Irish Film Institute -POWELL & PRESSBURGER


Michael Powell (1905-1990) broke into the film industry in 1925 under Irish director Rex Ingram. Beginning his career as a gofer, he worked with directors such as Alfred Hitchcock on films including Champagne (1928) and Blackmail (1929), receiving his big break in 1931 when he began to direct ‘quota quickies’, cheap films intended to help British cinemas meet a legal requirement to play a certain number of home-produced films. Following The Edge Of The World (1937), the first project close to his heart, he was hired to work at Alexander Korda’s studio, where he met Hungarian émigré Emeric Pressburger (1902-1988). Pressburger had begun his career working for UFA in Berlin, but his Jewish heritage had forced him to flee first to Paris, then to London, where he fell in with Korda, a fellow Hungarian. This meeting led to the formation of one of British cinema’s greatest partnerships, usually referred to as The Archers, after their production company, responsible for some of the finest films ever made. Their work is characterised by its creativity, its flights of fantasy, and its frequently dazzling beauty, helped by indispensable collaborators such as cinematographer Jack Cardiff. Any opportunity to see their work on the big screen is to be savoured.

Season notes by Kevin Coyne


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Arts Council of Ireland