Tony Grist (poliphilo) wrote,
Tony Grist
poliphilo

A Matter Of Life And Death

I adore Orson Welles but I'm cool about Citizen Kane. It's the same with Hitchcock and Vertigo. And Bergman and Persona. I can see why these particular films are considered their maker's masterpieces and I can admire them- but I don't love them.

I think it's got something to do with the amount of conscious effort that seems to have gone into them. I prefer films that strain less hard. Lady from Shaghai, for instance, Strangers on a Train, Winter Light.

And then there's A Matter of Life and Death. Michael Powell is the greatest British director and it follows that I'm keen to love what is generally considered to be his greatest film- and I do, but with reservations. It's a huge film, multi-layered and with lots of great moments, but again I get that feeling that Powell was trying a little to hard to make a masterpiece.  

And it's a flawed work.  The scenes in heaven are a little too whimsical, the sets a little too cardboardy. As for the perfomances,  Niven and Livesey are fine, but Marius Goring is really annoying and Kim Hunter- with that sulky, spoiled-kid face of hers- is so dull it's impossible to believe in her as the love of anybody's life. 

I watched it again last night. I tried to put my self in a place where I would simply submit to it and let the magic do its work, but I couldn't get there.
Subscribe
  • Post a new comment

    Error

    default userpic

    Your reply will be screened

    When you submit the form an invisible reCAPTCHA check will be performed.
    You must follow the Privacy Policy and Google Terms of use.
  • 8 comments