Samstag, 10. Dezember 2011

Black Narcissus (Powell, Pressburger, 1947) - TSPDT #138

A group of nuns opens up a new convent at the edge of a mountain abyss and are confronted with their past and needs.

The setup on this one is quite straightforward: The extraordinary location of the old palace where the nun set in at the edge of the steep decline is also a place where all the subdued emotions come floating to the surface. The film focuses on the development of two or maybe three of the nuns, even when all of them are affected.

Kathleen Byrons presence is enormous and even made better by the marvelous use of colors (as in all the Powell/Pressburger pictures I've seen so far) - the pictures of the abyss are breathtaking, and the clashes of cultures was beautifully played out.

The film might have been a bit too short for the number of issues it explores. The love relation between the prince and the beggar woman was a bit too much on the surface and I also would have liked to know more about Dean's back story. His character was extremely interesting but his denial of any human emotions was so complete that he wouldn't let slip anything.

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