The Masters  
The Powell & Pressburger Pages

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 Ashbrittle Film Show
Ashbrittle, Somerset. 27th December 2003

I called in to stay a couple of days with Charles Doble on my way to Wales for the new year.

A few other people were there as well so Charles' wife Susan (Lt Col Susan J Kaufman, USAF) did us a lovely meal and then we made our way up to their cinema. The whole of the attic of the Old Rectory has been made into a small cinema. Charles has various projectors but usually uses his trusty old matched pair of CinemaScope projectors onto a screen of about 10x5 feet at the other end of the attic. With different lenses he can thus project true CinemaScope or Academy ratio films.

The attic is decorated mainly with posters and stills from the films of Ludmilla Tcherina & Anita Ekberg, many of them are signed and dedicated as he knows both ladies well.

The main show was a screening of Luna de Miel and the more I see it, the more I like it. OK, it's not exactly a masterpiece on par with The Red Shoes or even The Tales of Hoffmann but it deserves a wider showing. I'd say that it would be of as much interest as Oh... Rosalinda!! and that's had a much wider showing. It's a shame Rosita Sergovia died last year, I'd have liked to have met her again, she was such a lovely lady. But at least she got to see it fully restored in Spain in 2002.

It's a lovely way to see a film, to sit back in a comfortable armchair with some good friends. Especially with a good bottle of port and a fine cheese board to hand

It's not easy being a hedonist - you have to work at it! :)

The other guests included Columba Powell and Julien & Amanda Temple who live nearby. Julien has directed some interesting films including Absolute Beginners (1986), Earth Girls are Easy (1988), The Filth & the Fury (2000) [about The Sex Pistols and other punk bands] as well as some videos for Janet Jackson, David Bowie and others. Columba was most interested in the documentary Julien & Amanda did about French director Jean Vigo [Vigo (1988)] and what they said made me want to check out some of his work as well.

Columba & I stayed the night and the next morning Charles took us on a nice walk around the estate to see the lake (they filmed some of a local TV production of Boudica there), the highland cattle he breeds and the mine shaft he's exploring that an ancestor caused to have dug there. We thought about how we could use the mine shaft for a re-creation of GTE but it's a horizontal shaft into the hillside - so we'd have to hold the cameras on their side :)


Other P&P trips