I Know Where I'm Going! 9781839023804, 9781839023811

I Know Where I'm Going! (1945) is widely regarded as one of Michael Powell and Emeric Pressburger's most remar

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I Know Where I'm Going!
 9781839023804, 9781839023811

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Foreword to the 2021 Edition Filming on I Know Where I’m Going! (unofficially known as ikwig) took place between September and November 1944, when the end of World War II was in sight, and the London premiere was held on 16 November 1945, when hostilities were over.1 While there may have been light at the end of the tunnel for an exhausted, war-weary population looking forward to regaining some economic and personal security, the situation was still turbulent, and future directions were far from clear. The post-war drive towards a modern, consumerist society was in tension with the undertow of past horrors and conflicts that pulled back from, and challenged, official discourses of progress. In addition to the devastation visited on the country and its people, many of whom had seen their future plans blown apart, the war had tectonic social effects, requiring wholesale revision of civil, political and economic policy. There is clear resonance between the World War II context in the UK and our current moment. At the time of writing, in early 2021, a global pandemic has engulfed the world, ripping away all certainties and creating an unstable situation in which no straightforward path to the future is visible. Personal and political priorities have been overturned, and the emotional and psychological toll is immeasurable. My argument in the first edition, that ikwig’s capacity to captivate successive generations of viewers across the decades is down to its ability to be both of its time and timeless, seems particularly relevant as we navigate the increasingly stormy waters of present-day traumatic events. I remarked on the way the film conveys a sense of perpetual motion, ‘as though it embodies the rhythms of restless desire’.2 It could also be said to give palpable form, through its expressionist mise en scène and sound design, to the ebb and flow of elemental human emotions stirred up by confronting

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unforeseen circumstances with unpredictable outcomes. The power of ikwig’s projection of the perils of forbidden love, desire and death hinges on its conjuring up a world in turmoil in which a stable life and identity are perpetually at risk. The film’s narrative structure contributes to this evocation of disruption and disorder. The linear trajectory of the heroine Joan Webster’s journey to her planned destination is beset by obstacles, in the form of an attractive young Scottish laird and a storm that takes her to the edge of extinction in the Corryvreckan whirlpool. The friction between forward momentum and the swirling, circular motion of digression and delay, pictured through virtuoso special visual and sound effects, is key to ikwig’s emotional affect. This structure is familiar from melodrama and women’s pictures, where the cause and effect logic of classical narrative is in tension with a circular story-telling formation that evades narrative closure. The film’s teasing double ending, in which the romantic couple first set off in opposite directions after a passionate kiss, then come back together as Joan reverses her course in an apparently happy conclusion, leaves everything up in the air. Writing about the impact of the love story and romance plot on the film, Tom Gunning elaborates on the role of temporal disruption in heightening desire, whether it be sexual or mercenary.3 ikwig sets sexual and materialistic desire against one another, while acknowledging that both are characterised by the same heady ‘rush’ of feelings. It is clear that Joan’s dreams of wealth and status must give way to the lure of true love – but only after she confronts the maelström itself, which threatens to destroy her very identity, as well as her life. Drawing on the work of Paul Ricoeur, Gunning discusses Joan’s encounter with the whirlpool as a pivotal moment in which she plunges into a different, transitional space and time in order to undergo the transformation of her goals that will allow the love story to progress.4 The forward and backward momentum of the film reinforces the sense that she is caught between impossible choices – another feature of women’s pictures in which the heroine must

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choose between romantic love and professional or other aspirations. Joan’s well-planned life, and her bright future as Lady Bellinger, are wrecked. While the euphoric narrative resolution, in harmony with the film’s romantic, fairytale ethos, seems to provide the desired outcome, it is still the case that Joan’s prospects as a professional woman, or indeed her role as the English partner of the Scottish laird, are uncertain. Her predicament echoes the unsettled status of women at the end of the war, facing a world in which their newfound emancipation and independence would be curtailed, or at least undergo a change in direction. The wartime realignment of gender roles is played out in the tempestuous relationship between the lovers. Joan’s headstrong nature is matched by Torquil’s sometimes overbearing behaviour and his avowed wish to ‘tame’ her. In a telling scene at the ceilidh, as Joan stands on a ladder to watch the gathering, Torquil fixes her with his piercing gaze, pinning her down with his arms as if to obstruct her upward mobility. The battle of wills between them culminates in an extraordinary scene of sexual violence, rarely remarked on by commentators, in which Torquil forcibly tries to prevent Joan from taking the boat to Kiloran in the raging storm by blocking her way on the stairs and throwing her to the ground. Following their narrow escape from death in the Corryvreckan whirlpool, Joan returns to Erraig House a changed woman. Her transformation may represent an affirmation of love over materialism, but it also signals her deferral to fate and her acceptance that her ambitions have gone overboard. In light of what has gone before, ikwig’s happy ending does not quite lay to rest the gender issues bubbling beneath the surface. Most analyses of ikwig refer to its mythic dimension, in particular its weaving into the narrative traditional Scottish folklore and sagas.5 As with other Archers films, these fantastical elements are closely entwined with the everyday, creating an enchanted world in which dream is indistinguishable from reality. Stella Hockenhull relates this aspect of their work to English Neo-Romanticism and explores the emotional affect of the land- and seascapes in ikwig,

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tracing it to historical precedents in Romantic imagery.6 The film’s Scottish settings do not simply provide ‘local colour’ – although there is an element of this in some scenes – they deploy dramatic vistas of land and sea that take the breath away, arousing intense reactions in viewers. The danger and death associated with storm-tossed, wind-blown seas and landscapes incites both fear and excitement, heightening the volatility of Joan’s perilous situation and her overwrought state of mind. The sexual attraction between the two lovers is underlined by the Romantic imagery: it is the danger and thrill of this wild land and its bold young laird that attracts Joan and seduces her away from a safe and tedious marriage to the stuffy Englishman Sir Robert Bellinger. The Scottish myths and legends woven into ikwig are in part a means of evoking a place rooted in a violent and bloody past that must be confronted before the protagonists can move on. Stories of the Corryvreckan whirlpool, and the MacLaine/MacNeil curse handed down to Torquil by his nanny, relayed in the film through cultural memory, are interleaved with the well-documented personal experiences of the film-makers, many of whom were continental European émigrés. Their reminiscences have played a major role in analyses of ikwig and Powell and Pressburger’s work in general, and have accrued considerable authority. Those accounts sometimes conflict with one another, particularly when it comes to claiming credit in a collaborative medium such as film, raising a question about the validity of personal remembrance in historical research. Memory is notoriously unreliable; in interviews with me, Wendy Hiller and Erwin Hillier independently recalled the participation of renowned costume designer Elizabeth Haffenden in ikwig. Tempting though it is to surmise that Haffenden may have been involved, I could find no recorded evidence that this was the case. This created a dilemma: while such witness reports provide historians with valuable material, and should be respected, their credibility can be in doubt. The Haffenden question remains open, and the conflicting evidence that emerged from my research is left as a

