Scorsese to narrate documentary about British filmmakers Powell and Pressburger

The film will feature rare archive footage.
Scorsese to narrate documentary about British filmmakers Powell and Pressburger

By Ellie Iorizzo, PA Senior Entertainment Reporter

Martin Scorsese will voice a documentary exploring the genius behind British filmmakers Michael Powell and Emeric Pressburger, whose body of work has been a “constant source of energy”.

The Bafta and Academy Award-winning director, 79, will reveal how their work helped shape his own filmmaking, having been captivated from a young age.

The documentary will be brought to life using rare archive material from the personal collections of Powell, Pressburger and Scorsese – including diary entries, home movies, personal snapshots and audio recordings.

Martin Scorsese
Martin Scorsese is to narrate a documentary about the British filmmaking duo (Altitude/PA)

The yet-to-be-titled film will also see how Scorsese’s friendship with Powell left an indelible mark on his life.

Scorsese, who will also serve as an executive producer on the film, said: “I still find it extraordinary that I knew Michael Powell personally for 16 years and throughout that time he was not only a support, but a guide, pushing me along, giving me confidence, keeping me bold in my own work.

“I’ve seen the films that he made with Emeric over and over again but the experience of excitement and mystery that I get from them doesn’t just remain, it deepens.

“I don’t know how it happens but for me their body of work is a wondrous presence, a constant source of energy, and a reminder of what life and art are all about.”

The personal and moving look at two of British cinema’s greatest filmmakers will be directed by two-time Bafta winner David Hinton, who described it as a “dream project”.

Heritage plaque for Michael Powell and Emeric Pressburger
An English Heritage blue plaque to film makers Michael Powell and Emeric Pressburger unveiled by Film director Martin Scorsese at Dorset House in London (Sean Dempsey/PA)

Hinton said: “There’s no British films that I admire more than those of Powell and Pressburger, and working with Michael Powell in the 1980s was one of the most enjoyable experiences of my professional life.

“On top of that, there’s no living filmmaker that I admire more than Martin Scorsese, and no-one speaks about Powell and Pressburger with more passion, conviction and insight.

“When you put that together with all the magical archive material that we’ve found, you can see why this is a dream project for me.”

Powell and Pressburger directed films during the golden age of British cinema, including The Red Shoes, Black Narcissus, A Matter Of Life And Death, and The Life And Death Of Colonel Blimp.

Scorsese said their films were “grand, poetic, wise, adventurous, headstrong, enraptured by beauty, deeply romantic, and completely uncompromising”.

The documentary is produced by Nick Varley and backed by the BBC, which is funding the film alongside the National Lottery and Scottish Government through Screen Scotland.

More in this section

Sponsored Content

Add Echolive.ie to your home screen - easy access to Cork news, views, sport and more