Monday, 25 April 2011

Capital Celluloid - Day 116: Wednesday April 27

Corridor of Mirrors (Young, 1948): BFI Southbank, NFT 2, 6.20pm

This is an intriguing British film noir which the BFI Southbank programme describes thus:

Wealthy eccentric Paul Mangin is obsessed with a woman in a Renaissance painting and believes he is the reincarnation of her lover. He is delighted to discover Myfanwy Conway who, he thinks, is the reincarnation of the 400-year-old woman in the portrait. One of British Cinema's weirdest noirs, Corridor of Mirrors captures Eric Portman at his twisted best. It's co-written by unknown star Edana Romney, and marked the debut of director Young, who brings an unexpected baroque flair to the sinister shenanigans. 

Kim Newman has penned a fascinating article for Sight & Sound in which he describes the movie as "astonishing discovery." You can access that here.

There is a much longer piece on the film by David Cairns on the britmovie.co.uk website which you can find here. Cairns teases out a number of the striking elements in this production and writes: "The movie is a real oddity, proof if nothing else of the confidence and imaginative freedom being unleashed by British filmmakers at the time. If it’s a misfire, it’s at least an honourable one, since its faults are vaulting ambition and fearless bravado. Who else was imitating Cocteau at that time? Even in France, hardly anyone dared. Perhaps it helped the filmmakers to be actually shooting at a French studio, who knows?"

You can see an extract here. Love the opening.

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