Archive for December 13th, 2008


bySam Juliano

Upon his arrival Allan made the point that he in complete agreement with Joe about the surfeit of posts in the last two weeks.  Allan has only been putting up two a day because of having to fit them in before the poll closing date, so he has asked – and Tony’s comments today further back this up – that the date for closing the 1940s poll be pushed back a month till 7th February 2009.  This allows him to just put one piece up each day, making it better for him and our readers.  Tomorrow just one piece, no 34, will go up.

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by Allan Fish

(UK 1945 86m) DVD1/2

Here’s grit in your eye…

p  Noël Coward, Anthony Havelock-Allan, Ronald Neame  d  David Lean  w  Noël Coward, David Lean, Ronald Neame, Anthony Havelock-Allan  play  “Still Life” by Noël Coward  ph  Robert Krasker  ed  Jack Harris  md  Muir Matheson  m  Finalé of “Piano Concerto No.2” by Sergei Rachmaninov  art  L.P.Williams

Celia Johnson (Laura Jesson), Trevor Howard (Dr Alec Harvey), Cyril Raymond (Fred Jesson), Stanley Holloway (Albert Godby), Joyce Carey (Myrtle Bagot), Valentine Dyall (Stephen Lynn), Everley Gregg (Dolly Messiter), Margaret Barton (Beryl Waters), Dennis Harkin (Stanley), Marjorie Mars (Mary Norton), Irene Handl, Nuna Davey,

Has there ever been a film that personifies the quintessence of British reserve like Brief Encounter?  It’s a film that irritates and bores as many as it entrances but, in spite of this, it would take someone with a very narrow viewpoint not to acknowledge that it is a truly magnificent, perceptive piece of small scale cinema (shot not 15 miles from where I write, at Carnforth station, where few trains now stop). Indeed, in its way, it’s perfect.  (more…)

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by Allan Fish

(UK 1947 100m) DVD1/2

I give you till the rains break

p  Emeric Pressburger, Michael Powell  d  Michael Powell  w  Emeric Pressburger  novel  Rumer Godden  ph  Jack Cardiff  ed  Reginald Mills  m  Brian Easdale  art  Alfred Junge  cos  Hein Heckroth

Deborah Kerr (Sister Clodagh), David Farrar (Mr Dean), Sabu (Dilip Rai), Flora Robson (Sister Philippa), Kathleen Byron (Sister Ruth), Jean Simmons (Kanchi), Judith Furse (Sister Briony), Esmond Knight (Gen.Toda Rai), Jenny Laird (Sister Honey), May Hallatt (Angu Ayah), Nancy Roberts, Ley On, Shaun Noble,

Black Narcissus is a thing of beauty, a film which stands alone in the Archers canon as a truly erotically charged film, one so suffused with sexual repression and tensions beneath the surface as to reach out and burn you.  Like all their colour masterworks of the forties, it’s a unique film; not only a wonderful adaptation of Rumer Godden’s novel but a wonderful insight into how a foreign and mysterious atmosphere can be conducive to the appearance of hidden desires and a change in character.  As Farrar’s Mr Dean says, “there’s something in the atmosphere that makes everything seem exaggerated.”

            A group of nuns from the Convent of the Order of St Mary in Calcutta are sent to run a hospice (which they name St Faith’s) in the remote Indian outpost palace of Mopu, given to them by a retired Indian general.  Formerly a group of monks lived there, but couldn’t hack it, while the walls are still adorned with sexual imagery from its days as a high class concubine residence.  (more…)

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