Michael Powell Double Feature
  • Michael Powell Double Feature
  • Michael Powell Double Feature

Michael Powell Double Feature

4.0 3
Director: Michael Powell

Cast: Michael Powell

     
 

Two Michael Powell movies from very different parts of the director's 40-year career -- one of them very long-awaited in the United States -- have made their debut with this double DVD set from Columbia Tri-Star. A Matter of Life And Death (aka Stairway To Heaven) (1946) marked the end (and the peak) of a string of extraordinary wartime films made bySee more details below

Overview

Two Michael Powell movies from very different parts of the director's 40-year career -- one of them very long-awaited in the United States -- have made their debut with this double DVD set from Columbia Tri-Star. A Matter of Life And Death (aka Stairway To Heaven) (1946) marked the end (and the peak) of a string of extraordinary wartime films made by Powell and his writer/director/producer partner Emeric Pressburger. Starring David Niven and Kim Hunter with Roger Livesey, Marius Goring, and Raymond Massey, and shot in a strange mix of Technicolor and monochrome, it has long been avaiable as a Region 2 disc in England, which included that participation of cinematographer Jack Cardiff. For this release, the producers have included a commentary track by Ian Christie, a longtime writer on the movies of Powell and Pressburger, and an introduction by Martin Scorsese, an admirer of both filmmakers. Christie's commentary is lively and informative, though he misses a few opportunities to delve further into certain aspects of the production, the cast and crew's work, and the stylistic unity of the movie's aesthetics. The full-screen (1.33-to-1) transfer of the movie overcomes some of the problems inherent in the source material that have marred theatrical showings over the last couple of decades, though some graininess and other deficiencies does remain in certain of the black-and-white sequences. The second film in the package, Age Of Consent (1969), came at the end of Powell's directorial career, though it was also the beginning of the screen career of co-star Helen Mirren, who contributes a very generous, moving on-camera reminiscence of the production and the participants. Also present in framing interviews are the director's son, Kevin Powell], who worked on the picture, and the husband-and-wife underwater cinematography team who photographed those sequences; and there is a commentary track by film historian Kent Jones. Age Of Consent, which is shown here in its unedited and uncensored director's cut, has gotten a stunning letterboxed transfer (1.85-to-1) that makes it almost of demonstration quality. The sound on both movies is also mastered at a very healthy volume, though the 23-year newer Age Of Consent also has an advantage in this area. And Jones's commentary is a good companion to Christie's, as he is able to focus more on Powell's post-war output in discussing various attributes of the newer movie. Each disc opens automatically to an easy-to-use two-layer menu that is simple to maneuver around.

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Product Details

Release Date:
01/06/2009
UPC:
0043396259195
Rating:
NR
Source:
Sony Pictures
Region Code:
1
Time:
3:30:00
Sales rank:
19,145

Special Features

Closed Caption; ; A Matter of Life and Death (Stairway To Heaven); ; Director Martin Scorsese on A Matter Of Life and Death; Commentary by Historian Ian Christie; ; Age of Content - Director Martin Scorsese on Age of Content; ; Commentary with Historian Kent Jones; Making of Age of Content; Helen Mirren: A Conversation With Cora; Down Under with Ron and Valerie Taylor

Cast & Crew

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Scene Index

Disc #1 -- A Matter of Life and Death (Stairway To Heaven)
1. Chapter 1 [2:29]
2. Chapter 2 [2:32]
3. Chapter 3 [6:03]
4. Chapter 4 [5:30]
5. Chapter 5 [5:37]
6. Chapter 6 [2:28]
7. Chapter 7 [8:51]
8. Chapter 8 [4:02]
9. Chapter 9 [2:08]
10. Chapter 10 [6:17]
11. Chapter 11 [4:17]
12. Chapter 12 [4:16]
13. Chapter 13 [2:03]
14. Chapter 14 [2:39]
15. Chapter 15 [3:21]
16. Chapter 16 [2:11]
17. Chapter 17 [1:40]
18. Chapter 18 [2:01]
19. Chapter 19 [1:31]
20. Chapter 20 [2:11]
21. Chapter 21 [4:19]
22. Chapter 22 [3:05]
23. Chapter 23 [6:07]
24. Chapter 24 [7:23]
25. Chapter 25 [2:32]
26. Chapter 26 [4:46]
27. Chapter 27 [1:59]
28. Chapter 28 [1:36]
Disc #2 -- Age Of Consent
1. Chapter 1 [3:19]
2. Chapter 2 [4:18]
3. Chapter 3 [1:38]
4. Chapter 4 [3:12]
5. Chapter 5 [2:38]
6. Chapter 6 [5:09]
7. Chapter 7 [3:27]
8. Chapter 8 [3:53]
9. Chapter 9 [5:15]
10. Chapter 10 [4:49]
11. Chapter 11 [5:06]
12. Chapter 12 [3:31]
13. Chapter 13 [4:49]
14. Chapter 14 [:44]
15. Chapter 15 [5:22]
16. Chapter 16 [1:52]
17. Chapter 17 [3:25]
18. Chapter 18 [4:57]
19. Chapter 19 [2:41]
20. Chapter 20 [5:45]
21. Chapter 21 [4:40]
22. Chapter 22 [3:42]
23. Chapter 23 [3:57]
24. Chapter 24 [4:36]
25. Chapter 25 [3:11]
26. Chapter 26 [4:40]
27. Chapter 27 [3:14]
28. Chapter 28 [2:22]

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