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Gresham College: Prof. Ian Christie – The Worlds of Powell and Pressburger: #3/3 – Powell and Pressburger’s Island Stories – Island Stories


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

Stories about islands punctuate the careers of Michael Powell and Emeric Pressburger, from Powell’s breakthrough with Edge of the World (1936) to the Hebridean journey of I Know Where I’m Going! (1945), and the final act of their Tales of Hoffmann (1951).

What can we learn about the imagination of these very different figures by tracing this motif ? This lecture draws on archival sources to show that these films are as rich and complex as art in any medium.


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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