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Cinema Unbound: The Creative Worlds of Powell and Pressburger

Cinema Unbound: The Creative Worlds of Powell and Pressburger is a major UK-wide celebration of one the greatest and most enduring filmmaking partnerships: Michael Powell (1905-1990) and Emeric Pressburger (1902-1988). 

Bold, subversive and iconoclastic, challenging and changing the visual language of film, their passionate collaborative artistic vision, spanning 24 films together between 1939 and 1972, is a vital part of the fabric of British cinema history. Startlingly innovative, Powell and Pressburger’s work continues to inspire creatives and increasingly connect with international audiences. 

Together they created some of the richest and most memorable films in the story of cinema, including The Life and Death of Colonel Blimp (1943), I Know Where I’m Going! (1945), A Matter of Life and Death (1946), Black Narcissus (1947), The Red Shoes (1948) and The Tales Of Hoffmann (1951).

Their films continue to inspire a very passionate fan base from a cross section of artists and cultural practitioners, from Martin Scorsese (whose Film Foundation has helped restore five films directed by Powell and Pressburger) to Kate Bush (whose iconic album inspired by The Red Shoes marks its 30th anniversary this year), Matthew Bourne to Margaret Atwood, Manolo Blahnik to Guillermo del Toro, Joanna Hogg to Bong Joon Ho, Tim Walker to Michelle Williams Gamaker, Tilda Swinton to Derek Jarman, their cultural legacy and influence continues to be felt today.

Running from 16 October to 31 December 2023 at BFI Southbank and across the UK, Cinema Unbound will be the largest and most wide-ranging exploration ever undertaken about the work of the legendary writer-producer-director team, their creative collaborations with other fimmakers, and contextual titles which reference their work. Find out more about the season here. 

Alongside this historic retrospective, the BFI Shop is pleased to present a range of Powell and Pressburger-related films, books and gifts, including a new merchandise collection. These limited edition products are starting to sell out so get them while you can!




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