"One is starved for Technicolor up there..."
A 3-part region 2 DVD review of the HMV exclusive POWELL AND PRESSBURGER COLLECTION by Camus
 

Note: This DVD Review will be in three parts (there are nine movies after all):

Part I will feature reviews of three of P & P's more well known Technicolor classics, A Matter Of Life and Death, The Red Shoes and The Life and Death Of Colonel Blimp.

Part II, the disparate but beguiling trilogy of a Scottish love story I know Where I'm Going, a comedy about Australia (!), They're A Weird Mob and their revered study of blessings in disguise, A Canterbury Tale.

Part III will deal with the Black and White War Movies, 49th Parallel, Battle Of The River Plate and Ill Met by Moonlight.

 


"I'm glad you said that. It's my favourite too."
Director Michael Powell to the author when
Powell asked what was his favourite P&P movie.
introduction

Michael Powell and Emeric Pressburger; eleven syllables (including that very important 'and'), syllables which these fine men (in the sense of 'fine art') reduced to their company name, 'The Archers'. With no allusions to Radio 4's Norfolk farmers (despite the fact I live on one), the Archers collectively, was a powerhouse of British cinema greatness in the 40s and 50s. Powell was all Brit whilst Pressburger (also known as Preßburger in some circles) hailed from Hungary but was a serious anglophile. But it was their singular vision, (singular in both senses of the word) often times literally fantastic, that was to subtly change the way I regarded cinema even though I was born a mere five years after their last credited picture together. Here were movies about subjects I had little time for, but so breathtaking in their execution, ambition and scope, so sure of themselves as pieces of crafted entertainment, that I was seduced from the first ten minutes of the first P & P I saw. It cannot be a surprise to any one who knows their work that the hook that reeled me in like a grateful fish was the extraordinary opening of A Matter of Life and Death. How can anyone resist a movie that pre-dates Douglas Adams' Hitchhiker's Guide by more than 30 years with the line "This is the universe. Big, isn't it?" A great place to start for this was my (and Michael Powell's) favourite…

Camus meets a cinematic hero – a long time ago....

Note: for the circumstances that led to my being fortunate enough to meet the man, please see my obituary for Jerry Goldsmith.

Part 1: The Colour Classics

A Matter of Life and Death

The Red Shoes

The Life and Death of Colonel Blimp

Part 2: there was a Scotsman, an Englishman and an Australian

I Know Where I'm Going

A Canterbury Tale

They're A Weird Mob

Part 3: The Archers Go to War

49th Parallel

Battle Of The River Plate

Ill Met by Moonlight

The Powell and Pressburger Collection

region 2 .
video
4:3
sound
Dolby 1.0 mono
languages
English
subtitles
English for the hard of hearing
extras
see individual reviews
distributor
Granada
review posted
18 September 2005