Cinema Unbound: The Creative Worlds of Powell and Pressburger

Englishman Michael Powell and Hungarian émigré Emeric Pressburger formed one of history’s most inventive, influential partnerships. As ‘The Archers’ through the 1940-1950s, they worked with the best designers, cinematographers and performers to make nuanced, stylised, aesthetic and cutting-edge films. Their famous ‘target’ logo signals challenge and surprise and this season of eight key works celebrates their achievement.

Listen to the music from and inspired by the film season here.

Curated by Andrew Moor, Reader in Cinema History, MMU and Rachel Hayward, Head of Film Strategy at HOME.

Andrew Moor is Reader in Cinema History at Manchester Metropolitan University. He is the author of Powell and Pressburger: A Cinema of Magic Spaces (I.B. Tauris, 2005) and co-editor with Ian Christie of Michael Powell: International Perspectives on an English Film-maker (British Film Institute, 2005).

Cinema Unbound: The Creative Worlds of Powell + Pressburger is a UK-wide film season supported by National Lottery and BFI Film Audience Network.


Previously in this season

The Red Shoes

In a blazing manifesto for The Archers production company, dance, music, design and ‘high style’ combine in ‘total cinema’. Ballet dancer Vicky (Moira Shearer) achieves…

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The Creative Genius of Powell and Pressburger: Reflections

This discussion between Pamela Hutchinson and Andrew Moor will begin with some thoughts about the importance of The Red Shoes , the film which brings…

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Black Narcissus

Shot entirely in Pinewood (almost), hysteria and Empire thematically collide when Sister Clodagh establishes a convent in the Himalayas. The local agent seems unhelpful and…

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Powell & Pressburger and Empire + Surviving Sabu (PG)

Black Narcissus is one of Powell and Pressburger’s richest films, layered with subtext. This event will attempt to unpack Black Narcissus in terms of race,…

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A Matter of Life & Death + Intro + Post-screening discussion

Powell and Pressburger’s most imaginative Technicolor foray into wartime cinema. Airman Peter Carter’s (David Niven’s) should be dead, but a Heavenly messenger fails to claim…

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Peeping Tom

A chilling thriller by Michael Powell, the director responsible for classics such as The Red Shoes and Black Narcissus.

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In Conversation/ Thelma Schoonmaker

We are delighted to welcome triple Oscar winner Thelma Schoonmaker to talk with season curator Andrew Moor about her late husband Michael Powell’s work.

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The Life and Death of Colonel Blimp

One of the most audaciously adventurous of the celebrated Powell and Pressburger collaborations, this artistic wartime masterpiece is a portrait of a larger-than-life and headstrong…

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I Know Where I’m Going

One of the Great Romantic Films. Level-headed Joan (Wendy Hiller) is keen to meet her industrialist fiancé in the Western Isles, but Scottish weather delays…

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The Edge of the World + Return to the Edge of the World+ Intro

The Edge of the World was Michael Powell’s first real solo project took him to Foula, a remote Scottish island, to craft this romantic tale…

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The Spy in Black

The first Powell-Pressburger collaboration, this vehicle for the German star Conrad Veidt (The Cabinet of Dr Caligari) follows a German U-boat Captain sent to Orkney…

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One Hour Intro/ Early Days, The Meet-Cute and What Came Next

In this introductory talk, Andrew Moor traces Powell and Pressburger’s lifelines to the point when they converge: October 1938 in Alexander Korda’s office at London…

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Call out / Creative Interventions: The Red Shoes

Deadline: Fri 27 Oct

A call for proposals from artists in Greater Manchester to respond creatively to the work of Powell and Pressburger by developing a small creative intervention…

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Powell and Pressburger Creative Performances

From Fri 8 Dec

As part of our Cinema Unbound: The Creative Worlds of Powell and Pressburger film season, we're showcasing five creative performances in response to Powell and…

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