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Powell & Pressburger: The Dream Team

MUBI Special

Black Narcissus

Michael Powell, Emeric Pressburger United Kingdom, 1947

Powell & Pressburger’s opulent jewel box of colors, sets and costumes is also a hotbed of sexual and racial tensions. Part prestige production, part sordid dramatic pressure cooker, the good and the tawdry live side by side in the studio-bound exoticism whose cinematic beauty has never been matched.

A Matter of Life and Death

Michael Powell, Emeric Pressburger United Kingdom, 1946

This film’s very existence in 1946 seems like a miracle. One of Powell & Pressburger’s greatest films, this comic fantasy overflows with vibrant color, wit, and imagination, with a depth of soulful optimism and an opening scene for the pantheon. Bonus: the film’s many fans include one J.K. Rowling.

I Know Where I’m Going!

Michael Powell, Emeric Pressburger United Kingdom, 1945

Supposedly, Paramount once told Pressburger that they considered this film the model of great screenwriting, and we can see why. The Archers’ rom-com is still utterly charming, an ode to the peculiar age-old magic of the British Isles and a celebration of how life’s best moments are unplanned.

The Life and Death of Colonel Blimp

Michael Powell, Emeric Pressburger United Kingdom, 1943

Brutally cut on its 1943 release, Powell & Pressburger’s epic has since been restored and hailed as a masterpiece, as what starts as a jolly wartime morale booster reveals brave political complexity and rich romantic longing. Churchill reportedly chastised them for it, but cinema is all the richer.

49th Parallel

Michael Powell United Kingdom, 1941

We’re thrilled to begin a retrospective on Britain’s greatest filmmaking team: Michael Powel & Emeric Pressburger. Best known for colorful fantasias, they started with wartime dramas like this. Part thriller, part travelogue, it got an Oscar nod for Best Picture and a win for Pressburger’s writing.

Life is too short for bad films

Every day we hand-pick a beautiful new film and you have a whole month to watch it, so there’s always 30 perfectly curated films to discover.