Thursday, February 19, 2009

A Matter of Life and Death

Jon Rob suggested this movie in a comment on a previous post, so I thought I'd see how easy it would be to find. A Matter of Life and Death (also known as Stairway to Heaven) is a 1946 Powell/Pressburger film starring David Niven, Kim Hunter, Raymond Massey, Roger Livesey, Marius Goring and Richard Attenborough.

This is wonderful! It is a peculiar love story that takes place during World War 2, half in and half out of this world. Politics figures in at some points, considering the power of some people and nations over others. There's a lot of poetry quoted in this film, but towards the end there's this:
"Love rules the court, the camp, the grove,
And men below, and saints above;
For love is heaven, and heaven is love."
(from The Lay of the Last Minstrel, 1805, by Sir Walter Scott)
via Youtube:

The BBC has a review. Roger Ebert says it "is one of the most audacious films ever made - in its grandiose vision, and in the cozy English way it's expressed". The New York Times calls it "a delight".

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