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reminder of the vagaries of memory and the speculative nature of historical reconstruction. The memories of the continental émigrés who worked on ikwig are at the heart of the book. The often traumatic events and social upheavals faced by Emeric Pressburger and Archers colleagues such as production designer Alfred Junge and composer Allan Gray, combined with the skill and expertise they brought from the sophisticated resources of European production companies, permeate the film. Their vision, mixed with diverse cultural and creative influences, resulted in an ethnically hybrid work. Kevin Donnelly discusses the film’s score in such terms, as an eclectic combination of ‘Germanic’ conventions, incidental music and Scottish place themes that mediates between heterogeneous elements, playing on the tension in ikwig between forward momentum and stasis in complex ways.7 The soundtrack is an intrinsic factor in the overall composition, melding dialogue, sound effects and music into an organic whole with set design, script, visual effects and cinematography to generate a consciously ‘designed’ film. Rather than offering a series of set pieces, however, it brings these different aspects into a dynamic and emotive relationship that moves and inspires viewers. ikwig puts on display the aesthetic and technical virtuosity of a remarkable group of filmmakers working in British cinema during the 1940s. This book is dedicated to them, and their contribution to making ikwig one of The Archers’ finest works.

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Acknowledgments Erwin Hillier generously shared his extensive archive of photographs and contemporary British reviews with me, as well as his insights and memories of the making of I Know Where I’m Going! Dame Wendy Hiller also kindly took the time to respond to my questions. The book benefited greatly from their contributions. I am grateful to the following for their help and advice: Charles Barr for material on Captain C. W. R. Knight, Tim Bergfelder for information on Allan Gray and Erich Kästner, and Ian Christie for giving me access to the Voyager laser disc version of ikwig. (This version is no longer available, and became the Criterion Collection DVD; however, the laser disc still exists in the BFI National Archive.) I should also like to thank Ed Buscombe, Sam Cook, Christine Gledhill, Sylvia Paskin, Duncan Petrie, Thelma Schoonmaker Powell, Ian Strafford, Ginette Vincendeau, Sarah Williams, Rob White and the team at BFI Publishing, Rebecca Barden and the team at Bloomsbury, Sophie Contento, and the many friends and colleagues who shared their thoughts about the film with me.

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I Know Where I’m Going! After A Canterbury Tale … we were not quite sure where we were going.8

I Know Where I’m Going! is a film of extraordinary beauty and emotional power. Writing about it is an adventure and a challenge; it means so much to so many people – to those members of Powell and Pressburger’s company The Archers who participated in its making in 1944, and to others, like myself, who have fallen under its spell more recently. Magically, it changes lives, inspires new directions in those who see it; a simple love story, it draws us into the dark, dangerous waters of sexual desire and death; like myth, it works on unconscious levels difficult to contain through rational analysis.9 To someone like me, who grew up in post-war Britain, with its egalitarian rhetoric and idealistic vision of a new, modern nation,10 I Know Where I’m Going! (affectionately known as ikwig) carries additional resonances. The very title, with its tease in the tail, the emphatic exclamation mark that warns against taking such a confident assertion at face value, is tinged with irony. This is a film about an interrupted journey, during which travellers are compelled to change direction and revise priorities. One can imagine the wry glint in the film-makers’ eyes: ‘Ah, yes, you think you know, but …’ Several of those involved in the production were European émigrés who had experienced enforced, and in some cases traumatic, digressions and delays in life’s journey. For Emeric Pressburger, who wrote the script of ikwig in a matter of days from an idea he had long cherished, the concept of life-shattering diversions from a planned route must have seemed particularly poignant.11 The film itself was a detour in The Archers’ itinerary, an unscheduled stop between A Canterbury Tale (1944) and A Matter of Life and Death (1946). Its anti-materialist message – in effect,

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A sense of direction: Joan on the Glasgow Express

a critique of profiteering – partly reflected the context of wartime restrictions in which it was made: the unavailability of Technicolor stock had delayed the production of the ambitious propaganda piece A Matter of Life and Death, commissioned by Jack Beddington of the Ministry of Information in the interests of improving post-war Anglo-American relations.12 In 1944, the war may well have been over bar the shouting, but the celebration of a post-war consumer boom at this stage seemed, to The Archers at least, premature and inappropriate. There’s an element of romantic nostalgia in this – an unwillingness, perhaps, to leave the war behind and to look confidently towards the future. Nostalgia for the war, and the clear-cut ideals for which it was fought, is not so surprising at this point in The Archers’ career. After a string of box-office successes, A Canterbury Tale had been met by a cool reception from audiences and critics – mostly, it seems, because of the perversity of the peculiar glue-pouring Culpepper, but also because of its complicated, meandering plot. Powell and Pressburger were unsure what direction to take next. The temporary shelving of A Matter of Life and Death created a hiatus; this elaborate black-and-white and Technicolor fantasy made way for an apparently simple, straightforward

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A simple love story: Roger Livesey as Torquil and Wendy Hiller as Joan

narrative, an intense love story that would link the idealism of their previous film with the life-and-death romance of the one that was to follow.13 On the face of it, the storyline is reassuringly transparent. Joan Webster (Wendy Hiller), a strong-willed, materialistic young woman who works for Consolidated Chemical Industries, travels from Manchester to Scotland with the intention of marrying her wealthy boss, Sir Robert Bellinger (Norman Shelley), on the island of Kiloran, Fast forward: the Glasgow Express speeds towards Scotland

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which he has rented for the duration of the war. When she arrives at Port Erraig on Mull, a storm blows up, preventing her from crossing by boat to the island. She meets Torquil MacNeil (Roger Livesey), a handsome Scottish naval lieutenant who hopes to spend his leave on Kiloran, and they end up taking refuge at Erraig House, owned by Torquil’s childhood friend Catriona MacLaine (Pamela Brown). Due to an ancient feud, the MacLaines laid a curse on the MacNeils which still terrifies Torquil, who reveals himself to be the impoverished Laird of Kiloran, forced to lease his island to rich foreigners in order to survive. Joan and Torquil are immediately attracted to one another, which makes Joan even more determined to cross to the island as soon as possible, in spite of warnings from the locals about the perilous conditions and the danger posed by the Corryvreckan whirlpool. Despite herself, Joan is increasingly seduced by the colourful traditions and simple values of the Highlanders’ way of life, and by Torquil himself. In a last-ditch attempt to escape her feelings for the Scotsman, Joan hires Kenny (Murdo Morrison), a young, inexperienced boatman, to take her across the turbulent seas to her fiancé. Torquil, unable to persuade her to change her mind, insists on going with them. The storm gets worse, the engine fails and the boat is dragged to the edge of the whirlpool, only just managing to veer away when Torquil starts the engine. Chastened by their experience, the couple return to Erraig House, and when the storm subsides, Joan sets off for Kiloran once more, but not before she and Torquil have exchanged a passionate farewell kiss. Torquil crosses the threshold of Moy Castle to confront the MacLaine curse, where Joan, who has changed her mind about marrying Sir Robert, returns to find him. The pair embrace, declaring their undying love for one another. This theme of star-crossed lovers with its ‘love conquers all’ moral is not so far removed from previous productions such as The Life and Death of Colonel Blimp (1943) and A Canterbury Tale. It was also the mainspring of the delayed extravaganza A Matter of Life and Death. However, ikwig was heralded as a more conventional

