The Behind the Scenes Pic of the Day is objectionable when sober and abominable when drunk!
Ahoy, squirts! Quint here with today’s Behind the Scenes Pic!
Recently I went on a bit of a Powell & Pressburger kick and finally saw many of their classics, including today’s featured film: Black Narcissus. My personal favorite of their work so far is A Matter of Life and Death starring David Niven, but there’s no denying Black Narcissus’ stature as a masterful piece of storytelling.
Not only is Jack Cardiff’s cinematography some of the best combination of lighting and gorgeous Technicolor film stock ever captured, but Powell & Pressburger’s tale of isolation and its effect on the minds of a convent of nuns in the Himalayas is captivating. I found I could never figure out where the movie was headed, especially when it started to enter a very thriller/horror mode toward the end.
It’s an amazing film, as are much of Powell & Pressburger’s work from this time period. Seek it out if you haven’t seen any of ‘em.
Today's shot features one of the more famous set pieces from the movie, the ringing of the bell. Check it out below!
Thanks to Criterion for putting out the awesome Blu-Ray and for digging up a ton of great BTS shots from the movie! Click here to see a bunch more from Black Narcissus!
If you have a behind the scenes shot you’d like to submit to this column, you can email me at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Tomorrow’s behind the scenes pic is up for a nice game of chess!
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July 26, 2011, 7:14 p.m. CST
by vic twenty
Powell & Pressburger are Racists.
July 26, 2011, 7:18 p.m. CST
Is it from Harry's "pervy nun" collection?
July 26, 2011, 7:19 p.m. CST
by Squinty CGI Flynn
July 26, 2011, 7:24 p.m. CST
Yes. You are first. What's this P&P business? How come never heard of them? Are the movies any good? A little curious about the write-up - horror/thriller at end sounds like a bit of a change up. Kinda like Sunshine. Loved that movie.
July 26, 2011, 7:40 p.m. CST
July 26, 2011, 7:41 p.m. CST
Now let's see some Yodas and Ewoks and shit.
July 26, 2011, 8:04 p.m. CST
I first saw it on a crappy quality VHS and it didn't make an impact but later seeing it on DVD, wow! The technicolor in the movie is awesome.
July 26, 2011, 8:10 p.m. CST
Just read Frank Durabont is walking away from the dead. WTF????? Any confirmation out there? Helloooo?????????
July 26, 2011, 8:34 p.m. CST
The Chad Who Loved Me - Mansun. This is the answer to the question of what the coolest instrumental opening to a rock song ever might be. I digress. What was I talking about? Obscure films from the 40's? I read the write-up on this film, it sounds messed.
July 26, 2011, 9:19 p.m. CST
by Dollar Bird
Had some great visuals, but ultimately I was disappointed by it. Oh well.
July 26, 2011, 9:42 p.m. CST
and he wont fucking stop until Olivia Wilde rapes his face. Which should be any time now...
July 26, 2011, 9:50 p.m. CST
by Ted Knight
What's the matter with you all? You don't touch a movie if it wasn't released after 1977? This movie is a painting brought to life! The setting amid the Himalayan mountain tops and the fire-dusk sky mixed with some searing moments of human emotional breakdowns and near possession-like performances make for a breathtaking yet unnerving experience. I know it's a cliche but hauntingly beautiful describes this film to a T. And finally, Deborah Kerr makes for one smoking hot nun.
July 26, 2011, 9:55 p.m. CST
The images shown here are usually iconic characters from movies we know and love; giving us a picture of our favorite films from a new perspective. This is a just a picture of nothing to most of us.
July 26, 2011, 10:11 p.m. CST
Bought the BLACK NARCISSUS dvd a few years ago, now I need to upgrade.
July 26, 2011, 10:36 p.m. CST
Never heard of this. It ain't my fault so don't stone me. What's really good about this column is I start to seek out all the stuff I've never heard of. So, again, thanks Quint for having this column.
July 26, 2011, 11:52 p.m. CST
I have a GREAT Frackin' idea! Let us consider that some of us out here have been film geeks for longer than a few short years.
by I Max U Mini
When I was a kid, our escape from mainstream was neighborhood movie theaters, comic books, and other magazines like Rolling Stone, Famous Monsters, Fangoria, Hit Parader, Creem, etc. Those, along with the collective television audience we all were back then - and to a slight degree, still are. While some readers may find a photo boring or "nonexplosive" others of us see the intrinsic artistic and historical value. Perhaps some of you may discover intrinsic and palpitating value in a behind the scenes shot of Erika Eleniak preparing for her cake scene in "Under Siege". I know I would! That said, it is fairly easy to surmise that Abe Lincoln was correct when he adapted the words of John Lydgate to say, "you can't please all the people all the time." But, AND QUINT, THIS IS DIRECTED TO YOU. Keep doing what you're doing, however you want to do it. Rick Nelson's song Garden Party updated Lincoln and Lydgate by giving us a solution. "It's all right now, I've learned my lesson well. You see, you can't please everyone ... ... so ya, got to please yourself."
July 26, 2011, 11:55 p.m. CST
From your lips to God's ears... I think?
July 27, 2011, 12:01 a.m. CST
If you haven't seen Black Narcissus. If one or two of you decide to check out a Powell and Pressburger film because of this post then I'm ecstatic. There are still a few P&Ps I haven't seen yet. I just hope some of the more vocal negative Nancys will have some patience with these classic images. I mean, the last BTS pic was Return of the Jedi. No one can say I don't cater to mainstream geeks with this column. But ultimately this column is a reflection of my personal interests, too, and my love of film isn't just sci-fi/fantasy and horror from 1975 to today.
