Following the best movie of last year, 2024 brings a lesson in cinema history from Martin Scorsese. He’s narrated a new documentary on two of the greatest directors of all time, Michael Powell and Emeric Pressburger, the duo responsible for The Red Shoes, Black Narcissus, A Matter of Life and Death, and The Life and Death of Colonel Blimp. Considering Scorsese’s close connection to their work, from being captivated at a young age and much later becoming friends with Michael Powell (who was married to Scorsese’s long-time editor Thelma Schoonmaker), he’s the perfect guide through their filmography.

Following the Berlinale premiere of David Hinton’s Made in England: The Films of Powell and Pressburger, it’ll now get a U.K. and Ireland release on May 10 from Altitude and the first trailer has arrived. With U.S. distribution coming from Cohen Media Group, MUBI has also picked up the film for Germany, Austria, Switzerland, Italy, France, Belgium, Netherlands, Luxembourg, LATAM, Turkey and India.

Here’s the synopsis: “Martin Scorsese first encountered the films of Powell and Pressburger as a child, sitting in front of the family TV. When The Archers’ famous logo appeared on screen, Scorsese recalls: ‘You knew you were in for fantasy, wonder, magic – real film magic.’ Now, in this documentary, he tells the story of his lifelong love affair with their movies, including The Life and Death of Colonel BlimpBlack NarcissusThe Red Shoes and The Tales of Hoffmann. ‘Certain films you simply run all the time and you live with them,’ says Scorsese. ‘As you grow older they grow deeper. I’m not sure how it happens, but it does. For me, that body of work is a wondrous presence, a constant source of energy, and a reminder of what life and art are all about.’ Drawing on a rich array of archive material, Scorsese explores in full the collaboration between the Englishman Powell and the Hungarian Pressburger who thrived in the face of adversity during World War II but were eventually brought low by the film industry of the 1950s. Scorsese celebrates the duo’s ability to create ‘subversive commercial movies’ and describes how deeply their films have influenced his own work.”

Watch the trailer below via Letterboxd, along with the first clip.

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