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enterprise than The Archers’ other films, and it could be seen as a bridging exercise – an attempt to regain lost ground with critics and audiences, and to mark time until the more complex project could go into production. As it turned out, ikwig was a critical and commercial success, though many still found parts of the story confusing, despite its more classical structure.14 However, it is far from being a minor transition piece bracketed between two wayward masterpieces. This is a film that encapsulates the memories, working ethos and artistic aspirations of a remarkable group of film-makers at a unique moment in British cultural history. Cultural exchanges: British cinema and Europe The formation of Powell and Pressburger’s company The Archers in 1942 inaugurated a cycle of productions distinguished by technical ingenuity, adventurous aesthetics and box-office appeal. The pair’s collaboration had begun earlier, in 1938, when they were brought together by Alexander Korda, head of London Films, to develop a subject suitable for German actor Conrad Veidt. The result was The Spy in Black (1939), an espionage film set in Scotland during World War I, featuring an impossible love affair between Veidt’s The Spy in Black (1939): Conrad Veidt and Valerie Hobson

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German submarine captain and a British agent played by Valerie Hobson, which was a huge commercial success in Britain and the US.15 As usual, Korda, himself an Hungarian émigré, employed an international team of creative personnel, and besides Pressburger and Veidt, other Europeans such as production designer Vincent Korda and composer Miklós Rózsa worked on the film. Alexander Korda could be said to have been a formative influence on Powell and Pressburger in this respect: The Archers’ productions also brought together a cosmopolitan repertory company with a strong European flavour. Korda’s policy of importing European personnel was not an isolated example. Since the 1920s, British producers (and, indeed, their Hollywood counterparts) had looked to Europe, and particularly to Germany, for experienced technicians trained at wellequipped studios such as UFA (Universum-Film Aktiengesellschaft), with their state-of-the-art facilities and dedication to aesthetic innovation. Michael Balcon, for instance, head of Gainsborough and Gaumont-British from the mid-20s to the mid-30s, initiated a series of co-productions with European companies, and actively promoted a programme of cultural exchange by inviting respected continentals to work in the British film industry. This venture coincided with the ‘Film Europe’ movement, an attempt during the late 1920s and early 30s to establish a pan-European cartel which would be capable of breaking the Hollywood stranglehold on world markets. Subsequently, after the Nazi accession to power in 1933, there was a further influx of European exiles into the British industry.16 Many of the recruited continentals, particularly in the areas of cinematography and production design, established long-term careers in Britain and had a far-reaching, lasting influence – despite the xenophobic response from those who mistakenly perceived their arrival as a foreign invasion. If the European exiles during this period were treated with suspicion by some, they were regarded as an élite by many, who welcomed the expertise that they offered to a British film industry

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that aspired to the artistic accomplishment and international success of the European and Hollywood industries, yet lacked the facilities and the technical know-how to achieve them. Britain stood to gain much from the process of cultural exchange, while some of the continental technicians who settled here attained levels of power and autonomy far greater than had been available to them in Europe. German set designer Alfred Junge, for example, a regular member of The Archers’ team between 1943 and 1947, arrived in Britain in the late 1920s, and in 1932 secured a contract as supervising art director at Gaumont-British which gave him unprecedented control over almost all aspects of visual design, including cinematography. The success of cultural exchange in invigorating the British film industry and strengthening its position in world markets remains to be fully assessed. But the striking features of the strategy are none the less interesting: the emphasis on international co-operation, on craftsmanship, and on collaboration between teams of talented workers implies a less hierarchical model of the production process than those we are accustomed to these days.17 It was in this collaborative spirit that the Englishman Michael Powell and the Hungarian Emeric Pressburger formed The Archers. However, the flowering of that partnership depended to some extent on structural changes affecting the British film industry during the 1940s. J. Arthur Rank, IPL and The Archers Powell and Pressburger’s new company was officially announced on 7 January 1942. The pair agreed to share equally the creative responsibility and the financial rewards for their films, all of which would display the end title ‘Written, Produced and Directed by Michael Powell and Emeric Pressburger’.18 Following meetings between Powell, Pressburger and flour magnate-turned-film tycoon J. Arthur Rank, The Archers won an extraordinary deal whereby they were to produce two pictures for Rank in the next year, at their own discretion, with £15,000 per picture and 10 per cent of the net profit. Later this arrangement became a picture-by-picture

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contract with 25 per cent of the net profit. Such creative freedom and generous financial terms were practically unheard of. Rank’s altruism apparently knew no bounds. Eight months later he set up Independent Producers Ltd (IPL), an organisation designed to deal with the business and legal aspects of production by independent film-makers within the Rank group. There was method in this paternalism. Rank had been consolidating his position in the film industry for some time: in 1939 he took control of Denham from Alexander Korda; in 1940 he acquired a controlling interest in Gaumont-British, becoming chairman in 1941; soon afterwards he took over the Odeon cinema chain, which put him at the helm of a powerful, vertically integrated combine of production, distribution and exhibition facilities. The formation of IPL would allow him, in theory, to make the best use of those facilities by centralising resources and making them available to a select group of independent film-makers. In return, IPL members would produce quality films that Rank could sell to the US. Not surprisingly, Rank’s empire building was resisted by other British film-makers, led by Michael Balcon, and the 1944 Palache Report sharply criticised his monopolistic tendencies.19 However, to those sheltered by the Rank umbrella, IPL seemed like a dream come true, and Michael Powell had nothing but admiration for The Archers’ benefactor.20 His enthusiasm is hardly surprising in the light of the generous terms and artistic autonomy that IPL offered, in the early stages at least. The film-makers enjoyed long shooting schedules, relatively high-quality studio facilities and the creative skills of talented technicians – enviable privileges in the context of wartime and post-war austerity conditions. Rank deliberately encouraged a culture of experimentation and research, and during its heyday between 1944 and 1947, IPL produced several films distinguished by their innovative approach to every aspect of the craft. The Archers made a total of eight films with Rank between 1943 and 1948, beginning with The Silver Fleet (1943), which brought together Alfred Junge, composer Allan Gray,

