Posts Tagged ‘Brian Easdale’


September 26, 2022 Leave a comment


Original Review by Craig Lysy

In 1946 director Michael Powell became aware of the 1939 novel Black Narcissus by Rumer Godden and decided that he wanted to bring its tale to the big screen. He purchased the film rights and secured financial backing from the British company General Film Distributors and a budget of $1.2 million. He and Emeric Powell would oversee production, co-direct, and write the screenplay. The film ended up creating controversy in the American Market with the National Legion of Decency, coercing several film edits deemed as “affront to religion and religious life”. Casting also caused controversy as once again white actors were cast in a number of roles for Indian characters. Deborah Kerr would star as Sister Clodagh, David Farrar as Mr. Dean, Kathleen Byron as Sister Ruth, Flora Robson as Sister Philippa, Jean Simmons as Kanchi, and Sabu as the young General Dilip Rai. Read more…

THE RED SHOES – Brian Easdale

January 12, 2015 1 comment


Original Review by Craig Lysy

Following their success with Black Narcissus in 1947 the directorial team of Michael Powell and Emeric Pressburger decided to adapt the fairy tale “The Red Shoes” by Hans Christian Anderson for the big screen. The story tells of the girl who dons beautiful red shoes, which danced away with her, through the streets, into a dark nether land and eventually, to her death. They created the screenplay and brought in renowned choreographer Jack Cardiff to choreograph the ballet. Powell and Pressburger sought authentic artistry for their film and so decided early on that they would use professional dancers who could act, rather than actors who could dance. They also wanted to create a realistic feeling of a ballet troupe and so included a fifteen-minute ballet as the high point of the film. Worth noting was the brilliance of the film’s cinematography, particularly its use of color. Ballerina Moira Shearer was brought in for the lead role of Vicky Page, with Marius Goring (Julian Craster) playing her love interest and Anton Walbrook (Boris Lermontov) as her ruthless authoritarian impresario. The story is a classic tragedy of a woman torn between love of her art and her heart. After a stellar rise to fame as prima ballerina she falls in love and marries Julian Craster, a dashing young composer. This enrages her jealous mentor Lermontov who has long coveted her for his own. He fires Julian and Vicky leaves with him. Yet Lermotov holds her contract and refuses to allow her to dance her defining ballet role for “The Red Shoes” unless she leaves Julian and returns to him. She decides to pursue her career and dance the coveted role on the night of Julian’s opera premier thereby losing him. On the night of her greatest performance, unable to reconcile her love for Julian and her love of dance, she leaps to her death in front of a train. The film was both a commercial and critical success earning five Academy Award nominations, winning two for Best Art Decoration and Best Score. Read more…