Lupino Film Club: meeting and Black Narcissus

Would you like to get more involved in the Lupino Film Club? Are you interested in helping to programme the screenings or in writing reviews of the films watched? Then come along to a meeting on Monday 4th November at 5pm in the Lupino to find out more and see how you can help shape the future of the club!

After the meeting, stay and join us at the Lupino Film Club for a screening of Black Narcissus (1947) on Monday 4th November at 6pm in the Lupino.

Michael Powell and Emeric Pressburger direct this British classic which was adapted from Rumer Godden’s 1939 novel of the same name. The film tells the story of a group of nuns who attempt to settle on a mountain in the Himalayas, with the aim of establishing a school and hospital. Their original objectives are, however, jeopardised with a series of unexpected challenges, including the arrival of the government worker Mr. Dean…

Jack Cardiff (Director of Photography) and Alfred Junge (Art Director) were awarded Academy Awards for their work on the film which makes innovative use of Technicolor. As Karli Lukas notes, the film’s colour not only emphasises the film’s eroticism, but becomes a thematic element in itself, representing the repressed emotions and thoughts explored by the narrative. As Lukas concludes:

The film is hauntingly beautiful, and for good reason.

Reflecting on the film’s status as now over 70 years old, Adam Scovell notes how radical the film was at the time, particularly in regards to its colonial theme:

Black Narcissus is, in many ways, radical for British cinema in the 1940s because of this daring exploration of the ‘other’ – the otherness of female desire (if only because of its lack of previous presentation) and the otherness of the world outside of western society. In this sense, the colonial aspect of the film is intriguing and far less typical in ideology for British cinema set in other countries

In the same piece, Scovell asks:

Why does Michael Powell and Emeric Pressburger’s Black Narcissus still cast such a strange spell 70 years later?

Come along on Monday to find out!

Watch the trailer here.

This film is also being screened to complement the Histories Research Seminar taking place on Wednesday 6th November.  Paul Mazey will be giving a talk on ‘Choral Music in British Cinema, 1930s-1950s’ at 5pm in GLT2. All welcome.