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 2: Saturday 3rd September 2005
We started Saturday afternoon with a plenary session:
Prof. Lesley Stern (University of California, San Diego):
From Pathos to Bathos: Filming the emotions in Powell and Pressburger
Lesley's paper looked at the extremes of emotion that are achieved in P&P films and at the way repeated gestures (repeated by different characters in different films) can signify this. Also at the levels of bathos to which they sometimes descend. P&P films can take you on a roller-coaster ride of the emotions.
After a break for tea we had to select between:
Elizabeth de Cacqueray (University of Toulouse):
Michael Powell (with Emeric Pressburger): the aesthetics and ethics of the war film
Stella Hockenhull (University of Wolverhampton):
Romantic Landscapes: Aestetic Theory and the Films of Powell and Pressburger
But I chose to hear:
Alexander Doty (Lehigh University):
"An Instrument with a Flaming Sword": Conservative Queerness in A Canterbury Tale
Robert Murphy (De Montfort University):
Powell and Pressburger's Men
Alexander interestingly pointed out that Colpeper in ACT is, in some ways, too queer and causes some audiences to reject his ideas.
It was interesting to hear Robert talk about P&P's men because attention is more usually focussed on the women in the films.
We took an hour off late on Saturday afternoon to have a walk down to the pier and then stopped off for a nice drink on the way back.
That evening we all gathered in the Oswalds Dining room for the conference banquet. Very nice food and good conversation all round.
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