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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[Any comments are by me (Steve Crook) and other members of the email list]
Kathleen Byron at the NFT
From: Alan Head
Awestruck is probably the right word. I'm not normally the type to get enthusiastic about "celebrities", but sitting in the NFT watching BN with Columba, Susan, and Kathleen's daughter a couple of rows in front of me was one of those times where you just have to pinch yourself. Kathleen was a bit nervous (wouldn't you be with a few hundred fans sat in the audience hanging on every word you were saying?), but on fine form - loved the story about the cat in SBR (no doubt Steve will give a full recap, so I won't steal his thunder. It was great to meet Nicky, Richard, Steve, and (briefly) Natacha and to not realise I was meeting Susan and Columba until it was too late (despite knowing them from the pictures!)
BN went down very well with the audience - quite a bit of laughter (more to do with the period dialogue than anything else). I personally spent the first couple of minutes giggling trying to convince myself that the Mother Superior wasn't the Emperor in Star Wars - it was the headgear, the weathered face, the voice, and the dialogue that did it ("Our plans at Mopur are in place" - pure Darth Vader) It was stunning on the big screen - Clodagh's flashback to her Irish idyll was more emotive than normal, and that dissolve back to the chapel is just totally awesome. The print was very good, and although the shadows were darker than I remember on TV this added to the menace of the final scenes. What I hadn't noticed before is the UFA influence - the shots of peasants working in the fields are pure Reifenstahl, and some of the shots of Sister Ruth in the end sequence reminded me of Nosferatu.
And David Farrar did a very good job of burning a hole in the screen (and Kathleen did like his shorts!) If they'd started making Bond movies earlier he would have made an excellent Bond.
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