Tuesday, September 4, 2012

191. A Matter of Life and Death

A Matter of Life and Death
Directed by Michael Powell and Emeric Pressburger (coolest name ever)

All right so I really screwed up here and now my Netflix queue is an absolute mess.  I accidentally skipped the next few movies but now I am getting a bunch of movies a little ahead of where I am.  This means that I will probably have to write about ten reviews in a row soon.  Ugh.

Well, anyway, at first glance this movie seems a bit silly.  A soldier escaped death and now some sort of heaven ambassador has been sent to retrieve him.  But he does not want to go because he has fallen in love with a girl for no other reason than her looks and his desperation!  Don't make him go until he gets into her pants!

Actually, though, it is a pretty beautiful film.  Earth is always in color and the "beyond" is in black and white.  This stark contrast is pretty effective and poetic.  Also, the pacing is excellent.  Immediately, you are thrown into the action and it doesn't really stop until the end.

So P and P narrowly avoid being lame and hokey.

RATING: ***--

Interesting Facts:

Kim Hunter was recommended by Alfred Hitchcock.

The cinematographer breathed on the camera lens to provide a foggy effect.


  1. I was curious to see what you thought of this movie, but I think you're right. It was poetic. I don't know if I liked it, but I think it was beautiful and strange and maybe we should just appreciate that.

  2. Absolutely. A great little comment "P and P narrowly avoid being lame and hokey." Very well put.
    And we managed to avoid mentioning the Anglo / American divide. neither of us raised that at all did we..?
    Oh rats.

  3. Thanks for the agreement guys!

  4. I agree, this works surprisingly well. From the description I would not have guessed this would be a movie I would like, but I did. P&P were pretty good. Was this one of Cardiff's movies?

  5. I was going to comment on what a great name Emeric Pressburger was, but you beat me to it! That's what's wrong with my life, you know. I don't have enough friends with names like Emeric Pressburger.

    Hard to know how to categorise this film. A romance within a fantasy setting? The court debate about UK/US prejudice has nothing to do with anything, but was possibly the most compelling bit of the whole film.

    Some cracking special effects in there that really had me guessing how they possibly managed it. Now there's a game you can't play any more, when the answer is always just "They used CGI".