Sun 31 December 2:00pm
Director: Michael Powell, Emeric Pressburger
Cast: David Niven, Kim Hunter, Robert Coote
Come in, Lancaster! Powell and Pressburger’s A Matter Of Life And Death returns to cinemas, screening from a heavenly new 4K restoration.
Fantastical and romantic, A Matter Of Life And Death stars David Niven as an RAF pilot who must appeal to a celestial court after accidentally being allowed to evade death when his plane goes down. Celebrated filmmaking duo Powell and Pressburger cross boundaries of narrative, metaphysics and technology in pursuit of one of their finest tales; an experimental and expressive voyage through love and life that playfully juxtaposes a Technicolor world of living, breathing passion and a monochrome afterlife governed by rigid rules.
During his flight back to England after a bombing raid in May 1945, Peter Carter’s plane is damaged and his parachute ripped to shreds. He has his crew bail out safely, but figures it is curtains for himself. He gets on the radio, and talks to June, a young American woman working for the RAF, and they are quite moved by each other’s voices. Then he jumps, preferring this to burning up with his plane. He wakes up in the surf.
It was his time to die, but there was a mix-up in heaven. They couldn’t find him in all that fog.
By the time his “Conductor” catches up with him 20 hours later, Peter and June have met and fallen in love. This changes everything, and since it happened through no fault of his own, Peter figures that heaven owes him a second chance. Heaven agrees to a trial to decide his fate.