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cinematographer Erwin Hillier and camera operator Cecil Cooney, all of whom also worked on A Canterbury Tale and ikwig. The Archers’ productions during this period were extremely ambitious. They took full advantage of the creative opportunities offered by IPL, and ikwig was no exception. Despite its modest appearance, this is a film whose technical ingenuity, complex visual effects and oneiric qualities have been compared to F. W. Murnau’s epic tale of passion, betrayal and redemption, Sunrise (1927).21 Following the critical acclaim that greeted his 1924 film Der letzte Mann (The Last Laugh), German director Murnau had been invited to Hollywood by William Fox to make Sunrise, a prestige production relying on elaborate special effects. The film tells the story of a country man seduced by a city woman into planning the murder of his young wife during a trip into town. In the course of their day out, he changes his mind, and the couple are reconciled, but on the boat journey home a storm sweeps the wife overboard, and he believes her to be dead. Eventually she is found alive, the city woman leaves and the young couple live happily ever after. At first sight, the comparison with ikwig may seem eccentric. Sunrise has been hailed as an unsurpassed work of genius, and the sheer scale of its production seems to overshadow ikwig’s artistic achievement. Though the resources offered by Rank were lavish in the context of the restrictions faced by the British film industry in the 1940s, they were hardly on a par with those offered to Murnau and his team in 1920s Hollywood. Yet The Archers’ film was conceived and made by a group of European exiles who, like Murnau, were admired throughout the world for their virtuosity. The creative ambition of the postponed A Matter of Life and Death is some indication of these film-makers’ aspirations to worldwide cultural recognition. Even though eighteen years and many miles separate ikwig and Sunrise, they have enough in common to suggest that the links that can be traced between them are more than just coincidence. These associations offer a fascinating insight into the shared experiences and working ethos of the European émigré film-makers.

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F. W. Murnau, Sunrise and The Archers The Murnau connection is worth exploring further. In the late 1920s, when his artistic reputation was at its height, the German director was courted by William Fox, who had invested in a series of quality productions in an attempt to upgrade the status of the Fox Film Corporation in the industry. During this period the major Hollywood studios, in common with their British counterparts, cultivated continental film-makers, particularly those trained in Germany at UFA, the largest and most powerful film company in Europe, controlling an impressive array of production, distribution and exhibition facilities. During its heyday in the early and mid-20s, UFA produced technically innovative and aesthetically ambitious films that were the envy of the world. Murnau and his collaborators, scriptwriter Carl Mayer and cinematographer Karl Freund, had a huge international success with The Last Laugh, which must qualify as one of the most influential films ever made. The young Alfred Hitchcock is reputed to have taken notes as he sat on the set of The Last Laugh observing the film-makers at work, and John Ford, while he was under contract at Fox in the 1920s, was apparently such an admirer of Murnau that he visited him in Germany to exchange ideas.22 In the late 1920s, UFA ran into financial difficulties, and many of the film-makers associated with the company left Germany for Britain and Hollywood. Murnau was offered a lucrative contract by Fox to make Sunrise, with a high degree of artistic control and a generous budget, most of which was spent on constructing a massive city set on the Fox studio lot. As it turned out, the film was not popular with US audiences or critics, and Fox’s investment did not pay off. But if Sunrise was an expensive failure at the time of its release, it has acquired monumental status since, and its reputation as a cinematic masterpiece has, if anything, increased. It is unlikely that Sunrise had a direct influence on ikwig; nevertheless, the comparisons between Murnau’s legendary classic and The Archers’ film are too tempting to resist. To begin with, there are the links with UFA. Pressburger started his scriptwriting

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career there in the 1930s, and is known to have particularly admired The Last Laugh.23 He subsequently formed a friendship with Carl Mayer, the scriptwriter on the latter film and Sunrise. ikwig’s composer Allan Gray also worked for UFA in the early 1930s, while production designer Alfred Junge joined the company in 1920, and cinematographer Erwin Hillier worked as a cameraman there between 1926 and 1928. If there can be said to have been an UFA style, or ethos, it was probably to be found in the emphasis on visual elements such as decor, costume and cinematography, and the attention paid to the overall design of a production, which meant that pictorial qualities were usually dominant. The craftsmen who worked at UFA during its golden age in the 1920s were known all over the world, and Michael Powell, who served his apprenticeship at the Victorine Studios in Nice in the mid-20s, was certainly aware of their achievements, and has acknowledged the influence of Murnau and others on Archers films such as The Red Shoes (1948) and The Tales of Hoffmann (1951).24 Although Murnau’s ‘expressionist’ style, and the UFA background in general, were clearly important to The Archers, there is no evidence that ikwig was conceived as a conscious homage to Sunrise. Rather, the similarities between the two films suggest an unconscious relationship, one that goes deeper than the level of visual style or artistic tribute to what might be called a collective world view, or a shared way of looking at things. Both films were part of a deliberate strategy to encourage prestige, quality productions which would enhance the power of the companies for which they were made. In both cases, the film-makers had privileged access to sophisticated studio facilities, and enjoyed the participation of highly skilled technicians and creative personnel – though the production circumstances of ikwig were intended, in theory at least, to conserve resources and avoid the kind of profligacy associated with Sunrise. Both films convey a sense of adventure and excitement about the film-making process, celebrating cinema’s utopian possibilities by putting on display a dazzling array of visual special effects.

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Cinematic magic in Hollywood: the trolley ride in Sunrise (1927)

Sleight of hand at Denham: the bus ride in IKWIG

There are stylistic affinities too. A notable feature of Sunrise is its hallucinatory quality, the impression it creates that audience and characters are caught somewhere between sleep and waking. ikwig, too, generates a fantasy world, from the moment its heroine falls into a dream state on the train taking her to Scotland to meet her future husband to the primeval nightmare of the Corryvreckan whirlpool that almost swallows her up.25 In both cases, the dreamlike ambience is achieved largely through special photographic effects

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Unexpected diversion: Sunrise’s storm

Fate intervenes: the Corryvreckan whirlpool in IKWIG

– in particular, through the use of remarkably subtle rear projection, but also through superimposition, and patterns of light and dark that are at once atmospheric and symbolic. ikwig echoes Sunrise’s dramatic diagonal compositions and tendency to have characters break the frame by erupting unexpectedly into it, which intensify the sense of urgency and underlying violence. Both films utilise the ironic ‘double ending’ technique that is also a feature of The Last Laugh, tacking on a happy ending as a makeshift resolution of the conflicts

