All the films from all the editions, including those subsequently removed, presently totalling 1187. 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.
In a perfect world, this is what comic book movies would look like. Powell and Pressburger took every visual trick in the book, it feels like, to craft this. It's not just the colors (which are widely touted) nor the painted backdrops (which feel more real than the best CGI) nor the huge spaces (which convey isolation and expansiveness at once--you feel so small and alone knowing how much of the world there is). It's also the blocking (see how Kanchi relates to the Little General, for instance) and the movement (the birds in their cages, the edges of the mountain making people flinch, the camera adjusting angle in an angular room) and the transitions (fading from Mr. Dean to…
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…
Open up and let the devil in.
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…
Apocalypse Now with nuns.
High altitude melodrama. Luxurious and amazing.
I mean yeah it's really good and colourful and stuff but I couldn't really tell any of the characters apart and didn't really know what was happening
Open up and let the devil in.
Sweeping and claustrophobic in turns, the technical power of 'Black Narcissus' is undeniable, and goes a great distance to obscuring the contradictory deficiencies of its narrative understatements. The gorgeous and glorious Technicolor is a character in its own right, bursting with vibrance that both contradicts and emboldens the eroticism percolating just below the surface.
A masterpiece of mood and visually gorgeous, Black Narcissus simmers over with sexual tension and longing. Powell and Pressburger's focus on a group of nuns trying to maintain a mission in the hills of the Himalayas is outstanding in its technical detail, being largely shot at Pinewood Studios - the painted backdrops and sound design give Narcissus's remote location significant depth.
Above all, Black Narcissus is a masterpiece in unspoken meaning and sexuality, even to the point of giving its mountain location a supernatural tone. Narcissus remains timeless, not just for its craft but the deep-seated way and nuanced that Powell and Pressburger present their characters' desires.
The close-up of Sister Ruth applying the vividest pink red lipstick as a deadly subversive act against the suffocating purity of the order is one of the cinematic sequences genuinely seared into my brain forever. In a good way. Its utter blood chilling perfection. The candlelight, the sweat on Ruth’s face, her crazed smile, the angry jealous eyes of Clodagh who coolly slides the bible into her hands in a defiant but hopeless gesture against the eerie atmosphere of sexual temptation and manic possession. Its a demonic standoff between vicious desire and anxious desperation. It manages to take you to a place where Ruth’s knee bathed in moonlight is the most erotic image imaginable.
whew [wipes brow] those are some little shorts & some outdated ideas !
lov those matte paintings though
yo these nuns be trippin'
I want you all to vote on what you think are the greatest films of all time!
This is going…