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  1. #221
    Senior Member Country: United States TimR's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Steve Crook View Post
    That's how it hit me, and still does after watching it countless times. That's another measure of a great film. That you can watch it over and over and still see new things in it or have it trigger new thoughts.

    I always liked a lot of British films from this period and it was only gradually that I realised that all of the ones I liked the best, the ones that gave me the most to think about, the ones that had the most complex & complete storylines and the most fully rounded characters, all started with that arrow in the target and all had that curious but marvellous credit:
    "Written, Produced and Directed by Michael Powell and Emeric Pressburger"

    So then I started to hunt out more of their films and find out more about those people that made them.

    The connection wasn't obvious because they covered such a wide range of subjects, genre and styles. The only common factor being quality in depth.

    Steve
    So that's how it started. Very nice.

    A Matter of Life and Death really is wonderful - and it is one of the very, very few films that actually gets better each time I see it. Depth upon depth - marvelous.

  2. #222
    Junior Member Country: UK
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    Here's a little story that's slightly off subject but I hope you will forgive me.

    Much the same as my stumbling upon AMOLAD I was urged to listen to some music by a great British band. Not being the type to blindly follow another persons insistence I happily spent many years of music appreciation ignoring the band that had been recommended to me. Eventually I heard some of their music (not just the famous songs) and I have been a lifetime fan ever since. That band was Led Zeppelin. Enough said. Anyway, being a bit of a geek I found out where Jimmy Pages house was and as I live in London too I went with another appreciator of their music to have my photo taken outside his house. Said photo taken we left the scene of the crime quite chuffed with ourselves when I noticed a blue plaque on one of the houses across the road from his. The plaque was put up to commemorate the fact that a certain Michael Powell used to live in the house. Not one but two heroes in the same street! I went home a very happy bunny

  3. #223
    Administrator Country: Wales Steve Crook's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by dieselpower View Post
    Here's a little story that's slightly off subject but I hope you will forgive me.

    Much the same as my stumbling upon AMOLAD I was urged to listen to some music by a great British band. Not being the type to blindly follow another persons insistence I happily spent many years of music appreciation ignoring the band that had been recommended to me. Eventually I heard some of their music (not just the famous songs) and I have been a lifetime fan ever since. That band was Led Zeppelin. Enough said. Anyway, being a bit of a geek I found out where Jimmy Pages house was and as I live in London too I went with another appreciator of their music to have my photo taken outside his house. Said photo taken we left the scene of the crime quite chuffed with ourselves when I noticed a blue plaque on one of the houses across the road from his. The plaque was put up to commemorate the fact that a certain Michael Powell used to live in the house. Not one but two heroes in the same street! I went home a very happy bunny
    I didn't know that Jimmy Page lived in Melbury Road. If he lived across the road from Michael's house at 8 Melbury Road then he could well have lived at or close to 5 Melbury Road, which was used as Mark's house in Peeping Tom

    Led Zep always denied (to their American fans) that there was any connection between their famous anthem "Stairway to Heaven" and AMOLAD being initially released as Stairway to Heaven in the States. But maybe there is a connection?

    The plaque for Micky Powell at Melbury Road was erected by the Directors Guild in April 2001



    I was there with the lady known here as CaptainWaggett


    I went through the process to get English Heritage Blue Plaques (the original & the best) for Micky & Emeric). English Heritage finally agreed, after a few years, now we just need permission from the owners of those houses to get them erected

    Steve

  4. #224
    Senior Member Country: UK Moor Larkin's Avatar
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    I'm guessing Don Chaffey or someone at Disney might have been a fan of this movie, judging by the Heaven steps scenery in "The Three Lives of Thomasina"






  5. #225
    Administrator Country: Wales Steve Crook's Avatar
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    Thanks Moor, I'll add it to the list of references to P&P films in other works

    Steve

  6. #226
    Senior Member Country: England paul kersey's Avatar
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    How bizarre. I was looking on the net for the title of my favourite Tom and Jerry cartoon, for which I make no apologies.
    I managed to come up with the answer and having just viewed it on you-tube, I was shocked to find that one scene just had to be influenced by the escalator scene in "A Matter Of Life & Death".http://youtu.be/IBnKjUozHjQ
    Judge for yourself, If I am wrong. it provides a great excuse to watch Tom and Jerry again ! It also reminds me of the great days when cartoons were used as space fillers at peak viewing time, pity they don't do it now.

