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…
This is one of the most technically fascinating movies I've ever seen. The entire film is shot in a soundstage to look like it's the Himalayas, resulting in some iconic sets, beautiful matte paintings, and striking imagery.
In fact, striking imagery make up a good portion of this film, as it starts out as little more than an unconventional story of nuns losing themselves in the mountains, then becomes an all out horror film in the third act. The theme of losing yourself to your passions vs using logic and reason is conveyed from the actors and the story, but most of all you can find it in the style of the movie. It's a film that was ahead of its time, and withstands multiple viewings more times than I can count.
Visually wonderful, technically astounding, thematically intriguing, and sometimes even terrifying, this film is one that should be studied for years to come.
The Nitrate Picture Show at the Eastman House. The weave of the nun's habits, and the glowing blue of a mental blackout.
Oh man, the Technicolor is so beautiful. Much like with Douglas Sirk, colour feels like a character in Powell and Pressburger's films, and in here it feeds into the strange atmosphere that flows through Black Narcissus. Powell and Pressburger pushed the boundaries of storytelling and subtext, and it makes for gripping viewing as everything very slowly unfolds.
Two of Britain's all-time greats make films I can't help but love, and I just want to watch more and more.
I see a serious lack of discipline in this here order.
Nuns go nuts! Some repressed nuns, all decked out in virginal white, troop off to a frightening looking "palace" placed precariously on the edge of a giant cliff, where it looks like if you sneezed the whole thing would topple right over. The nuns are going to turn this place into a one-stop "civilizing" shop for the natives, but wouldn't you know it, it's the nuns who are going to learn some hard lessons. They must confront their devotion to their vows, especially as this place offers some forbidden earthly pleasures, such as flower gardening, as well as Mr. Dean, a bare-chested stud with a talent for sending nuns' hearts a-flutter. Deborah Kerr is Head Nun, who remembers...remembers...a time when…
Glorious fake Himalayan scenery! Fantastic old school performances! ALL THE MELODRAMA!.
Owned - Blu-Ray
About a group of nuns that try to establish a convent in the Himalayas, this is a haunting film that raises a myriad of interesting questions about faith, cultural imperialism, and the tensions between asceticism and sensuality. Strikingly filmed and well-acted, if a bit stodgy at times.
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.
Every film that has ever been nominated for an Academy Award in any category. Enjoy!