024 13:57 (five days ago) link

Xpost - bills review is why I went to see it in the first place! It wasn’t like, awful, but I was pretty underwhelmed.

ian, Sunday, 14 July 2024 14:01 (five days ago) link

Did you like BLACK NARCISSUS?

Thrapple from the Apple (James Redd and the Blecchs), Sunday, 14 July 2024 16:41 (five days ago) link

Never seen it :0

ian, Sunday, 14 July 2024 23:09 (five days ago) link

Anyone seen the Scorsese-narrated (but not directed) doc yet?

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=8sSeQgxj0rg

Number None, Monday, 15 July 2024 09:36 (four days ago) link

Yes

Thrapple from the Apple (James Redd and the Blecchs), Monday, 15 July 2024 11:37 (four days ago) link

I saw it at MoMA but it is also streaming on MUBI UK & Ireland

Thrapple from the Apple (James Redd and the Blecchs), Monday, 15 July 2024 11:54 (four days ago) link

It’s good. It tells a story you may already know but still packs a little bit of a punch.

Thrapple from the Apple (James Redd and the Blecchs), Monday, 15 July 2024 11:54 (four days ago) link

This review is a wee bit harsh at times but basically OTM. https://www.slantmagazine.com/film/made-in-england-the-films-of-powell-pressburger-review/

Thrapple from the Apple (James Redd and the Blecchs), Monday, 15 July 2024 11:55 (four days ago) link

Thought it was a reasonable choice to keep close to Marty’s POV.

Thrapple from the Apple (James Redd and the Blecchs), Monday, 15 July 2024 11:56 (four days ago) link

Thoroughly enjoyed it, but I would say make sure you watch all the key movies before seeing it as it's pretty spoilerish

Zelda Zonk, Monday, 15 July 2024 12:07 (four days ago) link

Good point!

Thrapple from the Apple (James Redd and the Blecchs), Monday, 15 July 2024 13:17 (four days ago) link

Some of the bigger scenes in BLACK NARCISSUS, of course I’d seen many times before but having seen the doc immediately beforehand lessened any residual shock or surprise even more. Which wasn’t really a problem, there was plenty of other stuff to focus on.

Thrapple from the Apple (James Redd and the Blecchs), Monday, 15 July 2024 13:21 (four days ago) link

Yeah. But I think it would be sad to have the end of Red Shoes, Life and Death and the plot of Blimp all revealed before seeing these fantastic movies!

Zelda Zonk, Monday, 15 July 2024 13:26 (four days ago) link

Totally

Thrapple from the Apple (James Redd and the Blecchs), Monday, 15 July 2024 13:29 (four days ago) link

Basically always good to go in knowing as little as possible.

Thrapple from the Apple (James Redd and the Blecchs), Monday, 15 July 2024 13:29 (four days ago) link

I remember certain films where I was the man who knew too much going in and I then had to watch extra times before I could enjoy them properly.

Thrapple from the Apple (James Redd and the Blecchs), Monday, 15 July 2024 13:30 (four days ago) link

One thing that still managed to shock and cause laughter was the first sight of David Farrar riding that tiny Bhotiya pony/Bhutia horse, bare-legged and in earth-color shorts, like some kind of cover boy UPS man mystery date.

Thrapple from the Apple (James Redd and the Blecchs), Monday, 15 July 2024 13:33 (four days ago) link

One thing I recently learned from a commentary track was that Kim Hunter had been recommended to Powell by Alfred Hitchcock. Prior to AMoLaD she was a contract player who had mostly only been in screen tests and only then offscreen, feeding lines to the other actors. While Mickey was in the US to fetch her he ran into Kathleen Byron, who he convinced to move back to the UK to appear in that film and of course the two others.

Thrapple from the Apple (James Redd and the Blecchs), Monday, 15 July 2024 13:38 (four days ago) link

Of course when I was a kid I only knew Kim Hunter as Zira.

Thrapple from the Apple (James Redd and the Blecchs), Monday, 15 July 2024 13:39 (four days ago) link

Seems like there are some other minor roles in her filmography before that so maybe this was just another Mickey print the legend exaggeration, simliar to him claiming that "Poppa" Percy Day had worked with Méliès and that the famous rocket in the moon's eye image was his.

Thrapple from the Apple (James Redd and the Blecchs), Monday, 15 July 2024 13:43 (four days ago) link

The latter did work with Abel Gance on NAPOLEON though.
https://nzpetesmatteshot.blogspot.com/2011/07/walter-percy-day-master-of-matte.html

Thrapple from the Apple (James Redd and the Blecchs), Monday, 15 July 2024 13:51 (four days ago) link

Some people seem to like Emeric’s novel THE GLASS PEARLS.

Thrapple from the Apple (James Redd and the Blecchs), Monday, 15 July 2024 23:25 (four days ago) link

Is “Blimp” worth seeing on a big screen? I saw ‘Tales of Hoffmann’ a couple of weeks ago, which I think does merit the big screen.

Josefa, Monday, 15 July 2024 23:53 (four days ago) link

Definitely, and I’ve been meaning to type that in now for the past two days.