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still bubbling away beneath the surface. But the most striking resemblance is in the shared narrative structure, based on journeys – between the city, representing modernity, and the countryside, representing tradition – and on deviations from a planned route brought about by the intervention of nature in the guise of a storm. In ikwig, as in Sunrise, the elements perform a redemptive function, reminding the protagonists of basic human values. In both cases, the characters look into the abyss, face their worst fears and base desires, and draw back just in time, saved by love. These connections suggest that ikwig is more than just a product of a particular moment – it is also the result of collective memories and shared cultural aspirations that reach beyond that moment, and across national boundaries. Both The Archers’ 1945 film and Murnau’s 1927 classic express a hesitation about the future, conceived in terms of hedonism, consumerism, industrialisation and new technology, and associated with American culture and popular music. Sunrise, of course, was made on the cusp of a major technological and economic crisis, the transition to synchronised sound. In 1944, the makers of ikwig were also facing an uncertain technological and economic future: austerity conditions had already postponed the move into Technicolor, while post-war relations between Britain and America, on which so much – including the survival of the British film industry – depended, were far from settled.26 A complex matrix of events, of common concerns and anxieties, produced in ikwig an echo of Sunrise, resonating across time and space. Pressburger’s UFA collaborations The ambivalence towards modernity in German cinema of the 1920s and 30s was not confined to the sombre, expressionist masterpieces of prestigious directors such as Murnau and Fritz Lang. It was part of a general anxiety about social fragmentation and the commodification of culture under the impact of mechanised forms of reproduction. Cinema, as a technological medium and as

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a burgeoning mass-cultural form, was central to debates about the role of the image, spectacle and visual style in modern societies. The preoccupation with modernity was linked to class mobility, the rise of the office worker and consumerism, and it surfaced in popular cinematic genres such as the sophisticated urban comedies, operettas and Ruritanian romances of the late 1920s and early 30s, and in the ‘white-collar-worker’ comedies of the 1930s, which were characterised by irony, pastiche and a focus on shopgirls and secretaries determined to make their way up the social ladder. These witty musical comedies had huge international appeal, and some of them were remade for the British market in the early 1930s, where they proved very successful. The ironic tone, fast-paced narratives and emphasis on mobility typical of the 1930s white-collar-worker comedies may have been one of the inspirations for ikwig, which focuses on the materialistic aspirations of a young, modern, professional woman travelling to Scotland to marry her boss, one of the wealthiest men in Britain.27 Appropriately enough, the film opens with a rapid travelling shot following Joan’s legs as she strides purposefully into the Manchester restaurant to announce her wedding plans to her stunned father. As with the Sunrise connection, common concerns about consumerism, Mobile woman: Joan in Manchester

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class mobility, social change and modernity can be traced between 1944 and the early 1930s. But Emeric Pressburger’s own involvement with UFA’s musical comedies and operettas in the 1930s is also a significant factor. Pressburger cut his scriptwriting teeth in UFA’s Dramaturgie department, after having received his first screen credit for Abschied (Farewell, 1930), a socially conscious drama directed by Robert Siodmak, whose contribution to the semi-documentary Menschen am Sonntag (People on Sunday, 1930) had earned him a reputation as an artistic innovator. Abschied was well received by critics, and on the strength of its succès d’estime, Pressburger was recruited by UFA, where he worked with a number of people who would be influential on his career. One such collaborator was Erich Kästner, the author of a popular children’s story, Emil and the Detectives, which the pair turned into a script.28 Like ikwig, Emil was an interesting combination of fantasy and social realism. The story revolved around a journey from countryside to city and featured a dream sequence aboard a train that in many ways presaged Joan Webster’s dream in ikwig. The moral of the tale, treated with a certain irony as well as a touching humanism, was that selfish greed did not pay. Besides Kästner, with whom he collaborated on three films, Pressburger formed a working partnership with Reinhold Schünzel, a leading UFA director who was also a writer and actor, and who was highly regarded for his sophisticated comedies and operettas. Pressburger scripted three films with Schünzel, and the influence of these witty musical comedies on later Archers productions such as The Tales of Hoffmann and Oh … Rosalinda!! (1955) is manifest.29 Despite Pressburger’s dismissive attitude towards his UFA period, it seems to have had far-reaching effects on all his work for The Archers, and its impact on ikwig was greater than first meets the eye. The collaborative methods in operation at the German studio must have provided invaluable experience in the context of Rank’s IPL experiment, and The Archers’ working ethos in general.

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A simple plan A girl wants to get to an island, but when she eventually arrives, she no longer wants to go there, because her life has changed suddenly, ‘in the way girls’ lives do’.30 This mini-plot synopsis for ikwig has its roots in a basic storytelling device: a journey, and a quest. A hero sets out to accomplish a task; en route he encounters a series of obstacles; in overcoming them, he finds his allotted place in the world, and usually gets ‘the girl’. There are as many variations on this basic pattern as there are storytellers. The hero may be a woman, and the reward can be a man, or a woman; or he may be a child, and the reward a parent, or vice versa; he may be a dog, or even a pig. The journey motif is also the narrative mainspring of myth – from Oedipus’s travels from Athens to Thebes to Demeter’s descent into the Underworld to rescue her daughter Persephone. The incestuous ‘family romance’ at the heart of such stories is not irrelevant to ikwig;

A modern adventurer: Joan en route to the Scottish Highlands

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as Joan’s father points out in the opening sequence, her fiancé is the same age as he is, implying the likelihood of Oedipal attraction. After a moment’s hesitation, Joan, undeterred, invites her father to dance with her. The journey model depends on a linear structure – it has a beginning, a middle and an end, and a forward momentum motivated by the logic of cause and effect, and by clarity of purpose. Nevertheless, it allows for digression, delay and disruption. In a series of adventures, or tests, the hero learns some primary truths about the social order and what is expected of him, and this can lead to a departure from the main route and the original goal. This dialectic between goal-oriented progression and deviation, capped by a resolution that lays to rest the dust thrown up along the way, has been identified as a primary characteristic of classical narrative. However, if the elements of the model become visible – if, say, the storytellers draw attention to the devices they are using, or if they allow digression too much leeway – then the seams of the classical narrative begin to fray, its transparency is clouded, and it becomes less easily readable. The iconoclastic impulse to disrupt the harmony and unity of classical forms is often identified with avant-garde modernism, but it is not confined to the realms of high art. It is also to be found in popular culture’s predilection for travesty and pastiche, and its carnivalesque preoccupation with base desires. Elements of this iconoclasm emerged in The Archers’ films, and quite often rendered them almost unintelligible to audiences accustomed to Hollywood versions of classical narrative, or to British traditions of social realism. The bemused response of wartime British critics to The Life and Death of Colonel Blimp and A Canterbury Tale betrayed an inability, or unwillingness, to engage with sprawling, complex storylines in which too much was left unexplained, and a suspicion of ironic playfulness which seemed inclined to travesty British national ideals.31 ikwig was apparently partly conceived as a riposte to this critical incomprehension,32 but its classical simplicity was something

