This video experimentation shows a cut-up scene from my favourite film, “Black Narcissus” by directors Michael Powell and Emeric Pressburger. This classic English directing duo were responsible for a slew of incredible and influential films between the 1940s and ’50s.
Black Narcissus tells a story of five nuns opening a convent in the Himalayas, they encounter conflict and tension – both with the natives and also within their own group – as they attempt to adapt to their remote, exotic surroundings.
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A group of Anglican nuns travel to a remote location in the Himalayas (the Palace of Mopu, near Darjeeling) to set up a school and hospital for the local people, only to find themselves increasingly seduced by the sensuality of their surroundings in a converted seraglio high up in the mountains, and by the local British agent Mr Dean (David Farrar). Clodagh (Deborah Kerr), the Sister Superior, is attempting to forget a failed romance at home in Ireland. Tensions mount as Dean’s laid-back charm makes an impression on Clodagh, but also attracts the mentally unstable Sister Ruth (Kathleen Byron), who becomes pathologically jealous of Clodagh, resulting in a nervous breakdown and a violent climax. In a subplot, ‘the Young General’ (Sabu), heir to the throne of a princely Indian state who has come to the convent for his education, becomes infatuated with Kanchi, a lower caste dancing girl (Jean Simmons).