If you have never watched classic film noir "Black Narcissus" before, you could be forgiven for thinking, based on the title alone, that it is a psychological murder mystery about a serial killer whose nickname inspires the title of the movie. In...
Emeric Pressburger was born Imre Jozsef Pressburger on December 5th, 1902, in what was then Austria-Hungary. In his early life, Pressburger excelled in school, eventually attending the Universities of Prague and Stuttgart to study math and engineering until abandoning his studies when his father died. After his father's death, Pressburger began a career as a journalist, turning to screenwriting in the late 1920s. In 1926, he moved to Berlin to work for UFA, but due to his Jewish heritage, was forced to flee to Paris as the Nazis came to power
In 1935, he relocated to London, and changed his name to Emeric in 1938. There, he met a group of other Hungarian filmmakers in exile due to the Nazis' rise, including Alexander Korda. Through Korda, he met Michael Powell, collaborating with Powell on the 1939 film The Spy in Black. Thereafter, the two worked as a pair, co-writing, directing, and producing films under the name "The Archers." It was through this fruitful collaboration that the two would eventually create The Red Shoes.
By the 1950s, both Powell and Pressburger began to once again pursue their own work. Pressburger made one attempt at directing alone, Twice Upon a Time in 1953. He continued working through the 1970s, releasing two later films under the pseudonym "Richard Imrie"
Pressburger's work was well-received throughout his lifetime: in 1981, he was made a BAFTA Fellow, and subsequently became a BFI Fellow in 1983. He also won an Oscar for writing 49th Parallel in 1943, and was nominated for several others throughout the 1950s. His work was also recognized at festivals from Cannes to Berlin.
Study Guides on Works by Michael Powell
In the 1940s and 50s, Michael Powell and Emeric Pressburger, known collectively as "The Archers," wrote, directed, and produced a litany of films that are now considered classics. Contrary to the typical Hollywood studio arrangement at the time,...