Black Narcissus part 3.

The most immediate thing that strikes when watching Black Narcissus, is the color. Or rather, the Technicolor. Some reckon it's the finest use of color ever used. I want to agree, but I haven't seen The Red Shoes yet.

I wonder how much thought Powell put it into the cinematography for this film as compared to the others. A film about nuns, about denying the physical, about the lure of the physical, well you would think that would be a film to shoot as striking as you could, to get that idea at least floating in the viewer's head. But then again, maybe its just the genereal setting of the story, northern India, high mountains, all that jewelery, all those crazy outfits combined with the whole artificiality of shooting the entire film on sets in england (After learning that, my yearning to go to northern India was replaced with an urge to go London....). That gives it that extra spark that maybe A Matter Of Life And Death or Peeping Tom doesn't have. Jack Cardiff's work here is remarkable, but it's always remarkable.
Maybe it's everything-the setting, the story, Cardiff, the sets, and sheer height the technicolor process itself was in that adds up to make such a beautiful LOOKING picture.
I am not quite sure.

posted by sammy at 6:16 AM