Thrapple from the Apple (James Redd and the Blecchs), Tuesday, 16 July 2024 00:00 (three days ago) link

It’s very long and sweeping and in Technicolor. I don’t know how you would sit through it on a small screen in this day and age

Thrapple from the Apple (James Redd and the Blecchs), Tuesday, 16 July 2024 00:01 (three days ago) link

Trying to decide whether I can make A MATTER OF LIFE AND DEATH.

Thrapple from the Apple (James Redd and the Blecchs), Tuesday, 16 July 2024 00:02 (three days ago) link

Think I saw it a few years back at the Film Forum.

Thrapple from the Apple (James Redd and the Blecchs), Tuesday, 16 July 2024 00:02 (three days ago) link

Xpost Looks kind of interesting - had no idea he was a novelist as well until I saw the doco. What struck me watching the doco was how all these quintessentially British movies of the 40s were made by Hungarian emigre Pressburger and Powell who got his break working for an American studio in France. I guess the experimental side of their movies is not so British...

Zelda Zonk, Tuesday, 16 July 2024 00:03 (three days ago) link

No

Thrapple from the Apple (James Redd and the Blecchs), Tuesday, 16 July 2024 00:19 (three days ago) link

In the commentary track to THE SMALL BACK ROOM, Charles Barr talks about the prominence of drinking coffee in this film, as well as in BLACK NARCISSUS, as opposed to the traditional British drink of tea, and then goes into a riff about Powell being a gourmet and both of them having Continental tastes.

Thrapple from the Apple (James Redd and the Blecchs), Tuesday, 16 July 2024 00:22 (three days ago) link

Don’t think I’d ever heard Pressburger speak until I saw the doc.

Thrapple from the Apple (James Redd and the Blecchs), Tuesday, 16 July 2024 00:26 (three days ago) link

No Taster’s Choice Freeze-dried for The Archers

Thrapple from the Apple (James Redd and the Blecchs), Tuesday, 16 July 2024 00:38 (three days ago) link

This 111 minute DCP version of GONE TO EARTH has clearly been restored since the 82 minute WILD AT HEART version they showed seven years ago.

Thrapple from the Apple (James Redd and the Blecchs), Wednesday, 17 July 2024 01:57 (two days ago) link

Sorry, THE WILD HEART

Thrapple from the Apple (James Redd and the Blecchs), Wednesday, 17 July 2024 01:58 (two days ago) link

Reminds me that I geeked out and listened to an audio adaptation of BLACK NARCISSUS with Cyril Cusack’s daughter Sinéad as Sister Clodagh.

Thrapple from the Apple (James Redd and the Blecchs), Wednesday, 17 July 2024 02:02 (two days ago) link

Xpost Looks kind of interesting - had no idea he was a novelist as well until I saw the doco. What struck me watching the doco was how all these quintessentially British movies of the 40s were made by Hungarian emigre Pressburger and Powell who got his break working for an American studio in France. I guess the experimental side of their movies is not so British...

Kinda but you also have to take into account that when the Archers were working the UK as a film industry was much more open to foreign talent, there was a lot of give and take with the continent and elsewhere. The Kordas, Cavalcanti, René Clair...

Daniel_Rf, Wednesday, 17 July 2024 09:28 (two days ago) link

my other half has read Pressburger's novel and says it is very good

Critique of the Goth Programme (Neil S), Wednesday, 17 July 2024 10:14 (two days ago) link

my other half has read Pressburger's novel and says it is very good

Critique of the Goth Programme (Neil S), Wednesday, 17 July 2024 10:14 (two days ago) link

oops so interesting I had to post it twice!

Critique of the Goth Programme (Neil S), Wednesday, 17 July 2024 10:14 (two days ago) link

it was a kindle-daily-deal a month or so ago (but only kindle, it didn't filter down to the kobo-friendly stores)

koogs, Wednesday, 17 July 2024 11:03 (two days ago) link

Kinda but you also have to take into account that when the Archers were working the UK as a film industry was much more open to foreign talent, there was a lot of give and take with the continent and elsewhere. The Kordas, Cavalcanti, René Clair...

Great point!

Thrapple from the Apple (James Redd and the Blecchs), Wednesday, 17 July 2024 11:46 (two days ago) link

Think Pressburger may have actually written more than one novel

Thrapple from the Apple (James Redd and the Blecchs), Wednesday, 17 July 2024 12:02 (two days ago) link

Xpost Yes good point, and I guess also that not all the films of their imperial phase were so quintessentially English - I can imagine The Red Shoes as a late 40s French movie. Can't really see A Canterbury Tales transposed to Rouen or wherever though!

Zelda Zonk, Wednesday, 17 July 2024 12:06 (two days ago) link

Parts of ACT aren't so very far from e.g. Vigo

you'll find this funny, children (Noodle Vague), Wednesday, 17 July 2024 14:25 (two days ago) link

been a long time since I've seen it, but perhaps Clouzot's Le Corbeau?

bulb after bulb, Wednesday, 17 July 2024 14:47 (two days ago) link

Got my eye on GONE TO EARTH and THE ELUSIVE PIMPERNEL this weekend

Thrapple from the Apple (James Redd and the Blecchs), Thursday, 18 July 2024 23:11 (yesterday) link

Guess there is also a version of this series in LA right now.

Thrapple from the Apple (James Redd and the Blecchs), Friday, 19 July 2024 00:31 (nine hours ago) link


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