Saturday, February 14, 2009

The Velvet Blog's Valentine's Day Netflix recommendation

This is to make up for the ridiculously cynical post below. I know it's too late to get this in for Valentine's Day, but if you're looking for a great romantic film that you've likely not seen before, put "I Know Where I'm Going!" into your Netflix queue. It's by Michael Powell and Emeric Pressburger, the same production team that made A Matter of Life and Death, which I know you've seen already, because ... well, because I told you to rent it last month. And, like AMOLAD, this is in my all-time top 10.

It stars a radiant Wendy Hiller and Roger Livesey (the doctor from AMOLAD again) and it was largely shot on location in Scotland in 1945. How often do you get to see what rural Scotland looked like in 1945?

Someone has actually posted the entire movie in 10-minute chunks on YouTube. That's not the best way to see this, obviously, but here's one scene I particularly like, from about midway through.

Know that Hiller's character has come to Scotland to marry her rich, older boyfriend, but that Livesey, the handsome-but-cash-poor lord of the island Hiller is trying to reach for the wedding, is proving too difficult to ignore. In this scene, while the boat to the island is delayed because of bad weather, Livesey takes her to a music-filled anniversary party. I love that piercing look he gives her as he quotes an old Scottish folk song that goes, "You're the maid for me." How could Hiller's character possibly resist? (About 3 minutes, 30 seconds into this video.)

Movie geek trivia: I said above that the film was shot on location, which is true. But Livesey was appearing in a play in London and couldn't get to Scotland, so everytime you see him in an outdoor scene, it's faked. Either it's a double in a long shot, or he's standing in front of a rear-projection screen. It's remarkably seamless.

I will convert all of you to become Powell & Pressburger fans yet ...


Posol'stvo the Medved said...

My Netflix queue is somewhere close to 120 deep, and your last recommendation has yet to trickle to the top. Sorry. I do mean to see it. I just have to get through all this other crap that I can't remember why the hell I added to my queue. (In the Land of Women??? WTF? Kasdan ain't that great...)

Anonymous said...

"A Matter of Life and Death" is theoretically arriving in my mailbox today.