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of a disguise, belying the fact that it was as modernist in conception and execution as any other Archers production. Pressburger had, it seems, always wanted to make a film about a girl who is determined to go to an island, but is prevented by a storm and changes her mind at the last minute. The origins of the idea remain a matter for speculation; however, it is interesting that when Pressburger was a penniless aspiring writer in Berlin in the 1920s, the first piece he had published, which appeared in a newspaper in 1928, was called ‘Travelling’ and involved parallel stories of journeys disrupted, or potentially disrupted, by romantic dalliances.33 The travelling theme was clearly close to his heart. After leaving Hungary (then Romania) in 1920, he had made his way with considerable difficulty and several false starts to Berlin via Prague and Stuttgart, in between trips back to Hungary. Following the accession to power of the Nazis in 1933, he left Germany for Paris, where he spent two difficult years before moving to London in 1935, joining a number of other European refugees who had settled there.34 The journey narrative, with its potential for unscheduled stops and unexpected encounters, must have seemed very much like life. Michael Powell was also an inveterate traveller, and a lover of islands. In 1937, just before his association with Pressburger was born, he had made The Edge of the World, a film about the depopulation of the Scottish islands that he had tried for many years to get off the ground. Powell and the crew lived on the remote island of Foula for four months. The film, though fictional, has a strong documentary flavour and is almost ethnographic in its approach to the island community, which has its own parliament and operates virtually independently of the mainland. This imaginary reconstruction of a place that exists elsewhere, at the edges of the world we know, recurs in The Archers’ films, most obviously in ikwig, A Matter of Life and Death and Black Narcissus (1947). These films are set in liminal spaces, on the border between fantasy and reality, where people are caught between cultures, and where

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Into the maelström

Lure of the abyss: the legend of Corryvreckan

accepted social norms are thrown into crisis. In such danger zones, desire overcomes reason, and chaos threatens. Powell recognised in Pressburger’s idea echoes of one of his favourite Edgar Allan Poe stories, A Descent into the Maelström. Poe’s dark, romantic vision of relentless, unfathomable natural forces pitted against human aspirations is the stuff of myth, dealing with the heroic exploits of three brothers, fishermen who brave the fury of the Moskoeström whirlpool to obtain the best and biggest catch. Their mercenary impulse leads them to the edge of the void, where

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they face madness and death. The storyteller is the only one of the brothers to survive, by lashing himself to a water cask which, he has observed, is less likely to be absorbed by the whirling vortex. The attraction of Poe’s tale was not just its epic dimension, but the fact that its nightmarish effect was achieved through powerful descriptions of the terrifying sights and sounds of the abyss, which lent themselves to spectacular cinematic rendition. Poe’s maelström became the Corryvreckan whirlpool, the source of the legend that plays a pivotal role in the film, and forms the basis for one of its most exciting sequences. The Archers’ transnational collaborations Powell and Pressburger’s working methods have been held up as a model of creative teamwork. The business of collaboration is complex, with no straightforward division of labour, and the case of The Archers was no exception. By all accounts, Powell contributed significantly to the final script, just as Pressburger had substantial input into the films’ visual dimension.35 This is without taking account of the participation of other members of the team, both official and unofficial – Powell’s wife Frankie, for example, is credited with the inspiration for the title I Know Where I’m Going!, Transnational collaboration

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taken from an Irish folk song.36 The temptation to identify who was responsible for what, to give every idea an origin, is strong, particularly when cultural recognition is at stake. But The Archers’ productions depended on multiple contributions, and on a process of exchange between everyone involved, including the actors. Clearly, all contributions cannot be claimed to be equal; nevertheless, the final result could be seen as a genuinely collective effort. This makes the designation of a source, an ‘author’ for the films, problematic – even the joint ‘Powell and Pressburger’ is unsatisfactory, since it excludes so many.37 Collaborative enterprise is a salutary reminder that films are the outcome of a series of negotiations between people, rather than the product of a unique personal vision. Despite the reliance on teamwork, and the considerable input of all the group’s creative personnel, The Archers’ productions are primarily identified with Powell and Pressburger, or more often than not with Powell alone, and are located within maverick traditions of English Romanticism associated with a mystical pastoralism.38 Without denying the significance of such ideas for The Archers’ output, the idea that national cultural traditions can be defined in essentially local, domestic terms seems limited, particularly in the light of the team’s international dimensions. The importance of The Archers’ transnational collaborations lies in the way they draw attention to the hybrid nature of any culture and its artefacts, and to the underlying connections between cultures. A modern marriage In Pressburger’s handwritten first draft, Joan is an architect serving in the WRNS (Women’s Royal Naval Service). The daughter of a bank manager, she is in love with and intends to marry a famous architect, who is currently renting the island she wants to get to.39 In the final script, and the film, her professional status is less clear – all we are told is that she works for Consolidated Chemical Industries and is going to the island to marry Sir Robert Bellinger, the chairman of the company. Her father is indeed a bank manager, from Eccleshall

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outside Manchester. In the book of the film, written by Eric Britton and published in 1946, Joan’s CCI worker’s pass describes her as an analytical chemist.40 After the wedding to Sir Robert on the Isle of Kiloran, she expects to return to her job in Manchester, and we can assume that her work is relevant to the war effort – certainly the chemical industry was an area of rapid development during World War II.41 There is no indication that her marriage will put an end to her professional life, or to her independence. Joan is a ‘mobile woman’, in several senses. During World War II, the categories ‘mobile’ and ‘immobile’ were used by the Ministry of Labour to describe women who, in the former case, were available to work anywhere in the country, and those who, in the latter case, were restricted to working locally because of family commitments. In 1941 a controversial Act legalising the conscription of women into the armed services had been passed, and by 5 March 1942, all single women between the ages of twenty and thirty-one could be drafted. The idea of the ‘mobile woman’, even though in a literal sense it simply designated those women who could be mobilised in the interests of the war effort, embodied current ideas about the emancipation of women and the transformation of gender roles which captured the public imagination. The mobile woman became a feature of popular culture, and was a central figure in many wartime films, where she was often used to focus social anxieties about the rapidly changing status of women.42 In the context of wartime manpower shortages, mobile women were an essential source of labour, not just in the armed services, but in industry and agriculture too. They were trained to do jobs normally performed by men, and acquired many of the attributes conventionally associated with masculinity: sexual and economic independence, self-sufficiency and freedom of movement. Many of them gained professional skills and experience that they hoped would offer them employment opportunities after the war. Part of the anxiety circulating around the figure of the mobile woman had to do with her post-war position – the expectations of female

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A lucrative merger: Joan’s ticket to wealth and power

equality in the workplace generated by wartime conditions would need to be rethought in the light of post-war social and economic reconstruction, when the role of women as homemakers would be crucial. Several films tried, with varying degrees of success, to negotiate a difficult balance between women’s mobility and the home-centred stability that characterised traditional femininity.43 In the post-war period maintaining this balance was equally important, as the primary locus of women’s work shifted back to the domestic arena, with certain white-collar office jobs being designated as female. This was a fundamental shift – but perhaps not quite such a naked betrayal of wartime egalitarian ideals as has been argued. Home and family were certainly primarily a female domain, and though women were needed in the post-war workforce, their position as wives and mothers was expected to take precedence. But their dual

