When Alexander Korda teamed Michael Powell with Emeric Pressburger in 1939, a lasting partnership between this Englishman and refugee Hungarian must have seemed unlikely. Yet they soon discovered a remarkable bond, pushing each other far beyond what they could do separately, and creating a unique body of filmmaking.
This lecture explores how the partnership worked during the 1940s, drawing in collaborators from many backgrounds who also excelled, and benefiting from the extraordinary conditions of wartime Britain.
Followed at 7:30pm by a screening of:
UK, 1941, 123 mins, Cert U, In English
Directed by Michael Powell. Starring Leslie Howard, Laurence Olivier, Anton Walbrook and Glynis Johns
A German U-Boat crew on the run discovers the cultural and geographic diversity of Canada. This first major wartime saga from Powell and Pressburger won an Oscar for its bold script, and launched The Archers as the most irreverent and ambitious of Britain's new generation of 40s filmmakers. The propaganda aim was to encourage US involvement in the war with Nazi Germany, but the film, with its epic location filming (expertly integrated with studio scenes by editor David Lean) and a host of guest stars playing Canadians of all backgrounds, also provided a timely primer in democratic values standing up to fascism.
Separate tickets for the screening are required at a cost of £12 (concessions £10, under 25s £5) available directly from Cine Lumiere at 17 Queensbury Place, London, SW7 2DT.
Tickets can be booked directly from their website.
Bookings for the lecture (free):
Bookings for the screening (£12,£10,£5):
For school bookings, please contact us at firstname.lastname@example.org
Professor Christie is Visiting Professor in the History of Film and Media at Gresham College. He is a renowned British film scholar and currently Professor of Film and Media History at Birkbeck, University of London and a Fellow of the British Academy.
He has researched and published on many aspects of film history, including Eisenstein and Russian cinema, Powell and Pressburger, Gilliam and Scorsese, and is a regular broadcaster on cinema. He has also worked on many exhibitions, including Spellbound (Hayward, 1996), Modernism (V&A, 2006) and Revolution: Russian Art 1917-32 (Royal Academy, 2017). His current exhibition, Animatograph!, will be at London Metropolitan Archives during September-October 2019, and his monograph Robert Paul and the Origins of British Cinema (Chicago University Press) will appear later this year.
Professor Christie's lecture series are as follows:
2018/19 Screening London
All lectures by the Visiting Professor in the History of Film and Media can be accessed here.