A glorious love story and grand cosmic adventure wrapped up in a single masterpiece – courtesy of the twin geniuses of British cinema, Powell and Pressburger.
A magical tale from the twin geniuses Powell and Pressburger, made up of equal parts true love and metaphysics. ‘This is the universe,’ our narrator declares over a darkly twinkling cosmos. ‘Big isn’t it?’ And with that perfect line, so begins one of the most unforgettable experiences in British film, with David Niven’s Second World War pilot Peter Carter falling to earth only to be found by June (Kim Hunter), a young American radio operator.
In other hands, what follows could have been a simple wartime romance. Instead, it unfolds into an exquisitely comic celestial courtroom drama, with the guardians of the heavenly ‘next world’ staging a trial to decide if Peter should be summoned into the afterlife. Audaciously gliding between monochrome and Technicolor, this is a strange and lovely masterpiece, screened here in a painstaking restoration that offers the chance to see it at its most gorgeous.
- DANNY LEIGH, BFI LONDON FILM FESTIVAL
The 9pm screening on 8th Dec will be introduced by Stephen Mullan.