Powell & Pressburger’s A MATTER OF LIFE AND DEATH introduced by Thelma Schoonmaker
Saturday, September 23
SPECIAL EVENT FOR ARTHOUSE THEATER DAY
WORLD PREMIERE OF NEW 4K RESTORATION
Thelma Schoonmaker, wife of the late Michael Powell and long-time editor for Martin Scorsese, will introduce this special screening of A Matter of Life and Death.
(1946, Michael Powell and Emeric Pressburger) Back from bombing Germany, RAF flyboy David Niven crashes into the Channel, despite American operator Kim Hunter’s efforts to talk him down – but he isn’t dead yet, since Collector 71 (Marius Goring), a previously beheaded French aristocrat, has missed his scheduled soul pickup due to heavy fog. Asked to make a film promoting Anglo-American goodwill, Powell & Pressburger (The Red Shoes, Tales of Hoffman, etc.) soared into otherworldly whimsical fantasy, moving from the great Jack Cardiff’s Technicolor-drenched Earthly photography (more dazzling than ever in this new restoration), to a grandiose celestial trial with Raymond Massey as Niven’s snarling prosecutor, in glorious black & white (actually underdeveloped color, thus the pearly hue). “One is starved for Technicolor up there,” Goring remarks from Earth. 4K DCP restoration.
Thelma Schoonmaker has edited all of Martin Scorsese’s films since Raging Bull, and won Oscars for Raging Bull, The Aviator and The Departed. She was married to Michael Powell from 1984 until his death in 1990.