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Gresham College: Prof. Ian Christie – The Worlds of Powell and Pressburger: #2/3 – Powell and Pressburger: The Matter of Britain – The Colonel Blimp Story


About this series

Professor Ian Christie A series of three lectures on the cinema of Michael Powell and Emeric Pressburger, exploring how their partnership formed, and what it gave to British cinema.


About this lecture

World War Two set British filmmakers a challenge: to be relevant and entertaining and to inspire without patronising. Powell and Pressburger brought wit and imagination to their task, questioning what Britain stood for, warts and all. Notoriously, Churchill hated The Life and Death of Colonel Blimp. But many ordinary cinema-goers were grateful for The Archers’ poetic patriotism, in this as well as in A Matter of Life and Death. Britishness redefined in the stress of war is the theme of this lecture.

About Professor Ian Christie

Professor Christie is Visiting Professor in the History of Film and Media at Gresham College. He is a renowned British film scholar and currently Professor of Film and Media History at Birkbeck, University of London and a Fellow of the British Academy.

He has researched and published on many aspects of film history, including Eisenstein and Russian cinema, Powell and Pressburger, Gilliam and Scorsese, and is a regular broadcaster on cinema. He has also worked on many exhibitions, including Spellbound (Hayward, 1996), Modernism (V&A, 2006) and Revolution: Russian Art 1917-32 (Royal Academy, 2017). His current exhibition, Animatograph!, will be at London Metropolitan Archives during September-October 2019, and his monograph Robert Paul and the Origins of British Cinema (Chicago University Press) will appear later this year. 

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