Cinemas across the Midlands are getting involved in the latest nationwide season from the BFI: Cinema Unbound, The Creative Worlds of Powell and Pressburger.
The cinematic partnership of Michael Powell (1905 - 1990) and Emeric Pressburger (1902 - 1988) had an unmistakable influence on British culture reaching far into theatre, music, fashion and more which continues to inspire audiences and artists alike.
‘Powell and Pressburger had a unique cinematic language that was all their own… they were willing to break and reinvent any ‘rule’ that movies had’
– Greta Gerwig
Hailed as quintessentially British, Powell and Pressburger’s often-controversial films in fact emerged from the creative energy sparked when ‘Man of Kent’ Michael Powell combined his dynamic direction with the elegant, incisive writing of Emeric Pressburger, a Jewish Hungarian emigré. And that cross-border collaboration flowed throughout their productions.
Powell and Pressburger's production company The Archers, made up of creatives from across Europe – their collective talents taking flight on Powell and Pressburger’s productions, created 24 iconoclastic films which pushed cinematic boundaries and our minds to new ways of seeing. Their works including the extravagant and soul searching classic A Matter of Life and Death, the opulent but devastating The Red Shoes, and the fantastical The Tales of Hoffmann.This major BFI season marks the most extensive celebration of their work ever undertaken. It includes new BFI restorations, remasters of Powell’s early films, titles Pressburger wrote for others and a major exhibition drawn from the collections of the BFI National Archive. The programme is presented across the UK with the BFI Film Audience Network and on BFI Player.
Film Hub Midlands is pleased to support organisations across the region to take part in Cinema Unbound. Thanks to National Lottery funding awarded by the Hub and the BFI Film Audience Network, a Powell and Pressburger celebration is taking place throughout the Midlands - from Birmingham, Northampton, Leicester, Nottingham and more across the Midlands.
A closer look into Cinema Unbound across the Midlands
Broadway Cinema: Everything But the Kitchen Sink
This six-part season explores the work of iconic duo Michael Powell and Emeric Pressburger and aims to open up a wider conversation about British cinema. Who makes it, what is it like, and what could it be?
Britain is known by many for a stiff upper lip and a 'keep calm and carry on' mentality. This season, curated by young people’s film collective Lounge Trip, aims to broaden audiences’ ideas of what British film can look like.
Flatpack are teaming with MAC to celebrate this most distinctive and influential of filmmaking partnerships with a programme of screenings, discussions and special events.
They have already had a successful screening of Gone to Earth in Much Wenlock, returning the film to the town where it was shot in July 1949. Joined by extras Val Roberts, Maureen Norrey and Jim Moore who shared their memories of the summer when Hollywood came to Shropshire.
Continuing to offer relevant event screenings Flatpack will show The Small Back Room with a post screening discussion hosted by West Midlands Institute of Psychotherapy around some of the issues raised by the film.
FILM GAGE : Days of Wonder
A fantastical immersive journey into the British legacy of Powell and Pressburger’s cinematic worlds with a programme of screenings and behind the scenes discussions and events, exploring their lasting creative influence, introducing audiences to worlds of fantasy and days of wonder. Championing Black, Asian and minority groups viewpoints in hidden titles, lost film experiences and rare showcases.
Dates and Times
Wings of Desire – 3 December
Excalibur – 7 December 2023
Close Encounters of Third Kind (With Jobe Sullivan and band) - 14 December 2023
The Thief of Baghdad/Aladdin (double Bill spectacular) - 26 December
The Fall (Family friendly) - 28 December
"We are delighted to be part of this major BFI season marking the most extensive celebration of Powell and Pressburger’s work ever undertaken, bringing a rich catalogue of their visually stunning and often-controversial films back to the big screen."
The Forum Cinema
Already screening a successful showing of A Matter of Life and Death in October they are now looking forward to continuing their programme of films for audiences in Northampton
Screen B14, Kings Heath’s community cinema. Aim's to bring accessible, affordable, AMAZING cinema straight to you. A place for connection, conversation and inspiration.
Cinema Unbound screenings in the Midlands are supported by Film Hub Midlands and the BFI Film Audience Network with National Lottery funding.
Have an idea for a screening? Find out more about how to get involved