Thursday, January 25, 2018

The Spy in Black

1939, UK, directed by Michael Powell

Powell & Pressburger's marvelous first collaboration is strikingly beautiful at times, as well as being noteworthy both for its fine suspense-management and for the daring of creating sympathetic, or at least not wholly antipathetic, German characters (presumably at least some filmgoers would have been familiar with Conrad Veidt's personal history, with the actor taking up residence in the UK after the Nazis came to power, which couldn't have harmed). It's not hard to see here the germ of ideas, particularly with respect to the depiction of German characters, that could lead to something as wondrous as The Life and Death of Colonel Blimp within a few years.

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Boston, Massachusetts, United States