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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Barbara's report of a trip to Yarmouth
By: Barbara Siek

The Great Yarmouth Mercury newspaper called it a "Blockbuster Festival."
It was that and more. The weeklong Festival opened with a Tribute to legendary son of Great Yarmouth, Jack Cardiff who was feted at a retrospective of his work on 30 September, 2004, with the screening of two classic Cardiff films The Red Shoes, and A Matter of Life and Death, in addition to a masterclass with Professor Charles Barr, and a special award presentation by Stephen Fry.

The Festival would run a week, but its opening night could hardly be surpassed. I trained up from London and arrived that morning in pouring rain which lasted all day. But the downpour did not dull the glitter of the red-carpet evening nor the arrival of celebrities who had come to pay homage to the great cinematographer Jack Cardiff. The usually humorous Stephen Fry was serious and erudite in his comments on the important role a cinematographer, and specifically a master like Jack Cardiff, plays in any film.

Charles Barr was enlightening in the questions he posed to Jack about his amazing history in film which he began as a child actor, then a cameraman in silents to working with the legendary Michael Powell and on to Hollywood and photographing world beauties like Marilyn Monroe and Audrey Hepburn. Jack's comments on filmmaking and making films with Powell were memorable, such as the idea of dropping water on a leaf in an ending scene in Black Narcissus. And in true cinematographer fashion, Jack glanced over his shoulder at the screen, and quietly said, "It's not straight," a condition quickly corrected! After the event, Jack entertained questions and patiently signed copies of his book Magic Hour for long lines of admirers, this writer included. Did I say it was raining? Who noticed!

Jack Cardiff, signing books

Jack Cardiff, signing programmes

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