Probably Powell and Pressburger’s most conventional film, Black Narcissus is required viewing, even if it isn’t their finest hour. A bizarre melodrama about English nuns attempting to establish a mission high up in the Himalayas, Narcissus is somewhat of a companion piece to I Know Where I’m Going, telling as it does a story of willpower and logic succumbing to suppressed emotion. But where Joan Webster contemplated giving up money for love, the nuns in Black Narcissus threaten to give up their vows for sex; a gleefully over-the-top performance is given by Kathleen Byron as Sister Ruth, whose psychosexual breakdown culminates in an attempted murder.
While parts of the movie have dated—particularly the borderline-imperialist attitude toward the locals—Black Narcissus showcases some of the most breathtaking images ever captured on film. In 2001, when cinematographer Jack Cardiff was given an honorary Oscar, the audience was wowed by the astounding camerawork from Black Narcissus spotlighted in the clip presentation. Along with The Archer’s own Red Shoes, Martin Scorsese has called this one of the most beautiful color films ever made. Astonishingly, it doesn’t contain a single frame of location shooting—these Himalayas are a studio creation.
比较诡异的主题和背景设定。Bravo for the astounding visuals, make-believe backdrop and one of Deborah Kerr's most subtle and finest performances.