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role in the post-war economy endowed women with a certain power and prestige – as mothers, but also as consumers. The home became a site for commodity display, and women were perceived as playing a key role in the decision-making process over what to buy. They were the ones, after all, who would use the labour-saving devices, choose the colour schemes and furniture, and manage the timetable of family activities. This managerial role was crucial, and it put the modern housewife’s job on a par with her husband’s role as office manager – home and the workplace were equally important spheres of activity. The housewife was unpaid, of course, and if she worked outside the home, she almost certainly earned less than her husband, but this did not diminish her significance in the consumer economy. The acquisitive impulse necessary to this economy was tied in to a professionalisation of women’s work in the home, which acquired a new status and visibility. Marriage was seen almost as a business contract between partners with equal but different responsibilities. This is the spirit behind Joan Webster’s union with Sir Robert Bellinger in ikwig. A modern marriage, it has all the attributes of a well-planned business deal. The contract involves financial gain and a rise in station – as though Joan had accepted a new job. Although she loves her fiancé, and is loyal to him, her mercenary motives are certainly a primary factor in their relationship, as the dream sequence aboard the Glasgow sleeper, in which Joan imagines herself as the wealthy Lady Bellinger, makes clear. Joan visualises a future in which she is showered with money and expensive consumer goods, literally beyond her wildest dreams. There is no apparent conflict between marriage and work: as she sets off for Scotland, Joan tells her father that she will be back in a week, suggesting that she intends to return to her job at CCI. This particular alliance of commerce and romance is rooted in the context of British wartime and post-war culture, where class and gender roles were in a state of upheaval, but it recalls the white-collar-worker comedies of the 1920s and 30s, in which young, professional women planned lucrative mergers with their rich and powerful bosses, only to find true love with the penniless hero.

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Joan’s dreams of marriage to Consolidated Chemical Industries

The post-war version of modern womanhood did not so much reverse as revise wartime images of femininity, amalgamating the independence of mobile women with the resourcefulness of wives and mothers managing in austerity conditions, and channelling these qualities into a new ethos of ‘spend, spend, spend’ rather than ‘make do and mend’. The levelling down, populist spirit of the war years was transformed into post-war aspirations of upward social mobility embodied in the rhetoric of a classless society, and in images of material abundance associated with both male and female sexuality. Of course, this was a complex transformation, and did not happen overnight. As early as 1943, when the fortunes of war were turning in favour of the Allies, British popular culture began to look forward to the hedonistic pleasures of post-war consumerism and upward social mobility. The transition took longer than expected: wartime shortages and price controls continued into the early 1950s.44

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Although visions of post-war affluence were projected in British films long before the war ended, the persistence of austerity conditions meant that there could be no great leap forward. With so many of the population experiencing real hardship well into the late 1940s, wartime ideals of community loyalty and self-sacrifice were still valued over self-interested materialism. It was this ethos that seems to have inspired ikwig’s anti-materialistic themes, and its celebration of altruism. The new Labour government came to power in 1945 on the basis of such pragmatic idealism, on an egalitarian platform of comprehensive social reform that would harness financial and technological resources to give everyone access to proper health care, decent housing, full employment and a reasonable standard of living. The key to progress was careful planning and social engineering, and a high level of state intervention – all very much in the spirit of regulation and control adopted by the Conservative-led government during the war. The path to prosperity lay in building on pre-war industries, and on technological advances that had been made during the war years.45 The new Britain would not rise Phoenix-like from the ashes, but would be solidly constructed on the foundations of the past. It is not difficult to discern traces of this reformist, gradualist philosophy in ikwig’s ambivalence towards the drive to modernity, epitomised by the stark minimalism of the CCI building (provided by the exterior of Denham Studios itself), the contemporary decor of the Manchester restaurant where Joan meets her father and the compartment on the train that carries her to Scotland. The iconography of the modern also features strongly in Joan’s dream on the train, in the form of machine imagery, appearing in negative, which chimes with the accelerated motion of the train wheels to suggest a headlong forward momentum. But if these visions of a relentless drive towards a materialistic future are treated with irony and scepticism, the altruistic values associated with the past, and the Scotland that acts as the repository for humanist ideals of community

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solidarity, are shadowed by ancient atrocities. Joan’s arrival in this mysterious other place acts as a catalyst, stirring up archaic antagonisms and destructive impulses. The Scottish question The choice to set ikwig in Scotland can be explained in a number of ways. There is, of course, Powell’s consistent preoccupation with Scotland and its islands, and his concern with the decline of the island communities in The Edge of the World. ikwig’s release in 1945 coincided with the 200th anniversary of the 1745 rebellion, but there seems to be no evidence to suggest that the film was marketed on the basis of this event. One might speculate that there was a vogue for Scottish subjects at the time, similar to the one that spawned Rob Roy and Braveheart in 1995: apparently Brigadoon, which also imagines Scotland as a fairytale world, was staged on Broadway in 1946,46 although Minnelli’s film version did not appear until 1954. It is likely that Scotland’s atmospheric land- and seascapes, and the quality of the light, had dramatic visual appeal that lent itself to extraordinary photographic effects. It is also the case that towards the end of the war, the impact of social and economic deprivation on different regions of Britain was on the agenda for discussion as part of the programme for post-war redevelopment. The question of Scotland’s decline, and the urgent need for modernisation in the areas of communications, agricultural production, energy supplies and new industries, was a matter that would receive immediate attention on the road to prosperity.47 It is interesting in this respect that the draft script includes Pressburger’s notes on the present state of Scotland, summarised from The Future of Scotland by Dr J. A. Bowie, dated 1939. Dr Bowie seems to have been a Scottish Nationalist: these notes describe an area with a selfsupporting economy, poor by English standards, that is in decline due to neglect and increasing depopulation. A well-developed and egalitarian education system produces hordes of well-trained young people who leave their homeland to serve British industry and

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Imagining Scotland locked in the past

A lost way of life

fighting forces, or who emigrate in search of better opportunities. Dr Bowie, as outlined by Pressburger, calls for young Scots to remain at home, and to put their talents to the task of tackling the acute social and industrial problems faced by Scotland today.48 In this context, it is interesting that at the end of the war, there was a renewed drive to establish an independent Scottish parliament.49 Although ikwig can hardly be read as a manifesto for Scottish devolution, The Archers apparently took the Scottish question seriously. ikwig’s anti-consumerist theme, in which Highland

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economics are identified as working to different principles than those of England, displays a resistance to modern capitalism. The Scottish owner of Kiloran can live for six years on three years’ rent from the English tenant of the island, while the indigenous population cannot see the logic behind Sir Robert’s importing salmon when the rivers are already full of fish, or building his own swimming pool when the sea is freely available. The Highland economy is geared to survival rather than profit, and is linked to a feudal culture of mutual dependency between the Laird, the community and the land, and sustained by an internal system of local, family business and inheritance. Though the wealth of outsiders such as Sir Robert and his friends the Robinsons, who have rented Sorne Castle for the duration, is a source of much-needed revenue, there is a strong suggestion that it has not been gained through honest labour. The implications of profiteering remain vague; nevertheless, it is

