Saturday, 5 May 2012

Capital Celluloid 2012 - Day 131: Thu May 10

The Red Shoes (Powell & Pressburger, 1948):
Stoke Newington Town Hall, Church St, N16, 8pm
This is a new venture at a new venue for the Flicker Club. Here is an introduction to the film club from their website: The flicker club is a boutique cinema club that redefines the film-going experience by creating a unique way of rediscovering cinematic treasures. We screen movies adapted from short stories or novels and thus celebrate the power of the written word and the silver screen. The club invites surprise special guests from the worlds of entertainment and literature to read the source material before showing its big-screen incarnation. The flicker club are thrilled and delighted to announce that we will have a regular home for 2012 in in the beautiful art deco council chambers of Stoke Newington Town Hall.


Chicago Reader review:
'Michael Powell and Emeric Pressburger's Trilby-based ballet film (1948, 133 min.) has been the cult property of dance freaks for far too long. A look beneath its lushly romantic surface reveals a dark, complex sensibility, and that surface, rendered in the somber tones of British Technicolor, reflects a fantastically rich cinematic inventiveness. Moira Shearer is the ballerina who, following the outlines of a Hans Christian Andersen tale, trades her life for her art; Anton Walbrook, as her impresario, is perhaps the most forceful embodiment of the shaman figures–magical, outsized, sinister–who haunt Powell and Pressburger's work. The Red Shoes remains the best known of Powell and Pressburger's 18 features, yet it's only the tip of the iceberg–beneath it lies the most commanding body of work in the British cinema.' 
Dave Kehr


Two things fascinate me about this great film: firstly, no one mentions that it could all be the feverish dream of one of the central characters; see if you can spot the key moment I mean. Secondly, the character of Lermontov, superbly played by Anton Walbrook, who is one of Powell & Pressburger's greatest creations. Enjoy.
Here are extracts featuring the aformentioned Lermontov.

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