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Made in England: The Films of Powell and Pressburger

by David Hinton
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Martin Scorsese first encountered the films of Powell and Pressburger as a child, sitting in front of the family TV. When The Archers’ famous logo appeared on screen, Scorsese recalls: “You knew you were in for fantasy, wonder, magic – real film magic.” Now, in this documentary, he tells the story of his lifelong love affair with their movies, including The Life and Death of Colonel Blimp, Black Narcissus, The Red Shoes and The Tales of Hoffmann. “Certain films you simply run all the time and you live with them,” says Scorsese. “As you grow older they grow deeper. I’m not sure how it happens, but it does. For me, that body of work is a wondrous presence, a constant source of energy, and a reminder of what life and art are all about.” Drawing on a rich array of archive material, Scorsese explores in full the collaboration between the Englishman Powell and the Hungarian Pressburger who thrived in the face of adversity during World War II but were eventually brought low by the film industry of the 1950s. Scorsese celebrates the duo’s ability to create “subversive commercial movies” and describes how deeply their films have influenced his own work.

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