Wednesday, June 21, 2017

Sight & Sound Challenge: A Matter of Life and Death (1946)

Film: A Matter of Life and Death (215/250) 
First Time/Rewatch: First Time

This is another film I was unsure about going in. The films produced by the iconic duo of Powell and Pressburger have been very hit (The Red Shoes, Black Narcissus, The Life and Death of Colonel Blimp) or miss (A Canterbury Tale, I Know Where I'm Going!) for me. I'm very happy to say that this film fits into the former category. I was drawn into the story immediately; Peter (David Niven) and June (Kim Hunter) have great chemistry together and their conversation in the opening scene had me instantly invested in them. The sets are beautiful, both the beautiful black and white austerity of "heaven" (and can we talk about that massive escalator?!) and the lush technicolor scenes of earth. At first I was puzzled by the decision to make the heaven scenes black and white and the earth scenes in color, but then it made sense. It's a reverse Wizard of Oz effect. Who would want to go to heaven when home looks like Oz? Where everyone is alive, blood flows through their veins, and love at first sight is a very real possibility? I loved seeing Roger Livesey again (he has such a great voice) and everyone really plays up their roles. Yes it gets sentimental, but I didn't mind. I was taken on a dreamy journey and I loved every minute.

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