Sunday afternoon film / Ghastly-kitsch / All that shit in old anglophone films where a child says something-whatever and the movie cuts to a reverse-shot of an adult wide-eyed putting forth words in response to the patronizing effect of "Oh, is that so?" before a quick cut out / There are a load of dead spans in this film — I wish I saw it as replete as other viewers claim to have done, and yet moments still interest me / For instance: Kerr is erotic before Clodagh's erotic / :a menstruating Sound of Music / :the wind that incessantly whips, blows in the pathogens / :Sister Ruth's glee in ringing a church bell hung over an abyss / :"No, I don't want to go away — I want to stay here like this for the rest of my life." / Beyond that, other moments demand some remark... / 'Beauty''s face smeared with inedible chemicals / "Sister, may I congratulate you on the birth of Christ?" / Glorious Christmas scene, the holiday as the calm offering / Sweat droplets on Sister Ruth's fevered brow like the eyes of a spider / Insufferable cloying delivery of "Lemini" 119 times / Twice-seen, Black Narcissus strikes me as a camp, technically complicated, gorgeous, morally offensive, admirably garish and ultimately shallow Crappy Film by two photoplaywrights I like quite a bit / No, they're cinéastes in other works, but to compare Black Narcissus to another adaptation of Rumer Godden, one goes back to the language of notices
The frames from the film (not 'production-stills') placed above are stolen from various sites around the Internet, as no means of capturing stills from a Blu-ray presently exist on the Mac platform.
Previous pieces on Michael Powell (solo), and Michael Powell and Emeric Pressburger, at Cinemasparagus:
The Phantom Light