A Matter of Life and Death

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The British filmmaker duo Powell and Pressburger are at their most dazzling, technicolor sparkling and imaginative with A Matter of Life and Death.

The Second World War is on, and squadron leader Peter Carter (David Niven) sits in a burning plane, about to cross the English Channel. He knows he will not make it. His parachute is broken, and he would rather jump than burn. But before he gets out, he radios with the American girl June, based at the British RAF station. He instantly falls in love, and before he leaves the burning plane, he tells her: "I love you, June. You’re life, and I’m leaving you".

However, the guide sent from heaven to escort Peter up there gets lost in the fog. Peter is thrilled to be alive, so he can find his June. But you can’t just skip a date with death. Things need to be sorted out, and all is set for a trial in heaven. 

Powell & Pressburger's films are newly restored, in some part due to Martin Scorsese, who is a big fan and advocate of the filmmaker duo. Additionally, it was Scorsese who introduced his long-time editor Thelma Schoonmaker to Michael Powell. Schoonmaker and Powell married in 1984 and were together until he died in 1990. She has been instrumental in getting the films restored and made available to a new audience in all their cinematic glory. 


Michael Powell (1905–1990) and Emeric Pressburger (1902–1988) made a series of influential films together in the 1940s and 1950s. They made their own production company, called Archers Film Production, and throughout 24 films, their films often explored morally complex questions and asked who we are, and where we stand.


1951 The Tales of Hoffmann
1948 The Red Shoes
1947 Black Narcissus
1945 I Know Where I'm Going
1944 A Canterbury Tale
1943 The Life and Death of Colonel Blimp

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Friday 19. january

Kl 16:15


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