All the films from all the editions, including those subsequently removed, presently totalling 1177. 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…
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…
One of the all-time great movies. It's about a bunch of nuns who travel to the Himalayas to found a new convent, but don't let that fool you — the film is almost wickedly secular, and beneath its entertaining story and well-drawn characters there are undercurrents of strangeness and dark humor. If you ask me, it's the best movie the Archers ever did, and that's really saying something.
Wow! Worth watching just for the color. Technicolor never looked finer! (and Deborah Kerr doesn't hurt either)
Not only is the concept amazing, but the setting's conceptually interesting, and the glorious technicolor is just the icing on the cake. All of the flashbacks are executed impressively, and Deborah Kerr is great. The stylistic flourishes in the last act are a pleasant surprise too.
Powell and Pressburger triumph again.
Five nuns who make a brothel into a convent experience the hardships of starting a mission in the Himalayas. A rewatch of this is exactly what I needed to reaffirm my questioning if it was as great as I believed it to be the first few times. It is even greater.
First off, the cast is a total marvel. We get Archers regular David Farrar playing a seductive, rugged Englishman - the perfect kind of character to make all these nuns wet with pleasure. And then we get Britain's best with Deborah Kerr, Kathleen Byron, and Flora Robson. Throw in a matured, finally-not-annoying Sabu, a young, beautiful Jean Simmons caked in brownface, and veteran actress May Hallatt, and you get…
Ένα εικαστικό αριστούργημα.
It's technically amazing and beautiful! I didn't love it but purely because the genre ain't for me, no sleight against the film though. Good bit of history to fill in.
Shown in film class. It took watching this in the presence of about thirty other people (of whom at least two-thirds had obviously never seen it) for me to realize that this premise would make for one hell of a soap opera.
"Losing him was blue like I'd never known/Missing him was dark grey all alone/Forgetting him was like trying to know somebody you never met/But loving him was red...Oh, red...Burning red." -Taylor Swift
Colonialism, God and Sex all traffic in repressive tendencies.
Part of October watch list
Knowing that Black Narcissus is made 1947, no matter what your expectations are, you won't be disappointed. This pretty much is the epitome of classic Hollywood movies, featuring stunningly beautiful actresses, the mandatory dramatic soundtrack and a well woven story that escalates in drama the further in you get. Highly entertaining!
Every film that has ever been nominated for an Academy Award in any category. Enjoy!
Combined the average ratings (Critic's & Users) from IMDb, Rotten Tomatoes, Metacritic and Letterboxd, and then weighted and tweaked the results…