Behind the scenes of Powell & Pressburger’s The Red Shoes.


"For ten years we had all been told to go out and die for freedom and democracy; but now the war was over, The Red Shoes told us to go out and die for art.” — Michael Powell

"For ten years we had all been told to go out and die for freedom and democracy; but now the war was over, The Red Shoes told us to go out and die for art.” — Michael Powell

"Since H.G. Wells, Arthur Clarke and Ray Bradbury, they have all tried to think up frightening machines but it’s very difficult to achieve. I don’t think there is anything more frightening than a camera, a camera which is filming and which is watching you." — Michael Powell

Michael PowellSeptember 30, 1905 — February 19, 1990
"I’ve always been a very serious-minded person, but people don’t know it, really, they’re always puzzled by my films, that there’s usually something going on in the film besides what you’re looking at, which is of course, the contact with the director, an audience has a contact with the story on the screen and also with the director who is telling the story. This is why a director in making a film is such a strange thing—there are some directors who are just card indexes, machines, just put the thing very well on the screen and that’s it. But there are others, who are holding an unspoken communication with the audience all the time, and I’m one of those, and the audience is saying ‘Well, there’s something going on’—I’ve had this said to me—‘There’s things going on in your films, particularly in this sequence, which I didn’t understand but it fascinated me’ and I didn’t say anything—what it is, is the direct contact with the audience with the director."

Michael Powell
September 30, 1905 — February 19, 1990

"I’ve always been a very serious-minded person, but people don’t know it, really, they’re always puzzled by my films, that there’s usually something going on in the film besides what you’re looking at, which is of course, the contact with the director, an audience has a contact with the story on the screen and also with the director who is telling the story. This is why a director in making a film is such a strange thing—there are some directors who are just card indexes, machines, just put the thing very well on the screen and that’s it. But there are others, who are holding an unspoken communication with the audience all the time, and I’m one of those, and the audience is saying ‘Well, there’s something going on’—I’ve had this said to me—‘There’s things going on in your films, particularly in this sequence, which I didn’t understand but it fascinated me’ and I didn’t say anything—what it is, is the direct contact with the audience with the director."

A Matter of Life and Death // dir. Michael Powell & Emeric Pressburger“One is starved for Technicolor up there.”

A Matter of Life and Death // dir. Michael Powell & Emeric Pressburger
“One is starved for Technicolor up there.”

"I live cinema. I chose the cinema when I was very young, sixteen years old, and from this time on, my memories almost coincide with the history of cinema. I am not a film director with a personal style, I am the cinema. I grew up with and through the cinema; if I interest myself in pictures, books, or music, it is again thanks to the cinema."

Michael Powell, born 106 years ago today.

Peeping Tom // dir. Michael Powell

Peeping Tom // dir. Michael Powell

The Red Shoes // dir. Michael Powell & Emeric Pressburger

The Red Shoes // dir. Michael Powell & Emeric Pressburger

Black Narcissus // dir. Michael Powell & Emeric Pressburger

Black Narcissus // dir. Michael Powell & Emeric Pressburger