1951. England. Dir. Michael Powell, Emeric Pressburger. With Robert Helpmann, Moira Shearer. 136 min.
A poet recounts three doomed romances in this resplendent adaptation of Offenbach’s opera. Virtuosic song, dance, and orchestral work are matched by striking production design in an unparalleled “composed film” that is one of auteur duo Powell & Pressburger’s (The Red Shoes) most extravagant works.
1960. UK. Dir: Michael Powell. With Carl Boehm, Anna Massey. 101 min.
It’s Psycho by way of The Red Shoes: a lurid proto-slasher about a repressed young man who films women as he murders them. Though stylish and eerily prescient of our obsessions with sex, death, and voyeurism, Peeping Tom was so shocking in its day that it all but ended Powell’s career – one critic found it “more nauseating than a leper colony.”