AND THEN CALLING FRIENDS LIKE DE PALMA & SPIELBERG TO HELP SEEK THEM OUT
The Guardian's Xan Brooks talked to Martin Scorsese and Thelma Schoonmaker last Monday at the unveiling of an English Heritage blue plaque to commemorate Dorset House in London, which was the headquarters of Michael Powell and Emeric Pressburger's film company, the Archers, from 1942-1947. Here's a brief excerpt from Brooks' article:
"I could talk for hours, days, years about the films of Michael Powell and Emeric Pressburger," said Scorsese, who recalled being taken by his father to see The Red Shoes at the age of 10. The Raging Bull director said he first watched the bulk of the Archers' pictures on TV when he was a film student and has been obsessed with them ever since.
Scorsese explained that movies such as Tales of Hoffman or 1947's exotic nunnery saga Black Narcissus were typically shown in heavily abridged versions, broken up by commercials. "I would ring up other aspiring film-makers like [Brian] De Palma or [Steven] Spielberg and say, 'I just saw this incredible film about nuns in the Himalayas.' But we had to go searching for these movies. We couldn't read anything about them. I thought [the film-makers' names] were pseudonyms."
By the time Scorsese met Powell, in 1975, the British director had fallen on hard times and was largely ignored by the UK film establishment. Powell subsequently relocated to the US, where he married Schoonmaker, Scorsese's regular editor.
"Martin Scorsese infected me with the love of these films when we were working together on Raging Bull," Schoonmaker said. "Then later he introduced me to Michael Powell, which was another great blessing in my life." Powell died in 1990 at the age of 84.