A Matter of Life and Death

(1946, dir. Michael Powell, 104 mins.) | David Niven, Kim Hunter

A Matter of Life and Death (1946). Eagle-Lion Films Inc./Photofest ©Eagle-Lion Films Inc. Photo by Fred Daniels

In this British romantic fantasy by the artful writing/directing team of Michael Powell and Emeric Pressburger, a Royal Air Force pilot is forced to jump without a parachute, before giving his last words to a female radio operator—only to wake up alive due to a bureaucratic mishap in heaven. He must then plead his case to a heavenly committee for a second chance at life and love. A Matter of Life and Death boasts magisterial camerawork by cinematographer Jack Cardiff. The film is among Powell and Pressburger’s best collaborations, which influenced other filmmakers including Martin Scorsese. For its visual inventiveness, finely-wrought story, and unabashed fantasy, A Matter of Life and Death was named the second greatest British film ever made by the magazine Total Film in 2004.
Due to low color quality in the 35mm print, this film will be screened in DVD.

Special Feature: Before and after the film, we'll Skype with Oscar-winning film editor Thelma Schoonmaker. Schoonmaker has edited all of Martin Scorcese's films, from Raging Bull to Hugo. As the widow of filmmaker Michael Power, she'll talk about his process and motives for making A Matter of Life and Death.

Winter Nights 2012 is sponsored by Community Health Network.
Promotional support provided by Nuvo.

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