Black Narcissus (Powell & Pressburger, 1947)

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Black Narcissus. Several nuns get upset by the strange atmosphere of, and surrounding, their new convent, which was formely a Himalyan harem. (Quite an idea for a music, that. Take it away, Rita.) […] P.S. Barring perhaps one in any hundred who willingly practise it, I think celibacy is of itself faintly obscene; so I admire still less the dramatic exploitation of celebacy as an opportunity for titillation in the best of taste.

– James Agee, August 30th 1947. Various excerpts.

2 responses to “Black Narcissus (Powell & Pressburger, 1947)

  1. A fabulously sensual still– and redolent of every ounce of Powell-Pressburger’s ingenious sense of the erotic, no?

    Too much kinky exploitation for Agee’s tastes, eh? I know people revere Agee, and he’s very worthy and all, but I’ve always suspected him of being a tad middlebrow.

    Your essay on “I Spit on Your Grave” was massive and long-overdue for a word of kind appraisal, but are you honing other essays on your Fantasia viewings?

  2. I just got a book filled with Agee’s reviews. I agree with him rarely (though i am pleased to see he loved Curse of the Cat People), but i really love his prose. He is a fantastic writer, and that’s what i find appealing about his work.

    I’ve mostly written all that i will on fantasia, though not here. If you have the time, you can track back reviews for a lot of films here;

    http://www.soundonsight.org/author/justine/

    For reference, the films are: Dream Home, The Last Exorcism, Fish Story, The Violent Kind, The Devils, A Serbian Film, Heartless, and Mai Mai Miracle.

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