  7. #227
    Administrator Country: Wales Steve Crook's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by paul kersey View Post
    How bizarre. I was looking on the net for the title of my favourite Tom and Jerry cartoon, for which I make no apologies.
    I managed to come up with the answer and having just viewed it on you-tube, I was shocked to find that one scene just had to be influenced by the escalator scene in "A Matter Of Life & Death".http://youtu.be/IBnKjUozHjQ
    Judge for yourself, If I am wrong. it provides a great excuse to watch Tom and Jerry again ! It also reminds me of the great days when cartoons were used as space fillers at peak viewing time, pity they don't do it now.
    Close, especially for the long staircase against the blue sky background. But there aren't any statues on the staircase (escalator) and there are many other references to a stairway to heaven, from Jacob's ladder onwards. I think that the statues have to be there for it to count as referring to AMOLAD and not some other or generic stairway

    Steve

  8. #228
    Senior Member Country: England Westengland's Avatar
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    Yesterday (Saturday) morning I watched a lot of A Matter Of Life And Death as I had picked up a copy of the AMOLAD/Heroes Of Telemark Mail On Sunday DVD from a local charity shop and was viewing it on my laptop to see that the copy was sound (I pass on the MOS AMOLAD DVDs to people who don't know it and may like it).

    I intended to just quickly see that it started properly and skip through it but what happened was what always happens now when I check these giveaway DVD versions of AMOLAD: I watched at least the first twenty-one minutes and I was in tears all the way through those opening scenes, as I was off and on throughout the rest of the film as I stepped along it and at the end. The fallout from that effect stayed with me all day. This happens with some other DVDs I look at in the same way.

    I have found myself responding more emotionally to all things as I get older (I'm fifty-seven), although I have always been able to let my responses to a film make my eyes water. When I was younger I repressed it more because it can be too immediate but as time passes and I learned about the films that have these effects on me I let it happen and went with it.

    These days I watch films on my laptop; their effect is probably greater because the picture is nearer despite being much smaller than a television or cinema screen. Also, I watch them on my own, so don't have to make the adjustments necessary when looking at something in company, whether few or many. As with any personal viewing using a recording, I can stop or repeat watching at any time, which is another difference from collective viewing but the initial effect of seeing a film like AMOLOD doesn't change.

    Yesterday I was thinking of what the audience responses, especially those of the "uncommon common people" were to AMOLAD at the time it was released and in the around thirty years afterwards before it was generally recognised as a "great" film, if those kind of superlatives have to be used, I happen to be researching an earlier English film and have found some quite remarkable responses to watching that during its first (and only) theatre presentation runs from the paying public. It would be interesting to learn of people other than contemporary film reviewers, fans or buffs who saw AMOLAD early on and were so taken with it they had to see several times whilst it was first shown and then whenever they could in the following years, especially if they recorded their responses in some way that can be read or heard now.

  9. #229
    Administrator Country: Wales Steve Crook's Avatar
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    It was always recognised as a "great" film. It was chosen for the first ever Royal Film Performance.

    Was the Mass observation project still running in 1946? There may be some entries about it in there.
    I have various contemporary reviews on the P&P web site, including a 1947 review from Russia (the Soviet perspective on it)

    Steve

  10. #230
    Senior Member Country: Australia IlllIIllllIIii's Avatar
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    These pieces of mute, unedited footage seem so surreal and allusive.

    I'm assuming that the second clip has Powell's wife Frances Reidy at 4.40 and 6.50. I wish I could lip-read.

  11. #231
    Administrator Country: Wales Steve Crook's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by IlllIIllllIIii View Post
    I'm assuming that the second clip has Powell's wife Frances Reidy at 4.40 and 6.50. I wish I could lip-read.
    That looks like Pamela Brown, Powell's girl-friend in later years (until her death in 1975) but a friend since she appeared in One of Our Aircraft Is Missing (1942) and later in The Tales of Hoffmann (1951)

    Steve

  12. #232
    Member Country: England
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    Quote Originally Posted by Steve Crook View Post
    The American airmen led by Bonar Colleano make a big fuss, have a coca cola, sign in, get their wings and then they walk through a doorway. As they walk through the door that we never see through - leading into heaven itself we assume and one of the city boys, who's been quite brash up until then says "Home was never like this" and the quiet country boy says in a lovely mid-west twang "Mine was" <sob>
    "It's heaven, isn't it?" - that's the one that gets me, with Richard Attenborough staring in awed wonderment at the millions of records held. Love it. Just love it.

