Director | MICHAEL POWELL, EMERIC PRESSBURGER
UK / 1948 / Colour / 135’ / DCP
English, French, Russian; Turkish sub.
Screenplay | Michael Powell, Emeric Pressburger
Cast | Anton Walbrook, Marius Goring, Moira Shearer
Directed in 1948 by two remarkable people of an era, Emeric Pressburger and Michael Powell, who are also known for their jointly managed production company “The Archers”, The Red Shoes is regarded amongst the most memorable productions in the history of cinema by its scenes way ahead of its time and its poetical style. Although made in UK, the movie attained great success in US box offices and became one of the best movies in the history with its box office record over 5 million USD. The classic will now be screened at Beykoz Kundura with the occasion of World Dance Day on April 27th, in parallel with the grand opening of Kundura Stage. The movie meets its Turkish audience once again, within the scope of Hollywood Classics screened on the last Friday of every month with tasty treats.
Turned into a screenplay from a tale the Danish author, Hans Christian Andersen wrote in 1845 with the same name, this musical drama centers around the story of a ballerina stuck between her art and personal life revolving around devotion, ambition and passion. The young ballerina Victoria, who managed to enroll in the ballet school of worldwide famous Boris Lermontov with the help of her aunt, is portrayed by Moira Shearer in the movie. Shearer is engraved in everyone’s memory with her incomparable performance and body language displayed skillfully throughout the movie. Jack Cardiff’s cinematography challenging its own time, on the other hand, simply crowns this performance which left a trace in the history of cinema.
Acted out by Anton Walbrook as a real idealist and perfectionist, Lermontov kicks out the prima ballerina from the group when she decides to marry, Victoria turns this into a great opportunity: She can be a prima ballerina and have a role in the notable play composed by Julian Craster. However, she falls in love with Julian later on and the couple decides to marry. This time, Victoria is the one who is kicked out from the group and forced to choose between her personal life and the art she is addicted to.
As a piece of art about art in respect of the plot of the movie and astonishing the audience by its sense of rhythm, The Red Shoes received many awards, including but not limited to the Golden Globe for the Best Original Score, Best Art Direction and Best Music Oscar awards. The movie which became a source of inspiration for many others in the next years, such as the Moulin Rouge and Black Swan, the movie ranks amongst the top 10 in the Best 100 British Movies set by British Film Institute (BFI), together with Great Expectations (David Lean, 1998), Kes (Ken Loach, 1969), The 39 Steps (Alfed Hitchcock, 1935) and Trainspotting (Danny Boyle, 1996). It is said that the impressive story of Victoria has become a source of inspiration for many artists, including the director Martin Scorsese and author Margaret Atwood.