Based on the novel of the same name by Rumer Godden. It is a psychological drama about the emotional tensions within a convent of nuns in an isolated Himalayan valley.
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…
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…
Film 59 of The December Project
If you see it straight after Powell & Pressburger's previous films,Black Narcissus is an astonishing departure. From high-class British war movies with warm 'n' fuzzy endings, to a psychological study of haunted nuns in the Himalayas...
I was already aware of Black Narcissus, yet somehow it was still "woah, I didn't see that coming".
Metaphorically, I realised later, this is still a war story.
I daresay anyone who's been a teenager in a convent school will find at least some resonance in the air of Black Narcissus, the air which the new young Sister Superior (Deborah Kerr) says is too clear and "makes everything seem exaggerated". Trying to set up a small religious community and…
I'm ashamed to say that this is my first Powell/Pressburger film. But, even more so, I'm a fool for watching this on anything less than a big screen (let alone my laptop). Even so, I was amazed at the visual craft here from the gorgeous compositions and sets to the beautiful technicolor saturation.
The story itself is one of eroticism and exoticism- the former of which works a lot better than the latter. The sexual tension and sense of regret that the nuns have is pretty palpable and I enjoyed the dynamic of the sister superior and the colonial agent. Things start to get really interesting towards the end (when one of the sisters loses her shit) from both a…
Sanctity is no match
For sin, sex, and Sabu.
The bell tolls for she.
Pressburger and Powell were simply some of the best filmmakers to ever tell a story. To me, while not completely switching in tone and character direction the way Hitchcock's Pyscho did, the way in which Black Narcissus transitions is a fascinating one. So many rich layers both human and spiritual, so many little things, little moments that play into the greatness of the vision of the story, the acting, and the writing, and it's superbly lensed to say the least. An extraordinary piece.
"Black Narcissus" es una extraña pelicula. El subtexto se filtra de manera poco sutil y su inicio convencional se transforma radicalmente bajo su linea de erotismo, locura y superstición. La historia se enfoca en un grupo de monjas dedicadas a adaptar un monasterio en los Himalayas en una escuela y hospital, a pesar de no contar con experiencia ni un entendimiento claro de la gente que vive en los alrededores.
"Black Narcissus" es visualmente espectacular (bajo el glorioso proceso Technicolor) y cuenta con estupendas actuaciones (especialmente de Deborak Kerr). A pesar de ser inconsistente con su trama, es una fascinante pelicula.
We all need discipline. You said yourself they're like children. Without discipline we should all behave like children. - Sister Clodagh.
Let me just remind you all that this film was shot in 1947, Black Narcissus is a film that feels miles ahead of its time with some beautiful use of colour and visuals (A Technicolor corporation executive claimed it was the finest use of Technicolor they had seen) and a truly haunting narrative and tone. The setting of the Himalayas almost feels otherworldly due to its wonderful architecture and visuals, for example the incredible cliff where the bell sits, and also the gorgeous colours, the backdrops are all huge black and white images coloured over by the art department…
I really had no idea what to expect from this film. I tried watching it at 2am the first time and fell asleep pretty quickly, but I'd wake up every 5-10 minutes and would see an AMAZING shot each time. So, the first viewing (not logged here, btw) was really just a collection of gorgeous pictures. I watched it properly soon thereafter, at a more reasonable hour, and it absolutely lived up to my now-huge expectations. My mind was blown a third time when I read how and where it was made.
The ending is good and so are the performances from Kerr, Farrar, and Byron, but other than that I didn't see much else in this film.
Stunning. Aslo Sabu is adorable.
68. Magnifica, y debo verla muchas veces más.
Ya gotta love local movie channels. There's this local movie channel called This TV that plays a ton of classic black and white films and cult hit films. I just so happened to catch Black Narcissus on there today.
No idea really what genre it's supposed to be. Drama, horror, comedy? It was pretty neat looking to for a '40s film. The bright colors, neat costume design etc. Not to mention I kind of got turned on by the nuns. Especially that crazy bitch.
I guess the moral (or plot) of this story is that everyone has temptation even hardcore nuns. The only thing on my mind right now is trying to find some hardcore nun porn.
Man those actresses from the '40s and '50s were so fucking hot.
There are times when I just can't get past the stylized rhythms of pre-Method film acting; this turns out to be one of them. And it says something for how remarkably it's put together in all other ways that it was still pretty enthralling. A quick Google search verified that I'm far from the first to make a connection between the palace/convent and The Overlook Hotel, both of them places of solitude that draw out the hints of madness already beneath the surface of the characters. But in this case, the over-the-top "Here's Johnny" crazy stuff feels too abrupt and hystrionic (yes I used that gender-loaded expression). There has to be an essential element of slow burn towards all five…
One of the five most beautiful films ever made. Period, end of discussion.