29. Michael Powell
THE RED SHOES, BLACK NARCISSUS, THE LIFE AND DEATH OF COLONEL BLIMP, PEEPING TOM
Michael Powell was so concerned with – and successful at – making beautiful films that it’s possible to overlook how incisive and difficult they are. But when he uses special effects, as in The Thief of Bagdad or A Matter of Life and Death, or when he explores the full range of Technicolor, as in The Red Shoes and The Life and Death of Colonel Blimp, he does so not only to wow but also to inform the story and the themes. When Sister Ruth puts on the red lipstick in the last act of Black Narcissus, it’s not only one of the most striking, powerful images in the history of cinema, it’s also an insight into her mind at a time when it’s screaming to get out.
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