    And it wasn't until the late 90's after Ian Dury died that I realised that it was the same Bonar Colleano referenced in "Reasons to be Cheerful, Part Three".
    Last edited by Nettles; 02-07-15 at 05:56 PM. Reason: Additional comment

  13. #233
    Administrator Country: Wales Steve Crook's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Nettles View Post
    "It's heaven, isn't it?" - that's the one that gets me, with Richard Attenborough staring in awed wonderment at the millions of records held. Love it. Just love it.
    That's one of many points that has me sniffling, holding back the tears. But they always flood out as June gets on the staircase and says "Goodbye darling". Even though I know what's going to happen, but it's just so perfect

    And it wasn't until the late 90's after Ian Dury died that I realised that it was the same Bonar Colleano referenced in "Reasons to be Cheerful, Part Three".
    Maybe we should add Ian Dury to the Famous Fans of P&P list or maybe we should add "Reasons to be Cheerful, Part Three" to the list of Archers' films referenced in other works alongside "Bill & Ted's Bogus Journey" (1991) and all of the other references

    John Coltrane's soprano, Adi Celentano

    Bonar Colleano


    Steve

  14. #234
    Senior Member Country: Australia IlllIIllllIIii's Avatar
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    I liked Abraham Sofaer playing The Judge in the 'celestial court' with his fluffy wig and his ambiguous ethnicity but I read that George Arliss was first choice for the role. I don't know when filming started but IMDB tells me that he died in February 1946.


    BTW: I notice Cedric Hardwicke played the Judge in a much cheaper-looking 'celestial court' in the 1957 film The Story of Mankind


  15. #235
    Administrator Country: Wales Steve Crook's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by IlllIIllllIIii View Post
    I liked Abraham Sofaer playing The Judge in the 'celestial court' with his fluffy wig and his ambiguous ethnicity
    Ambiguous? How?

    I like the light show that's playing behind the judge. It doesn't look too impressive in B&W but I think that it's meant to imply that those in "the other place" can see something that's as far beyond colour as colour is beyond B&W

    Steve

  16. #236
    Senior Member Country: Australia IlllIIllllIIii's Avatar
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    ^ I'm assuming that the court had the duty to judge ALL humanity; I'm thinking the combination of George Arliss, Joan Maude and Kathleen Byron might have made it rather Anglo.

    I've only seen Abraham Sofaer in six movies but I reckon that he's like those actors �such as Daniel Day-Lewis, Peter Finch, Guinness, Hardwicke, John Hurt, Ben Kingsley, Olivier� who are are able to comfortably take on various roles of various ethnicities.

  17. #237
    Administrator Country: Wales Steve Crook's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by IlllIIllllIIii View Post
    ^ I'm assuming that the court had the duty to judge ALL humanity; I'm thinking the combination of George Arliss, Joan Maude and Kathleen Byron might have made it rather Anglo.
    Where you are quoting things I wish that you would use the proper QUOTE box in here. But this doesn't seem to be quoting anything in this thread so I must ask what you mean by it. Why assume that the court had the duty to judge ALL humanity? Why couldn't there be different courts for different groups of people? What does it matter?

    I've only seen Abraham Sofaer in six movies but I reckon that he's like those actors —such as Daniel Day-Lewis, Peter Finch, Guinness, Hardwicke, John Hurt, Ben Kingsley, Olivier— who are are able to comfortably take on various roles of various ethnicities.
    Abraham usually played Middle Eastern / Jewish people. But what does his ethnicity matter?

    Steve

  18. #238
    Member Country: England
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    What struck me was that the film was made just after the war. So many of the audience would have lost loved ones and the image of men (and women) just like them checking into heaven must have been almost heart rendering. Grief isn't reasonable and the emotions caused by this film must have been very difficult to bear. That said it is a brilliant production

  19. #239
    Administrator Country: Wales Steve Crook's Avatar
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    That was part of Powell & Pressburger's daring (or audacity), making a film about life & death so soon after so many people (including many of Emeric's relatives) had died. But they specialised in daring audacity.

    Steve

  20. #240
    Super Moderator Country: Great Britain
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