Black Narcissus. 1947. Great Britain. Directed by Michael Powell and Emeric Pressburger. Courtesy ITV/Park Circus

Black Narcissus. 1947. Great Britain. Written and directed by Michael Powell, Emeric Pressburger. 99 min.

Adapted from the novel by Rumer Godden. With Deborah Kerr, David Farrar, Sabu, Jean Simmons, Flora Robson. Psychological tension reigns in this tale of British nuns who establish a convent and dispensary in a former harem in Hindustan. The exotic and erotic atmosphere of their new home seeps into the nuns’ cloistered existence, memories of the past compounding uncertainties about the present and pushing each to her own unravelling. Cinematographer Jack Cardiff and art director Alfred Junge both won Oscars for making what is acclaimed as one of the most ravishing of all Technicolor films and a tour de force of set design. The film was exclusively shot in the United Kingdom but convincingly conveyed the vast landscapes and detailed interiors of India to British audiences on the verge of parting with a fading empire. Anselmo Ballester’s dramatic Italian release poster suggests that meditations on purity, passion, memory, and empire took on their own significance for Italian viewers emerging from the war.

    1. Monday, August 10, 2015,
      4:30 p.m.

      The Museum of Modern Art, Floor T1, Theater 1
    2. Friday, August 7, 2015,
      8:00 p.m.

      The Museum of Modern Art, Floor T1, Theater 1
    This film accompanies Scorsese Screens.