20th Century Flicks presents
Dirs: Michael Powell & Emeric Pressburger, 1947, UK, 100 mins, DCP, Cert: PG
Thu 30 March // 20:00
Tickets: £5 (full) / £4 (concession)
A group of Anglican nuns led by Sister Superior Clodagh (Deborah Kerr) are sent to a remote location in the Himalayas to set up a convent school for the locals, and they are soon bewitched by the stark beauty of their new surroundings. Both Clodagh and the increasingly unstable Sister Ruth (Kathleen Byron) also find themselves seduced by the charms of handsome local British agent Mr Dean (David Farrar), setting in motion a dark, erotically-charged drama of jealousy, deceit and forbidden lust.
Part of Powell and Pressburger’s extraordinary run of films made in the 1940s, which also included such enduring classics A Matter of Life and Death, The Red Shoes and The Life and Death of Colonel Blimp, Black Narcissus might be considered their most audacious work: a stylised, exoticised melodrama shot entirely on elegantly crafted studio sets. With a stellar cast which also includes Sabu, Jean Simmons and Flora Robson, this is one of the pinnacles of this greatest of British filmmaking partnerships’ long and enduring collaboration and, as with Powell’s later Peeping Tom, retains its power to startle even today.
Even if a screening is sold out, tickets are often available 30 minutes before the start of the film at the box office