British Island Accents

The emotional gut-punch of Michael Powell and Emeric Pressburger’s most haunting movies, The Red Shoes and Black Narcissus, owes a great deal to Jack Cardiff’s primal yet lush Technicolor compositions. The Mostly British Film Festival pays homage to the great English cinematographer today with Cameraman: The Life and Work of Jack Cardiff, a delicious new documentary that aces the key test for films about filmmakers: It makes you want to see one of Cardiff’s movies immediately. And look what’s playing next, a rare big-screen revival of the 1947 classic, Black Narcissus. Next, the “Mostly British” part comes into play with Topp Twins: Untouchable Girls, the crowd-pleasing, high-spirited portrait of New Zealand’s popular performing lesbian sisters, followed by the low-lit Australian World War I tunnel saga Beneath Hill 60. Then it’s back to the British Isles for Heartless, an art-house horror trip starring heartthrob Jim Sturgess. One of the fest’s singular attractions, not so incidentally, is its venue, a beloved old-school single-screen theater operated by the nonprofit San Francisco Neighborhood Theater Foundation.
Feb. 3-10, 2011

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