12 May 2010: Black Narcissus

7.30pm, BIRDS NEST

Tensions grow when a group of Anglo-Catholic nuns open a school and a hospital in a remote Himalayan community. Released in 1947, the year that India gained independence, this delirious Powell and Pressburger’s melodrama is one of the most erotic films ever to emerge from British cinema.

“A violent cauldron of conflicting desires… What better theatre in which to explore desire, hysteria, temptation and sexuality than a remote convent high up in the Indian Himalayas?” TIME OUT

“A magical feat and a high artistic achievement… pitch-perfect performances from a formidable ensemble, led by Deborah Kerr and David Farrar.” SCOPE

“Finding themselves disturbed by all manner of natural phenomena – extremes of temperature, weather, and a maverick local expat’s rugged charms – it is only a matter of time before hardship and temptation gradually draw the women away from their vocation, and they descend into doubt, jealousy and madness.” BBC

“An extraordinary melodrama of repressed love and Forsterian Englishness – or rather Irishness – coming unglued in the vertiginous landscape of South Asia.” GUARDIAN



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  5. Deptford Film Club

    Thanks to all who came tonight. Hope you enjoyed our new cushions! Here’s what our audience said:
    Excellent choice of film and friendly
    I enjoyed it – although it now seems very stagey, melodramatic and dated.The use of close ups was interesting and added intensity. Lovely photography by Jack Cardiff. Interesting that many moments, or lines, drew laughter from the audience. It seems slow now, but I enjoyed seeing it again after many years.

    Never come round 2 watch “older” movies. Great though!

    Keep it up.

    Excellent film.
    I liked it – not least because it was excellently shot but also for its wonderfully intense performances.


    My gran is in it.

    It’s brilliant.

    Brilliant cinematography and camerawork.

    The best thing about this film is Kathleen Byron as Sister Ruth. I love how she uses her eyes – she plays going mad perfectly, it’s almost art. In fact, someone send DVD copies to so-called actresses like Megan Fox or the cast of Hollyoaks.