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Thread: Black Narcissus

  1. #61
    Administrator Country: Wales Steve Crook's Avatar
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    Cheers Steve, strange what being 'rejected in love' can do to people!, the scenes by the Lake have come back to me if not the dialogue



    I guess if Con had really loved her he would have asked Clodagh to go with him, or did he?
    Apparently not

    He gave her a nice brooch when they went out carol singing (2nd flashback) and she was already trying on her grandmother's emeralds that were going to be given to her when they married - but it appears that he never asked her.



    I think the first flashback is one of the most beautiful scenes in the film. Try to see it projected onto a full sized screen so that it fills your field of view and you'll see what I mean. That's how it was made to be seen. You have Clodah standing in the lough (Irish for loch) dressed in thigh high waders and a gingham shirt. But beautiful though she is with her red hair, it's the water itself and the light on the water that is really the best bit. The way the light reflects off the ripples in the water is simply stunning



    Steve

  2. #62
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    Nice to see Judith in full wimple

    Great film, great locations, West Sussex never looked better



    And the late lamented Kathleen Byron's best performance by a country mile

    (All the others were great as well)



    Steve
    Oh no - I missed the passing of my English bell.



    http://www.guardian.co.uk/film/2009/...byron-obituary



    What sad news. How close was Kathleen and Michael?

  3. #63
    Administrator Country: Wales Steve Crook's Avatar
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    Oh no - I missed the passing of my English bell.

    Obituary: Black Narcissus actor Kathleen Byron | Film | guardian.co.uk


    What sad news. How close was Kathleen and Michael?
    Very close, particularly while they were having an affair

    They remained good friends afterwards (he usually did with his lady friends). When they met up again many years later he introduced her to his new bride, Thelma - and Kathleen & Thelma got on very well, swapping a few stories about Michael I expect



    There are other obituaries



    Steve

  4. #64
    GRAEME
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    It was always my understanding that these are Anglican Nuns. Is that right? Is it stated in the film? There is no Father Confessor around is there?



    If so, would the film have been in anyway different had they been Catholic?

  5. #65
    Senior Member Country: UK CaptainWaggett's Avatar
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    It was always my understanding that these are Anglican Nuns. Is that right? Is it stated in the film? There is no Father Confessor around is there?

    If so, would the film have been in anyway different had they been Catholic?
    They are in the book though I'm not sure what in the film is specifically Anglican(surely most audiences would assume that Sister Clodagh was Catholic). Rume Godden converted to Catholicism in the 1940s I think (after writing BN anyway I believe) and In This House of Brede is definitely about Catholic nuns. No idea what the differences would be - maybe Sister Ruth would have confessed her naughty thoughts about Mr Dean?

  6. #66
    Senior Member Country: UK wellendcanons's Avatar
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    Black Narcissus is one of my favourite films of all-time. The beautiful colours and the breathtaking scenery are so visually stunning and Kathleen Byron's disturbing descent into madness are for me the high points in this film.



    Kathleen's iconic image as you see her appear at the bell tower behind Deborah Kerr is an amazing screen image in cinema history. She looks hauntingly sexy. I still feel strangely uneasy when I see that scene today. It's brilliant!



    It's a great shame Kathleen is no longer with us.



    Wellendcanons.

  7. #67
    Administrator Country: Wales Steve Crook's Avatar
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    Black Narcissus is one of my favourite films of all-time. The beautiful colours and the breathtaking scenery are so visually stunning and Kathleen Byron's disturbing descent into madness are for me the high points in this film.

    Kathleen's iconic image as you see her appear at the bell tower behind Deborah Kerr is an amazing screen image in cinema history. She looks hauntingly sexy. I still feel strangely uneasy when I see that scene today. It's brilliant!

    It's a great shame Kathleen is no longer with us.

    Wellendcanons.
    When we met her she said that the striking aspect of the "death's head" image was mainly due to the make-up and Jack Cardiff's lighting and camera work. She just stood there



    Steve

  8. #68
    Senior Member Country: UK wellendcanons's Avatar
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    When we met her she said that the striking aspect of the "death's head" image was mainly due to the make-up and Jack Cardiff's lighting and camera work. She just stood there
    Steve


    Yes I must admit, the make-up and lighting was what made it such a brilliant scene. It was just so perfect. That's not to take anything away from Kathleen. She looked scary. . . and sexy. . . in that marvellous iconic scene. I love it!



    Thanks for posting a caption Steve.



    Wellendcanons.

  9. #69
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    When we met her she said that the striking aspect of the "death's head" image was mainly due to the make-up and Jack Cardiff's lighting and camera work. She just stood there







    Steve
    That is an image that could have been taken yesterday, stunning and timeless. Steve have you any photos of the great lady when you met her??

  10. #70
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    My God - Powell and Pressberger invented Goth!

