The E-BNR aims to build a comprehensive & unique cross-artform guide to
the British neo-Romantic tradition,
from 1880 to the present day.
While the British Romantics of 1789-1824 have spawned a vast industry of
publishers, conferences & tourism, the later neo-Romantic traditions
remain largely neglected. The E-BNR is aimed at bringing this hidden
tradition to light.
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WHAT IS NEO-ROMANTICISM ?
Neo-Romantic artists have drawn their inspiration
from artists of the age of Romanticism or earlier.
Characteristic themes in their work include a
mystical approach to the British landscape...
ENTRY: Powell and Pressburger
Powell and Pressburger were the British film-making partnership
of Michael Powell and Emeric Pressburger, also known as The Archers.
They made a series of influential films in the 1940s and 1950s.
They are now regarded as two of the most significant figures in British cinema.
Their collaborations were mainly written by Pressburger, with Powell
directing. Unusually, the pair shared a writer-director-producer credit for most of their films.
Michael Powell was already an experienced director, having worked his way up
from making silent movies to the First World War spy drama The Spy in Black (1939),
his first film for Alexander Korda. Emeric Pressburger, who had come over from Hungary
in 1935, already worked for Korda, and was asked to do some rewrites for the film.
The collaboration would be the first of 19, most of which would be made over the next 18 years.
Their most interesting films from a neo-romantic perspective are A Canterbury Tale (1944) and
the fully restored version of Gone to Earth (1950, 1985).
The opening scenes of A Matter of Life and Death are also noteworthy.
British film critics gave Powell and Pressburger films a poor reaction at the time.
For better or worse, The Archers were always out of step with mainstream British cinema.
From the 1970s onwards, British critical opinion began to revise this lukewarm assessment,
with their first British Film Institute retrospective in 1970 and another in 1978.
They are now seen as playing a key part in the history of British film, and have
become influential and iconic for many film-makers and artists of later generations.