Sunday, 29 November 2015

Black Narcissus (1947)

Figure 1
Black Narcissus 1947 directed by Michael Powell and Emetic Pressburger is a film about 5 Anglican nuns being sent to the himalayas to open a convent  for education and a hospital in the palace Mopu which was previously used by Kublai Kahn as a place which he used as a harem. Upon arrival they discover the sensuality and their frustrations within the palace, its walls adorned erotic art only adding to their frustrations of the pleasures they had given up and forgotten long ago. As the film progresses their libidos only increase as a male character is introduced and is shown boldly in their actions and attitudes.

"The nuns' well-ordered existence is disturbed by the presence of a handsome British government agent (David Farrar), whose attractiveness gives certain sisters the wrong ideas." (Rovi Hal Erickson)
 
Figure 2
Powell and Pressburger really did create a believable set of the Himalayas, despite being filmed within a studio in England, the scene looked relatively real and very atmospheric. This type of set was developed by production designers and cinematic skills such as the use of Matte Paintings (shown in figure 2) - an extension of a set which has been painted and edited to fit in with the physical set.

"The studio sets and backdrops are superbly and still convincingly rendered, and the film looks more beautiful than ever." (Peter Bradshaw)
Figure 3
 
The use of technicolour and colour compositions within the film is used perfectly to convey the story and its development. The colour red is introduced increasingly from the beginning of Sister Ruth's  (Kathleen Byron) changes through to the climax of her sex-starved insanity. Red is introduced in her lighting, new clothing and the luxury of lipstick adding emphasis to her Libido and her sexual frustrations over Mr Dean (David Farrar).

"Later, as passions grow wilder, red comes into play - most startlingly on previously white lips - and as the film builds to its conclusion, the nuns' habits seem stained with the color." (Lee Robert Adams)
 
Bibliography:

  • Bradshaw. P 2005 http://www.theguardian.com/theguardian/2005/aug/05/3 29/11/15
  • Rovi Hal Erickson http://www.rottentomatoes.com/m/black_narcissus/ 29/11/15
  • Lee Robert Adams http://videokrypt.com/2012/05/07/black-narcissus-nuns-in-heat-in-glorious-technicolour/ 29/11/15
Illustrations:
  • Figure 1 http://www.doctormacro.com/Movie%20Summaries/B/Black%20Narcissus.htm 29/11/15
  • Figure 2 http://chelseaktheblog.blogspot.co.uk 29/11/15
  • Figure 3 http://videokrypt.com/2012/05/07/black-narcissus-nuns-in-heat-in-glorious-technicolour/ 29/11/15


1 comment:

  1. Hi Danni,

    You have some highlighter issues going on here - where you have copied and pasted the quotes, I imagine. This has also meant that your font is inconsistent... always proofread to make sure it looks as professional as possible.
    When you reference after a quote, you need just the authors surname and the date in the brackets, so (Bradshaw,2005) for example.

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