The Tales of Hoffmann. 1951. Great Britain. Directed by Michael Powell, Emeric Pressburger. 128 min.
Screenplay by Powell, Pressburger, based on the opera by Jacques Offenbach. With Moira Shearer, Robert Helpmann, Leonide Massine. With its elegant overlay of images and curving typography that recalls the outstretched limbs of a ballerina, the large-format poster for The Tales of Hoffmann, designed by Marc Stone, is a centerpiece of Scorsese Collects. The film, an eye-popping cinematic translation of Jacques Offenbach’s opera, is equally remarkable. The mise-en-scène is everywhere resplendent, from the stage design to the extravagant costuming. Powell and Pressburger’s treatment of these fantastical stories—about an uncanny automaton, a seductive courtesan, and a soprano who sings herself to death—was hugely important to Scorsese, who watched the film repeatedly while cutting Raging Bull. “The music and choreography are both the dancers and the camera, which told the story,” Scorsese observed, “and this is something that stayed with me in my work over the years, in all my films the choreography of the camera played to the music and how the two are combined, complementary to each other.” Restored by The Film Foundation and the BFI National Archive, in association with StudioCanal. Digital projection.
Sunday, August 9, 2015,5:30 p.m.The Museum of Modern Art, Floor T1, Theater 1
Thursday, August 6, 2015,7:00 p.m.The Museum of Modern Art, Floor T2, Theater 2