14 November 2003

The movie of the week is I Know Where I'm Going!, a sweet, slight romantic comedy from 1945 by Michael Powell and Emeric Pressburger. Powell and Pressburger, as I've mentioned before, are currently my favorite directors, and I Know Where I'm Going, while a minor work compared to The Red Shoes or The Life and Death of Colonel Blimp, is full of their usual invention and visual wit. It's about a headstrong young British woman (Wendy Hiller) who goes to Scotland to marry her wealthy fiancee, but falls in love with another man (Roger Livesey) while waiting to cross to the island. Lots of loving photography of the Hebrides, visual jokes, and colorful supporting characters, like Under the Tuscan Sun written and directed by a couple of obsessive artisans. If it were remade today with Ewan MacGregor and, say...I don't know...Keira Knightley, it would be a big hit.

The DVD is especially worth renting because of a short documentary feature included with the movie, I Know Where I'm Going! Revisited, which, in an odd way, is even more moving than the film itself. While it includes interviews with the usual talking heads and surviving cast members (including Petula Clark, who plays a little girl in the movie), it focuses on a woman named Nancy Franklin, who claims that I Know Where I'm Going! changed her life. Franklin's name may ring a bell to faithful readers of The New Yorker; she's a career editor, and currently their television critic. (There's a touching moment when Franklin, a charming Joan Cusack-type, shows off the view of the Empire State Building from her office window, and explains how she used to draw the blinds and play "Rhapsody in Blue" to visitors when she first got her job.) The documentary doesn't explain how, exactly, this movie changed her life, but you can fill in the blanks easily enough, and its quite touching to watch Franklin tour the locations where the movie was filmed.

Anyway, I love hearing stories like this, and I plan on posting about what movies have changed my life later today. (You may be surprised...) Anybody who wants to contribute is more than welcome.

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