Michael Powell's 101st Birthday
A small salute today (September 30) for Michael Powell . He was born 101 years ago today. For Powell and his partner Emeric Pressburger, it was just one masterwork after another for nearly twenty years of joint filmmaking. My favorite is I Know Where I’m Going, while runners-up include A Canterbury Tale (recently out on DVD), A Matter Of Life and Death (Stairway To Heaven in the US), Black Narcissus, and The Red Shoes. Rarities like The Small Back Room and Battle Of the River Plate (in widescreen) can be had on Region 2 DVD from Amazon UK. Powell’s unexpected downfall came with Peeping Tom --- a thriller so disturbing that it made him a pariah throughout the industry. Critical embrace for the film came too many years later to do him much good, but at least Powell enjoyed festival recognition and plaudits for an outstanding memoir he wrote during retirement.
Speaking of birthdays, today is also Deborah Kerr’s eighty-fifth. She worked with Michael Powell in The Life and Death Of Colonel Blimp and Black Narcissus. The Innocents was another terrific film she did in England during the early sixties. Anybody know how she’s getting along these days?