Stairway to Heaven: A Matter of Powell and Pressburger

We’re getting very excited about our screening of ‘A Matter of Life and Death’ this Friday at St Michael’s Church, Brighton. If you haven’t already booked, be sure to do so – due the limited space, we often sell out at this venue, and this festive occasion looks like it will be no exception! Full details to book follow at the end of this post.

Its no secret that we’re huge Powell & Pressburger fans here at Filmspot, so we thought in preparation for ‘A Matter of Life and Death’, we’d provide a ‘beginner’s Guide’ of sorts with a taste of a few of The Archers’ greatest hits!

The Life and Death of Colonel Blimp (1943)


This profoundly moving film is a portrait of a man who would on first glance be just a stuff British caricature (in fact, it was based on a satirical comic strip character created by David Low), but is in fact a true gentleman – and one of the most unexpectedly lovable characters in cinema.

Canterbury Tale (1944)

Both eerie and beautiful, this strange tale is one of Powell and Pressburger’s most intriguing films. The bucolic side of England is at the heart of this film, with some wonderful little vignettes of rural life, such as the small boy in the clip above.

I Know Where I’m Going! (1945)


A swooning love story – this is surely one of the very best British romantic films. Wendy Hiller and Roger Livesey both give wonderful performances, while the rich cinematography really captures the essence of the Scottish Isles.


Black Narcissus (1947)


This is (with the exception of Powell’s solo work ‘Peeping Tom’) the most terrifying work by The Archers – and there are many instances of unexpected horror throughout their filmography. Kathleen Byron has a truly ghostly presence as a nun whose delusions and lust for the local British agent, Mr Dean, drive her insane; whilst Deborah Kerr’s conflicted Sister Superior attempts to ignore her own attraction to Mr Dean, and to forget her past life in Ireland. Stunning use of colour, and a ‘prince and the pauper’ subplot make this multi layered tale one of Powell and Pressburger’s most memorable films.

The Red Shoes (1948)


Arguably the most famous of Powell and Pressburger’s films, The Red Shoes almost needs no introduction. It is, in our opinion, the greatest ballet film of all time, with a fantastic cast of memorable characters (many of whom were professional dancers), stunning technicolour cinematography from Jack Cardiff and sweeping, tragic romance. If you haven’t seen this film: go and see it!

…but of course, before you dash out to pick up copies of all the films above – don’t forget to book your tickets to ‘A Matter of Life and Death’ at St Michael’s Church Hall, Brighton

Friday 2 December, doors open 7pm, for screening at 7.30pm
Tickets: £9 including a festive drink and seasonal snacks

Advance booking essential, there will not be tickets available at the door!
Tickets available from eventbrite – or by emailing info@lja.uk.com 

Filmspot 2014: We’re back!

Happy New Year, Filmspotters – we’re back in the saddle after a winter break.

We’re still confirming much of our programme for 2014, but we are very pleased to be able to announced our first screening of the year – ‘Sunset Boulevard’ at St Michael’s Church Community Hall, Brighton, 21 March, 7.30pm (for 7pm). This screening will launch the Filmspot CMPCA Pop Up Cinema Club. It is planned that we will present four films a year, giving audiences the opportunity to see classics not often shown on the big screen, as well as rare or undiscovered gems.

Billy Wilder’s classic noir, Sunset Boulevardis a scathing satire of the movie industry. William Holden portrays an unsuccessful screenwriter who is sucked into a web of sleaze and insanity by a deluded, faded silent movie star, played by tour-de-force, Gloria Swanson. With caustic, bitter wit this story exposes the corruptive, devastating decline of the old Hollywood legends, after the coming of sound. Highly regarded on its release, with eleven Academy Award nominations and winning three Oscars, it is now seen a one of the greatest films of American cinema.

Here’s a clip of the inimitable Gloria Swanson, to give you are taster:

Space at this event is strictly limited, so advance booking is strongly recommended to avoid disappointment. Tickets are £5 advance from info@lja.uk.com or 01273 328683, or £6 on the door. Special snack boxes of quiche and salad, including a vegetarian option, are available to be booked in advance only, priced £3.50 – please indicate if you would like to purchase this when booking tickets.

As well as our new Pop-Up Cinema Club with the CMPCA, we are looking forward to to other exciting new partnerships for 2014. We will be publishing details of these shortly – as well as our upcoming plans for screenings at Newhaven Fort and Salisbury Museums.

We’re looking forward to seeing you all soon, as wish you a (belated) happy New Year!