While Martin Scorsese And Thelma Schoonmaker were hiding in an apartment cutting the Raging Bull — an intense process that would consume the ideas of most filmmakers — Scorsese told his editor to take a break. He had a movie he needed to show her.
“He said, ‘You have to see this,'” Schonmaker recalls.
Scorsese At the time he was already a passionate fan of the films of Michael Powell and Emeric Pressburger, the British filmmaking duo known as Archers. He considered Technicolor films such as The Red Shoes, The Life and Death of Colonel Blimp, and A Matter of Life and Death as masterpieces. But he stopped watching the black and white 1945 Scottish romance I Know Where I’m Going! For fear of being “photo lighter”. something about this address. And besides, how many artworks could Powell and Pressburger make?
However, Scorsese was persuaded to propose to his friend Jay Cox the night before filming for “Raging Bull” began. “I couldn’t be more wrong,” Scorsese recalls in an email. “It was funny, it was sexy, it was really mystical and it was so sexy. I’ve seen ‘I Know Where I’m Going!’ so many times since then – so many times, in fact, I almost lost count – and I’ve always been so impressed and surprised every time And I was in suspense until those last wonderful moments.”
On Monday, Scorsese and the film restoration nonprofit he founded, The Film Foundation, will launch a new virtual theater, the Film Foundation Restoration screening room. Each month, for one night only, the films restored by the Film Foundation will be presented in free online screenings accompanied by discussions from Scorsese and other filmmakers. The screening room begins, of course, with a retrospective of “I Know Where I’m Going!”
Since it was released in the closing days of WWII, I know where to go! She played a unique role in the hearts of moviegoers. It’s not Powell and Pressburger’s most popular movie, nor is it regularly included in all-time lists. Instead, it’s a movie that moviegoers tend to have in common with moviegoers, such as a cherished gift or family treasure. It is a buried gem that anyone who has seen it will want to tell everyone about it. “You have to see this” is the bulk of the conversations about “I know where I’m going!” Started.
“At the end of the war, people suffered a lot,” Schonmaker said recently by phone. “This is the movie that lifts your heart.”
Soon after seeing “I Know Where I’m Going,” Powell paid a visit to Scorsese, who encouraged Schonemaker to come over to dinner. They beat her up and by 1984 they were married. Powell died in 1990. Pressburger in 1988. Since then, Schoonmaker and Scorsese have dedicated themselves to – when not making films (editing is currently being terminated on “Moonflower killers“Apple’s expanded crime thriller about the 1920s murders in the Osage Nation in Oklahoma)—to take back the Powell and Pressburger films. Scorsese recently signed a documentary about their films. For years, Schoonmaker has been combing Powell’s memoirs in hopes of getting them published.
“I inherited that,” says Schonemaker, the celebrity Scorsese editor. “Michael, when he died, let a little furnace burn inside of me. What keeps me going is loving and trying to make others love his work.”
How much love can come from an old movie? For Schoonmaker, the answer is just about everything. Schoonmaker inspired Scorsese’s passion for Archer films, which in turn led to the love of her life.
“It was Marty’s passion for film history that made all this happen,” she says with a laugh.
The Film Foundation, which collaborated with the British Film Institute on the restoration of I Know Where I’m Going, has recovered more than 925 films, preserving large swaths of film history and shedding the slack at many film studios today, which have offered less interest in preserving their past. Cinemas keep the flow of new ‘content’.
“At this point, they are no longer film companies, but huge media conglomerates. For them, old films are a small component of a wide range of properties and activities,” says Scorsese. “The people who run it are several generations of the same thing about cinema: the word has meaning only as a marketing term. Their interest is not in making good films, but in making their shareholders richer. So, no, restoring Howard Hawks’ image is not at the top of their list of priorities. The idea that he It must be that, for reasons unrelated to profits and losses, it is not even an acceptable idea. In this atmosphere, the idea of art has no place. A wrench is cast into the works.”
I know where I’m going! Powell and Pressburger made it in 1944 while waiting for the Technicolor cameras that Laurence Olivier was using to get Henry V Pressburger to write it in a matter of days. They presented it to the Ministry of Information, which controlled the wartime film industry, as an anti-materialistic fable. (Britain feared that the rush of consumerism would follow wartime rationing.)
In it, Joan Webster (Wendy Heller), a stubborn woman, travels to the Scots Herbrides (the film was shot on the picturesque Isle of Mull) to marry a wealthy lord. But inclement weather prevents her from crossing to Kiloran (Colonsay Island). While waiting for her to pass, she meets a naval officer (Roger Livesey) from the area. They soon become so involved in local life that we feel fascinated by it. Joanne feels increasingly off track.
But summarizing the delightful magic of “I know where I’m going” never does justice. It resonates with a warm lyrical spirit that feels a balance between past and present, between myth and reality. It’s a movie you can’t help falling into, just like Joan is.
The fans of the movie are a passionate tribe. Big Sleep author Raymond Chandler once wrote, “I’ve never seen a picture smell of wind and rain in such a perfect way.” Tilda Swinton, who has a family home in Colonsay, thinks I know where I’m going! It must be handed over by Scottish diplomats when they travel around the world. “It’s like a confession,” Swinton says in a video made for the Film Foundation. “You come back to it every few years.”
I know where to go in part about reconnecting with something – with nature and ancient ways – which makes it a particularly apt film to start a restoration screening room. With set showtimes and powerful conversations about the movie, the virtual theater is set up in a way that is distinctly different from the standard streaming experience.
“We got used to watching and listening in our own time. Something was gained, but also something was lost,” Scorsese says. “We felt it was important to create a way of watching movies that ensured there was a larger audience out there watching and interacting at the same time.”
While movie culture can be uncertain about its direction, the lovingly restored movie “I Know Where I’m Going!” It may help light the way. It is, however, a port to lift the soul in a storm.
“I have always felt that you cannot have a present or a future for cinema without its past. The films I have watched, which I have re-watched and studied, and discovered for myself or through a friend … they enrich me, inspire me, support me,” Scorsese says. That it is possible to imagine someone making films without bothering to see anything that was made ahead of their time. But the question is: Why? what is the point? Why don’t you see what I got out of it? Every movie is in dialogue with every movie before it and every movie that follows it. This is true in all arts. Isn’t that amazing? “