This autumn Britain celebrates one of filmmaking’s greatest partnerships in the history of cinema, Michael Powell and Emeric Pressburger. Two of their classic films will be shown as part of this event by Stroud Film Festival in November at Avening which holds a special connection to the duo.
Cinema Unbound, organised by the British Film Institute, celebrates these two creative giants of the film industry with screenings all over the country as well as coverage across TV, radio and the press.
Avening is where Michael Powell lived and is buried, at Holy Cross Church, and two classic films will be screened at the Memorial Hall. The first on the afternoon of 18th November is Black Narcissus (1947). Film director Martin Scorsese acknowledges the influence of Powell and Pressburger on his own work, saying ‘the experience of excitement and mystery that I get from watching doesn’t just remain, it deepens’.
Thelma Schoonmaker, long-time collaborator with film director Martin Scorcese, will attend the screening of Black Narcissus. She has worked with Scorcese for five decades and has received three Academy Awards and two BAFTAs during her career.
A Matter of Life and Death (1946) is described by film critic Mark Kermode as ‘quite simply, one of the greatest movies ever made’. This hugely influential film is being shown on Saturday 25th November followed by Q&A with film historian Ian Christie.
Derrick McLean of Stroud Film Festival said: “Powell and Pressburger films were very popular when they were released and what’s special is their originality, creativity and daring choice of subject which is part of the enduring influence on the world of film.”
The Memorial Hall is close to Michael’s burial place in the churchyard and both events include an opportunity to consider the director’s special connection with the village. Buried alongside him is Pamela Brown who made her screen debut in Powell and Pressburger’s One of Our Aircraft is Missing (1942) as well as I Know Where I’m Going (1945) and The Tales of Hoffman (1951).
Supported by National Lottery and BFI Film Audience Network, more details can be found at www.stroudfilmfestival.org