Landscape and vision. Powell and Pressburger's 'A Canterbury Tale' 1944 - 2014

Digital or visual media


McMillan, E. and Hawkins, B. 2014. Landscape and vision. Powell and Pressburger's 'A Canterbury Tale' 1944 - 2014.
CreatorsMcMillan, E. and Hawkins, B.
Description

The film essay Landscape and Vision - Powell and Pressburger’s ‘A Canterbury Tale’ 1944-2014 (Eddie McMillan, Bryan Hawkins) has been produced by The Powell Research Group at CCCU to mark the 70th Anniversary of the film’s world premiere in Canterbury and celebrate its contemporary relevance. It has been produced with the support of amongst others, Thelma Schoonmaker-Powell and includes the voices of Martin Scorsese, Thelma Schoonmaker-Powell and Lady Sheila Attenborough (Alison Smith in ACT). The film has been made with material drawn from the Powell Archive at Canterbury Christ Church University, BBC Motion, ITN Source and The Criterion Collection. Landscape and Vision conjures a trans-historical, magical landscape alongside, and simultaneous with, the film and the particularities and actualities of Canterbury and England in 1944. The twenty-minute film reflects on the landscape observed and the vision imagined in 1944 and suggests its powerful and significant resonances with the present. As Martin Scorsese has suggested:
“It is a film ultimately about magic...magic in that the land itself re-energises the soul and the spirit”.
Experimentation is at the heart of the film to engage the investigative premises we set ourselves and to explore not only the surface of ‘A Canterbury Tale’ but also the films multiple layers of meaning. By choosing a palimpsestic approach, layers of image and sound can be seen, heard and ‘read’ simultaneously. The palimpsestic layers used here resonated with our aesthetic vision and are significant and disconcertingly prescient in their suggestion that while the past is often physically and metaphorically buried, if we scratch the surface both artistic and ideological intentions fuse to create meanings that suggest the present and the future are always connected to the past. This composite layering works to create a complex discourse that simultaneously links Britain’s historical, cultural and social past with its historical, cultural and social present. The importance of mythology, continuity and landscape in ‘A Canterbury Tale’ suggests that the English pastoral while ‘immanent and transcendent’ resonates beyond the original cinematic text.

Date2014
Related URLhttps://www.canterbury.ac.uk/arts-and-humanities/cpbra/projects/Landscape-and-Vision.aspx
FunderCanterbury Christ Church University
Publication process dates
Deposited17 Feb 2017
Completed2014
Output statusUnpublished
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https://repository.canterbury.ac.uk/item/87w5z/landscape-and-vision-powell-and-pressburger-s-a-canterbury-tale-1944-2014

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