All the films from all the editions, including those subsequently removed, presently totalling 1167. An easy way of seeing how…
After opening a convent in the Himalayas, five nuns encounter conflict and tension as they attempt to adapt to their remote, exotic surroundings.
The theme is from Forster and I Know Where I’m Going!, worked out "at the back of the beyond" by The Archers at their most carnal-bonkers-sublime. The old harem known as "the House of Women" is perched on the edge of Himalayan precipices, turning it into "the House of St. Faith" is the mission accepted by the Irish Sister Superior (Deborah Kerr) and her Anglican order. Quite a challenge for sanctity: There are howling winds up above and drums in the bamboo jungle below, plus the hirsute thighs of the sardonic government agent (David Farrar) to erode the resolve behind the pale habits. The stony cloister with clogged-up plumbing, the bejeweled Little General (Sabu) and the wayward odalisque (Jean Simmons),…
I suppose it was only fitting that I rejoined my run of The Archers films today with this particular film after making this list earlier!
I have to admit to being rather daunted by the prospect of watching Black Narcissus. In fact, it's probably a feeling I have about almost all of The Archers films. Not because I was worried about them being difficult or complex - in fact, so far they have all been about as approachable a selection of films that the uninitiated could possibly hope them to be.
It was more to do with the writing about them afterwards that I was daunted by. You become aware, even…
Film #29 of Project 40
”Remember, the superior of all is the servant of all.”
To put it simply Black Narcissus is about failure. About limitation. About arrogance. About madness. It was a terrifying experience to tell you the truth. On the surface it is a gorgeously shot movie with sharp colors and beautiful scenery but beneath this dazzling superficial layer lies a petrifying world of carnal desires, verbal threats and mental confusion with characters who are haunted by their own fears and doubts. Michael Powell and Emeric Pressburger take their characters to the end of the world and leave them alone with their own erratic minds and erotic fantasies and then witness their physical, spiritual and mental collapse. Black…
Director: Michael Powell (and Emeric Pressburger) (Third Film)
Black Narcissus is startling. It's startling because of its omniscient and thick erotic atmosphere, and all of this, in a film about nuns setting up a school in India. The immediate purity of the clothing worn by the nuns is (yet again) masterfully inventive as it opposes the natural and vibrant colours of the Himalayas and its surrounding terrain. Carnality meets oppressed sexuality in a film that doesn't rely on plot or story but wholly on the colours to express, and the atmosphere to emote and the occasional spike in emotional verbalisation from a hysterical Kathleen Byron.
Her moments are the pinnacle because of her fantastical performance: and her hysteria…
This one's going to take some time and another viewing or three to properly absorb. But it's absolutely brilliant.
A meditation on spiritual commitment versus the temptations of the world, set in a nunnery high in the Himalyas. And what a world. Gold, silk, flowers, mountains. Men who run around with their shirts off -- and who remind Deborah Kerr's nun of her lost love. Sensual Indian paintings on the wall of the old palace where the nuns now reside; look carefully, and you'll find a few bare breasts on the walls. Candlelight dancing in the dark hallways.
And all of it shot in gorgeous technicolor by Jack Cardiff. It's not as unreal as The Red Shoes, and yet the…
Step off the edge of the Himalayas and float beside the nuns.
This movie is beautiful. A shining example of an early film that decided to use color to help tell the story. The setting provides the opportunity for some of the most creative and visually inventive film techniques. It's no wonder this film cleaned up awards for Best Cinematography. The film focuses on a small village which is home to, The House of Women, set on a cliff. Coincidentally, The House of Women, ends up being a house for a group of nuns trying to bring education, healthcare, and the good word to these native people. Using models and trick photography, Powell, Pressburger, and designer Junge brought this fictional…
Very beautiful looking film. An impressive technical accomplishment. Has great atmosphere but is very cold and soulless. There are no bad performances here. I just don't think the material is strong enough. It ends up going in a weird direction. I get the main point but the execution just makes its ideas of sexual repression seem kind of goofy. Not my personal favorite from Powell & Pressburger but it is a unique beast for sure.
You’d think this would be a dreary feel-good movie for the missionary set, but in fact Black Narcissus is eerie and erotic melodrama, that, by the climax, starts flirting with horror as Sister Ruth goes mad for sex and freedom, dashing red hues across the Himalayas.
Powell thought of this as his most erotic movie, and boy, is it erotic. There’s something almost haunting about the wordless submissive-dominant flirtations between Kanchi (Jean Simmons) and the Young General (Sabu). Simmons is, in Dave Kehr’s words, “impossibly beautiful” and she and Sabu are damn near transfixing.
The movie represents the colonial racism of the nuns, and it hardly subverts their patronizing, simplifying stance. Central to Black Narcissus is an orientalist sense that…
guess how much work I got done today...................Nun.
An astonishingly beautiful Technicolor production, from the legendary team of Powell & Pressburger, soaked in repressed eroticism and tested faith.
A wonderful cast is led by Deborah Kerr as the Sister Superior of the convent outpost who slowly loses control of her charges and her own faith. However she is outshone by Kathleen Byron as Sister Ruth, who begins the film as the most fragile of the order and descends from there. Her final scenes are terrifying and she completely sells it, helped in no small part by the way she is shot by the legendary Jack Cardiff.
In fact Cardiff's photography sets this film apart, absolutely sumptuous at times but also lowering the colour palette for the nuns. The colour…
So erotic intense and suppressed
The last twenty minutes are amazing and so beautifully shot (as were the other eighty).
Five nuns lose their faith—and their minds—in a remote Himalayan samaritan outpost. This is the Mother Superior of the nun genre—a beautiful, terrifying, hot-blooded melodrama that begins with a whisper and goes out with a scream. Stunning technicolor photography by Jack Cardiff and art direction by Alfred Junge, both of whom won Oscars. One of the most chilling portraits of madness ever committed to film.
it's one of those films that they have to play it on theatres at least 5 times a year cause the cinematography IS BLOODY BRILLIANT!!!
watch it at least on a 40 inch tv , it will make you breathless from some scenes!
Watching "Black Narcissus" for the first time I must concur that this is indeed one of the most beautiful films ever made. Shot by the master of technicolor - Jack Cardiff, it really is a work of art.
This film is like a great painting with a wonderful use of color, composition and mood, with a real sense of place and time. Although it was mostly shot on set, it doesn't feel like it. I actually couldn't believe it was shot in 1947, because It looks much more modern than that.
The duo of Michael Powell and Emeric Pressburger were always ahead of their time and pushing the medium further. In a way they were the Stanley Kubricks of the…
Every film that has ever been nominated for an Academy Award in any category. Enjoy!