  11. #71
    Administrator Country: Wales Steve Crook's Avatar
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    That is an image that could have been taken yesterday, stunning and timeless. Steve have you any photos of the great lady when you met her??
    Just one, and it was taken quickly (with her permission) on my old camera when the battery wasn't at its peak.







    Kathleen on the left of course.



    But after she'd signed my AMOLAD book we were more interested in chatting to her than taking pictures



    Steve

  12. #72
    Senior Member Country: Great Britain Mark O's Avatar
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    Nice you got to meet Kathleen Steve, i know as well as BN she worked with my beloved Judith Furse on 'Sky west and crooked', wish i've of had the chance to meet her!



    I watch 'Saving Private Ryan' for the very first time recently, it was good that Steven Spielberg rated her so highly that he asked her to play 'Mom' in the present day scenes.

  13. #73
    Administrator Country: Wales Steve Crook's Avatar
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    Nice you got to meet Kathleen Steve, i know as well as BN she worked with my beloved Judith Furse on 'Sky west and crooked', wish i've of had the chance to meet her!

    I watch 'Saving Private Ryan' for the very first time recently, it was good that Steven Spielberg rated her so highly that he asked her to play 'Mom' in the present day scenes.
    Apart from the sterling work she did for Powell and Pressburger in Black Narcissus, The Small Back Room and the small roles in A Matter of Life and Death and The Silver Fleet, Kathleen Byron's record in films isn't generally anything to shout about.



    After Black Narcissus directors could only see her as a crazy woman and she was offered variations on that in quite a few films. She also did a lot of very bad films like Wolfshead: The Legend of Robin Hood (1969).



    She admits to having been "difficult" for some years



    But one other film that I do like her in, and which is a good film although it may be difficult to find, is Prelude to Fame (1950) with Guy Rolf and a young Jeremy Spencer. Kathleen plays the wife of a rich man and she is a patron of the arts, making sure everyone is aware of her patronage.



    They discover that the son of a poor Italian family is a musical genius and they persuade the family to let them adopt him and give them the training he needs to perform in public. But Kathleen's character keeps trying to control the boy too much and he's not happy.



    Steve

  14. #74
    GRAEME
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    Apologies if this has been asked before (I may even have asked it before ):



    What is the correct form (and meaning) of the title the natives give to the nuns? It sounds like "lemony"...

  15. #75
    Administrator Country: Wales Steve Crook's Avatar
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    Apologies if this has been asked before (I may even have asked it before ):



    What is the correct form (and meaning) of the title the natives give to the nuns? It sounds like "lemony"...
    In Rumer Godden's book she spells it "Lemini"

    I am told that it means "Sister" in Hindustani (Hindi-Urdu) and is a polite form of address used by women and children to women in authority.



    Steve

  16. #76
    Senior Member Country: UK eyeloveTV's Avatar
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    Sister Ruth scared the out of me.

    eyeloveTV

  17. #77
    Administrator Country: Wales Steve Crook's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by eyeloveTV View Post
    Sister Ruth scared the out of me.

    eyeloveTV
    But Kathleen Byron was a lovely lady

    Kathleen herself attributed that "death's head" look as she came out of the door for her final scene to the wonderful make-up but mainly to Jack Cardiff's lighting and cinematography

    Steve

  18. #78
    Senior Member Country: UK eyeloveTV's Avatar
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    Yes, the lighting, make-up, and not least that psycho like skittering walk all combined to produce a truly frightening and terrifying ending. Great stuff.

    eyeloveTV

  19. #79
    Senior Member Country: Australia lllIIlllIIlllIIl's Avatar
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    I notice the advertisement for the current screenings at the Stratford Picturehouse remark on Sister Ruth conceiving a passion for "a brusque Englishman who has a penchant for shorts".

    I'm assuming this is a tongue-in-cheek attempt at humour, isn't it? Do you think the 1940s film-makers consciously intended Mr. Dean to wear suggestively-short shorts? I know his shorts would have been quite in fashion for the 1970s even if unacceptable as street wear today.

  20. #80
    Administrator Country: Wales Steve Crook's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by lllIIlllIIlllIIl View Post
    I notice the advertisement for the current screenings at the Stratford Picturehouse remark on Sister Ruth conceiving a passion for "a brusque Englishman who has a penchant for shorts".

    I'm assuming this is a tongue-in-cheek attempt at humour, isn't it? Do you think the 1940s film-makers consciously intended Mr. Dean to wear suggestively-short shorts? I know his shorts would have been quite in fashion for the 1970s even if unacceptable as street wear today.
    A tongue-in-cheek attempt at humour by the Picturehouse people. But a conscious decision by the film-makers, who also had Mr Dean do a gradual strip tease through most of the film. Every time we see him, apart from the scenes set at Christmastime, has him wearing fewer clothes

    It's one reason why Sister Ruth gets so distracted

    Steve

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