films seen
average score
Alive and kicking


A Matter of Life and Death

1946 / 104m - UK
Drama, Romance, War
A Matter of Life and Death poster

Starts off okay, but gets considerably worse as time passes. The romance is cheesy, the fantasy elements are somewhat cheap and the trial at the end is dull and lifeless. Niven is the only actor who makes something of his part, the rest is ultimately forgettable. Just like the rest of this film really.

Black Narcissus poster

Black Narcissus is revered for its Technicolor visuals, personally I can't stand the shrill, cold, somewhat lifeless color scheme. I really like bold, colorful films, but Technicolor just doesn't do it for me. Neither did the painted backgrounds by the way, they looked cheesy and borderline ridiculous.

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The film follows a nunnery built in the Himalayas, where the Brits are hoping to educate the local people. A lovely setting, but the harsh living conditions in the mountains are starting to get to the nuns. What starts as the usual irritation and envy slowly escalates into a much darker conflict.

I didn't care for the visuals, but that wasn't the only problem. The performances are very weak and exaggerated, the soundtrack is pure kitsch, the characters are very one-dimensional, and the plot is slow and basic. I've seen a couple of Powell and Pressburger films now, none of them left a solid impact. Black Narcissus could be the most memorable of the bunch, but only because of the ugly colors.

I Know Where I'm Going!

1945 / 92m - UK
Drama, Romance
I Know Where I'm Going! poster

Classic Powell & Pressburger. So far I haven't really cared for their films (even though they seem to be universally praised), I Know Where I'm Going didn't do much to change my mind. It's classic drama/romance cinema, meaning it's about as subtle as a sledgehammer. At least it was rather short.

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Joan Webster is about to marry the wealthy Robert Bellinger, who is quite a bit older than her. Their wedding will be on Kiloran, a little Scottish island. On her way there, she hits a patch of bad weather and ends up stranded on a different island. There, she meets Torquil MacNeil, a young and handsome man.

The performances are overstated, the romance is predictable (and not exactly smoldering), and the British atmosphere is mostly just static and clunky. Towards the end, there were some decent shots, but otherwise, this was a dull and predictable classic, much like the other films I've seen from them.

An old British favorite. Powell & Pressburger enjoy a reputation I really don't understand. This is the third collaboration between both directors I've seen and none of them has struck me as anything special. The same goes for this one. It's a long film, very long in fact, and that's about all there is to it really.

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Colonel Blimp follows the life of Clive Candy as he rises through the ranks of the British army. It zooms in on the romances he had and picks out a strong friendship he upheld with a German officer. It's all a big stage for the run-up to WWII, where Candy realizes the world has changed for good and his time in it may be coming to an end.

There's a lot of British cheekiness that feels hopelessly outdated, apart from that it's just endless conversations about nothing much at all. Because it handles three periods in Candy's life the film ended up quite long, but that length adds surprisingly little to the characters and the narrative. I dozed off a couple of times, which at least made time pass quicker.

The Red Shoes

1948 / 135m - UK
Drama, Music
The Red Shoes poster