A remarkable fantasy film about Peter Carter, a World War II RAF pilot who is forced to bail out of his crippled plane without a parachute. He wakes up to find he has landed on Earth utterly unharmed…which wasn’t supposed to happen according to the rules of Heaven.
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The cut-glass RAF accents. stiff upper lips and endlessly lecherous comments certainly reduce the timelessness of this classic - I half expected to see 3 silhouettes giving the film a good roasting during many of the early scenes - but this is such a singularly beautiful and surreal flight of wish-fulfilment fantasy that it hardly matters.
This is a highly unusual film. Not only the confrontation of lucid technicolor and b&w sequences (each one with its own musical style) and the whole visual architecture is great, but also the ironic elements during the final confrontation of American and British argumentation and - of course - the different possibilities to read and understand the story.
What I loved about this movie is that, even though it illustrated the same "love prevails all" bullshit you find in most movies, it navigated in a different light where the cosmos contains order and law and earth is chaos and senselessness. Where love exists without reason and universal law can't governor it. It the most literal fashion, that is. Oh yeah and the movie is absolutely enchanting!
“The British cinema is made of dullness and reflects a submissive lifestyle, where enthusiasm, warmth, and zest are nipped in the bud. A film is a born loser just because it is English.“ —Francois Truffaut. Screw that. 5 stars.
When a British soldier cheats death during WWII, he is granted a heavenly trial to argue that his life should be extended on the grounds that during his extra time he fell in love. Beautiful technicolor cinematography by Jack Cardiff (his first feature film), and brilliant direction by Michael Powell and Emeric Pressburger, A MATTER LIFE AND DEATH is one of cinema's great emotional spectacles.
This is Cinema at its best! i can't believe that i haven't come across this stunning, unique master work earlier! What a feast for the senses!...I didn't recover yet from the supremacy of it all! Never the subject of love and battle beetween life and death has been aproached so originally and gracefully in the big screen as in this film...It surelly is one of the greatest among the greatest gems in Film ever...