July 27, 2011, 12:25 a.m. CST
To those of you who don't know BN, the pic is from the (set of the) climax of the film, an astounding, vertiginous apparent location that majorly influenced the bell-tower sequences in Hitchcock's Vertigo. The slightly bonkers melodrama of Vertigo in general owes a lot to this period of Powell and Pressburger.
July 27, 2011, 12:26 a.m. CST
@matthooper8 It's your problem if you've never heard of a movie, and your job to fucking find out about it.
Or do you expect this site to be pander to your ignorance? Maybe you should just sent Harry a list of all the movies you've ever heard of so he knows what BTS pics to feature.
July 27, 2011, 12:28 a.m. CST
July 27, 2011, 1:47 a.m. CST
by David Thornton
Thanx for that one Quint!
July 27, 2011, 7:24 a.m. CST
I usually come to Lucas' defense against all the haters but it was a pretty dick move to sue over the fucking stormtrooper design. Sue the creator of the thing, no less.
July 27, 2011, 8:23 a.m. CST
Fuck Lucas. All "he raped my childhood" aside. The guy continues to prove that the only thing that he is good at is reprocessing the idea that he had 25 years ago, with the help of the best and brightest people in CGI, design, animation, and film tech. Paying them a good wage and claiming all the credit for the Star Wars Universe. Have you seen some of the extra features on the prequels where his staff role before him 20 design ideas...all of them awesome and his picks the one he wants and everyone claps? As much as I would like to get my dick beaters on a copy of Star Wars on Blu-Ray....my days of giving Turkey Neck my money are over.
July 27, 2011, 9:34 a.m. CST
So does that make me a fuck head of cinema or a person that gets fucked by the cinema?
July 27, 2011, 9:55 a.m. CST
July 27, 2011, 10:05 a.m. CST
...are you an expert on 'gay' movies (Mr ironically named) movieman4life? Thanks Quint for keeping up the diversity of The Behind the Scenes Pic of the Day. One of the things still good about AIC.
July 27, 2011, 10:25 a.m. CST
I went to Catholic School for 12 years. NOW a few of them are MEN. Yes MEN. Brutish mean UGLY bitches hiding in penguin outfits and torturing kids because nobody asked their ugly fat butts to prom.
July 27, 2011, 12:11 p.m. CST
by Damned if I can login
He's totally serious about it. Won't watch *anything* made before 1980. Nothing whatsoever. It is truly his loss I suppose, but not in his eyes.
July 27, 2011, 12:51 p.m. CST
by sam jacksons wig
.....to simulate being on the edge of a very deep chasm. For the photo you're looking at is situated in tha very place- the bell tower on the edge of a mountain in the hymalayas. What you do get is some of the most realistic matt painted backgrounds which make this movie look epic in scope. The sets of the convent are beautfully rendered, showing the nuns stark living quarters with very little wonder they begin to react the way they do when the handsome stranger turns up. What is also great about the movie is the slow build to the nuns discovering their sexuality, which as repressed as it is ultimately leads to jealousy and murder. They don't make movies like this anymore, and not in this way. It is a seriously beautiful slice of cinema history. Thank you Quint.
July 27, 2011, 12:52 p.m. CST
kick him to the curb! Life's to short to suffer fools.
July 27, 2011, 3:44 p.m. CST
by Damned if I can login
Man, I've tried. I really have tried to get this guy to OPEN HIS MIND and experience some truly great entertainment. But he not only refuses, but he refuses *angrily*. Like, I told him that even though he has his policy there are still a few films that all should see. A good example is The Man Who Shot Liberty Valence. His answer? It's B&W. He absolutely refuses to watch any B&W film, no exceptions. Maddening it is.....
July 27, 2011, 4:15 p.m. CST
Stuck in the middle of nowhere in a tiny motel on the TransCanada Highway with insomnia and loudly snoring roommates. The television in the room played only 3 channels and I don't know where the hell 2 of them came from. One was CTV (think Canada's NBC), the second a US evangelism 24/7 station and the third played classical music, ballet and one scene from Black Narcissus (where the nun falls off the cliff), OVER AND OVER AND OVER... again 24/7. It was like some weird motel television hell.
July 28, 2011, 2:35 a.m. CST
Never heard of Black Narcissus? Get out your mums basement much?? All joking aside, get yourselves some Powell and Pressburger films and watch 'em. You'll thank Quint. And Jack Cardiff is one of the top 3 cinematographers to ever walk the planet. A Matter of Life and Death is possibly my favourite film of all time. Some more BTS photos of that please if you've already had some and I've missed them Quint.
July 28, 2011, 9:17 a.m. CST
July 28, 2011, 9:18 a.m. CST
July 28, 2011, 9:23 a.m. CST
SKook is lovin these pics
July 29, 2011, 3:57 a.m. CST
I love The Archers (which is the name of Powell & Pressburger's production company, for those TB'ers that don't know already). In fact, taken as a body of work, I would have to say that their films are my favourites. So much of what they did still looks vibrantly modern and experimental - viz the table tennis scene in A Matter of Life and Death, the opening scene of Colonel Blimp, and countless others. The photography is without parallel, the performances sublime, the scripts insightful, deeply layered and compassionate, the direction always innovative and arresting. Their vision was truly unique, and often attained heights of breathtaking beauty. tAnd all this, and so much more achieved more than a half century ago and with mainstream audiences in mind. Plus, P&P mainstay Roger Livesey is my favourite actor :-) I'm as geeky as the next man, but geekiness shouldn't be synonymous with narrow-minded cultural parochialism. Sometimes art, even popular art, demands a bit more engagement from the consumer. Go with it and you'll likely find that the rewards you reap from it are all the richer in the end. It's not for nothing Martin Scorsese venerates Michael Powell and drops his name at every opportunity. (Not to mention employing his widow Thelma Schoonmaker as his long-serving and brilliant editor).
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