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Dedicated to the work of Michael Powell and Emeric Pressburger and all the other people, both actors and technicians who helped them make those wonderful films.

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The Michael Powell Centenary Conference
2nd - 4th September 2005, Bangor University, North Wales

Report by: Steve Crook

Day 1: Friday 2nd September 2005

Well that was another great Powell (& Pressburger) event. Many thanks to Andrew Moor and Linda Jones for organising it all so well.

I took the train up to Bangor from Euston. Change at Crewe, just missed the fast train to Bangor so had to get the slow, stop-at-all-stations train along the North Wales coast but that gave plenty of time for a good look around. On the train I met Prof. Lesley Stern, who'd come over from UCSD, and we took a cab together from the station up to Bangor University.

Once we'd signed in, we got our keys and dropped our bags off in our rooms. I then met up with Leïla Wimmer, one of Ian's students and a friend of Natacha's. We walked down to the Main Arts Building where we were for most of the weekend. We picked up our folders with the schedule and various other details about the weekend and made our way up to the lecture room just in time for Andrew Moor to start the introduction.

Andrew showed a DVD greeting from Martin Scorsese saying that he wished he could be with us (actually made for the Cannes Film Festival but applicable to this event as well) and then he passed round a box of badges that Thelma had had made up. They had different pictures of Micky on them and we all promised to wear them on his 100th birthday on September 30th 2005. After Andrew had finished the introduction, explaining the way things would (or should) happen over the weekend, we took a break for tea.

That gave a chance to say hello to a lot of the people that I already knew like the lovely Natacha, Llorenç, Nick, Eddie & co from CCCUC and Andrew himself. Then I had a lovely big hug from Diane Friedman. We'd been emailing for some time and she'd really been looking forward to this event.

Back in the lecture room, the team from the Powell Research Centre at Canterbury Christ Church University College led off with a special panel titled Locating the Self: Narrative, Journey and Identity in the Films of Michael Powell
Eddie McMillan:
Chair and Introduction
Karen Shepherdson:
Narrative Histories and the Presence of the Past in Powell & Pressburger's A Canterbury Tale
Bryan Hawkins:
From Fools and Pilgrims to the Postmodern Self; Powell, Neo-Romanticism, Personalism and the Construction of Post-War Identity
Nick Burton:
Landscapes of Desire in Age of Consent

Some very good and interesting points made in these papers which were extensions of the ones we'd heard in 'Locating Powell' conference in Canterbury last October. Karen made an interesting aside towards the end pointing out how few young girls there are in ACT. It is a bit of a boys film. Bryan has done some good work showing how ACT fits in to the postmodern movement in British art that was flourishing at the time and Nick's work on AoC is very good.

We headed back to the Ffriddoedd Site (I gave a few people lessons in pronouncing Welsh names) where the main accommodation and dining hall were for a drinks reception courtesy of the BFI followed by a nice dinner. All the meals were vegetarian, Andrew thought it'd be easier (there was one vegan and us omnivores will eat anything).

And so to bed at the end of the first day. We'd been put into the student accommodation (term started in a week or two) which was cheap and cheerful and perfectly adequate for what we needed.

Continued on Saturday

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