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Archive for the ‘“Black Narcissus”’ Category
  Stef   December 04, 2020

When “Black Narcissus” was released in 1947, the film was hailed as a cinematic masterpiece for its Technicolor visuals. It was also condemned by the Catholic Church for its salacious premise involving nuns.

In 2020, saturated color in film is the norm, and what was once considered risqué now seems chaste, all things considered. And although a classic, it’s a film that most contemporary audiences are unfamiliar with — including Gemma Arterton, who stars in the miniseries remake. Introducing new audiences to the story was top of mind for the producers, as was updating dated elements of the original screen adaptation.

“Our producer is the grandson of one of the producers of the original film,” says Arterton, at home in London. “There was great admiration and love that we wanted to show, in terms of the design and certain shots.”

The remake stars Arterton as Sister Clodagh, who leads a group of Anglican nuns to a remote Himalayan town, where they plan to help establish a school and hospital. A major theme of the series is renouncement of identity, and sexual repression; the original film was controversial for its depiction of desire within the religious context. The three-part miniseries doubles the length of the original movie — which was based on a novel by Rumer Godden — and the expanded format allows for more time to build on the tension between characters.

(Read the full article at the source.)

  Stef   December 04, 2020

Gemma Arterton doesn’t mind being indoors. “You can just get cozy,” she joked during a call with W from her home in London. During the city’s second official pandemic lockdown, the actress has spent her time devouring books (Revolutionary Road was a recent favorite) and contemplating what she’d be like as a director (a “really anxious” one, she guesses). But she’s also been examining her participation in a project that’s been a long time coming: her starring role in Black Narcissus, a mini-series remake of the Oscar-winning epic from 1947, based on Rumer Godden’s novel of the same name.

In the three-part series, which airs its final chapter tonight on FX, Arterton plays Sister Clodagh, a self-flagellating Anglican nun tasked with leading her order to the Himalayas and bringing a divine presence to a formerly hedonistic palace. While she’s there, she finds herself reminiscing—against her own will to employ the most self-control a person could possibly exert—on her past in Ireland, before she cut off her hair, donned a wimple, and started practicing custody of the eyes (averting one’s gaze to maintain pure, chaste thoughts).

But it’s so hard to look away when in the presence of the majestic Himalayan landscape, the Sisters soon learn. The panoramic mountain view is, after all, what really secured the original film as a Technicolor masterpiece, and as actors in the remake, the cast experienced that firsthand, Arterton said. After countless flights and long drives, the cast and crew finally arrived at their filming destination in Nepal last year, to witness the natural terrain that causes the nuns in the story to somewhat lose their minds. “You understand why the nuns were so taken by the beauty of the place,” the actress told me. “Because it really is so pure. It’s so untampered with and so fresh, and because you’re so high up you can quite get quite delirious up there.”

(Read the rest of the article at the source.)

  Nicole   September 15, 2019

DEADLINE – Alessandro Nivola and Gemma Arterton head a killer cast for a three-part adaptation of the 1939 classic Rumer Godden literary novel Black Narcissus, a tale of sexual repression and forbidden love. BAFTA-winning writer Amanda Coe (The Trial of Christine Keeler, Apple Tree Yard) wrote the three hourlong episodes and renowned DP Charlotte Bruus Christensen makes her directing debut.

BBC One is producing with DNA TV and FX Productions. The exec producers are Andrew Macdonald, Allon Reich and Coe for DNA TV and FX Productions and Lucy Richer for the BBC. Filming starts in October in Jomsom, Nepal and Pinewood Studios, UK.

Black Narcissus was previously adapted for screen in 1947 by Powell and Pressburger and subsequently won two Oscars for Cinematography (Jack Cardiff) and Art Direction (Alfred Junge).

Arterton (The King’s Man, The Escape) plays Sister Clodagh, the leader of the nuns of St Faiths, who travel to Nepal to set up a branch of their order in the remote palace of Mopu. In the unfettered sensuality of the so-called House of Women, Sister Clodagh finds herself increasingly attracted to a handsome and damaged land agent, Mr Dean (Nivola). He is a dissolute English colonial and First World War veteran whose combative relationship with the head sister of the order awakens hidden longings in both. But as the repressed memories of Clodagh’s past become entangled with the tragic history of Princess Srimati, history seems doomed to repeat itself. Are there really ghosts here in the Himalayas, or are the nuns just succumbing to long-repressed primal desires? And which of them is prepared to die – or kill – for love?

Said Coe: “I’m thrilled to be adapting Black Narcissus for BBC One. It’s a truly extraordinary love story, as well as a brilliantly unsettling piece of 20th century gothic about the power of a place to get under your skin and the dangers of refusing to learn from history.”

Nivola takes on the project after filming the lead role of Dickie Moltisanti in The Sopranos prequel film The Many Saints of Newark for New Line and Warner Bros, which Sopranos creator David Chase co-wrote and produced. Aisling Franciosi (The Nightingale, I Know This Much Is True) plays Sister Ruth, Diana Rigg (Game of Thrones, Victoria) plays Mother Dorothea, Jim Broadbent (The Iron Lady) plays Father Roberts, Gina McKee (Catherine the Great, Bodyguard) plays Sister Adela, Rosie Cavaliero (Prey, Unforgotten) plays Sister Briony, Patsy Ferran (Tom and Jerry, Jamestown) plays Sister Blanche, Karen Bryson (MotherFatherSon, Safe) plays Sister Philippa, and Dipika Kunwar makes her TV debut as Kanchi. (source)