Nostalgic escape route

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clear that these moneyed English folk are not spending the war afflicted by deprivation. The upper-class English display the colonialist’s insensitivity towards the culture they are visiting. Sir Robert and the Robinsons (whom he describes as ‘the only people worth knowing around here’) make little attempt to adapt to, learn about or participate in the customs of the Highland community. It is implied that while many of the Scots have left home to contribute to the war effort, the English have moved in to occupy their space, displacing the indigenous population and contributing to the creation of the Scottish diaspora recognised in the film’s end title, in which ikwig is dedicated to ‘true Scotsmen everywhere’. The idea that there is an authentic Scottish culture that is fast being eroded is manifest in the inclusion of Gaelic dialogue in some scenes, and perhaps most obviously in the ceilidh sequence, where robust and energetic reels are mingled with elegiac, mournful songs. In both the British and American campaign books, the ceilidh is identified as a key element in selling ikwig, and as a typical expression of Scottish culture and history in which Gaelic is the main language used in the songs and storytelling rituals. The description of the ceilidh is ethnographic in tone, suggesting that it represents an authentic aspect of Scottish life. Much is made of the fact that Sir Hugh Roberton and members of the Glasgow Orpheus Choir came down to Denham specially to sing and dance in the ceilidh. The American pressbook goes so far as to suggest tie-ins designed to attract Scottish viewers, such as displays of photographs of the ceilidh sequence, special ticket rates for particular performances, and a man dressed in a kilt, playing bagpipes and sporting the film title, the name of the theatre and the play dates, parading through the streets. Tartan features quite prominently in the US publicity material, and there is an endorsement from ‘famous Scot’ Harry Lauder in the form of a letter praising the film.50 Ceilidhs, kilts and bagpipes – this is scarcely a vision of a modern, forward-looking Scotland. ikwig seems to mock the

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Resisting modernity

Border country

very idea of Scottish modernity. The telephone box incongruously erected next to a noisy waterfall, the primitive radio that links Mull to Kiloran, the decaying Gothic buildings and fairytale castles all suggest a community locked in the past. ikwig’s representation of Scotland as essentially rural, and as the repository of humanist, anticapitalist values, anticipates the cycle of British comedies produced in the late 1940s and 50s – Whisky Galore! (1949) and The Maggie (1953) among them – in which British and American interlopers get their comeuppance at the hands of canny Highland Scots.51 No doubt

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this sentimentalised view of Scotland and the Scots can be seen as retrograde, as displacing a history of political resistance in favour of imaginary solutions to real social problems. Certainly ikwig draws on all the available clichés of Scottishness, not least in including a curse à la Walter Scott because, as Emeric Pressburger put it, ‘People will expect it’.52 Yet despite employing the vocabulary of Tartanry and Kailyard, and exploiting them to the hilt, The Archers adopt a characteristically playful, ironic approach to their use of such imagery. A series of visual and auditory puns introduces ikwig’s Scotland as entirely a mythical construction. On her train journey north, Joan’s dream, with all its images of modernity accompanied by American Big Band music, segues into a kitsch, theatricalised landscape of rolling tartan hills, through which a model train wends its way to the strains of ‘You’ll Take the High Road’. On her arrival at Glasgow Central station the next morning, lest we imagine that we are now back in reality, the stationmaster’s hat, which is unusually tall, and reminiscent of those worn by nineteenth-century industrialists, is transformed into the funnel of a steam train. The use of rear projection in this scene, and in the following ones, as Joan is carried by train, boat and car to Port Erraig on Mull, is an additional reminder that this is an imaginary landscape, while the use of documentary inserts of crowds descending from a boat emphasises that we are watching a pastiche of images. It is tempting to view these playful strategies as a deconstruction of stereotypes, and to see ikwig as contributing to a debate about representations of Scottishness. In its concern with the relationship between illusion and reality, and with the power of myth, it anticipates Brigadoon’s calculated projection of Scotland as a fictional invention that offers an escape route from contemporary urban values. But as with Brigadoon, ikwig’s Scotland does not just represent a place of refuge; it is located on the boundaries between fiction and reality, and between past and present, tradition and modernity. Far from offering a safe haven, these boundary areas are fraught with conflict and risk. Despite the playful tone of Joan’s

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journey, there is more to ikwig’s Scotland than whimsical fantasy and picturesque local colour. As soon as she reaches Port Erraig on Mull, our traveller enters a world shadowed by violence, jealousy and revenge. The myths and legends of this border country testify to a history of cruel and brutal retribution against those who, like Joan, challenge its ancient customs. Doubles, stand-ins and substitutes was announced in the trade press in mid-September 1944 as a new departure for The Archers.53 This was to be their first screen love story – a description that chose to overlook the romantic themes of earlier films such as The Spy in Black, Colonel Blimp and A Canterbury Tale. But apparently this was to be a more conventional romance, featuring a dark, brooding hero, to be played by James Mason, currently riding the crest of a wave of popularity following ikwig

A prestigious line-up: Roger Livesey, Pamela Brown, Wendy Hiller and Captain C. W. R. Knight

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his success in swashbuckling melodramas such as The Man in Grey (1943), and an independent, headstrong heroine – Wendy Hiller, making her first screen appearance since Major Barbara (1941). Pamela Brown, a theatre actress who had worked with Powell and Pressburger before, on One of Our Aircraft is Missing (1942), and with whom Michael Powell had formed a particular attachment, was also publicised as playing an important role. The crew was made up of Archers regulars – production designer Alfred Junge, music director Allan Gray, and cinematographer Erwin Hillier, all of whom were highly regarded by British critics. Hillier’s stunning black-andwhite photography for A Canterbury Tale had been singled out for lavish praise. This was a prestigious line-up of actors and creative personnel, backed by the resources of Rank’s Denham Studios. One can only speculate as to what James Mason, divested of tights, leather boots and riding crop and sporting a kilt, would have made of the role of impecunious Scottish laird Torquil MacNeil. Certainly, his aura of dangerous, predatory sexuality would have suited the film’s Gothic dimension. However, it appears that he always had doubts about taking the part, and dropped out a few weeks before shooting began.54 Next in line was Roger Livesey, who had been a great success as Clive Candy in Colonel Blimp and, having read the script of ikwig, was very keen to play Torquil, despite The Archers’ strong reservations. They felt he was too mature to play a young naval lieutenant, whereupon the actor immediately lost weight and bleached his hair, transforming himself into a thirty-something romantic lead with a suitably aquiline profile.55 Further sleight of hand was required to deal with the problem of Livesey’s concurrent commitment to appearing in a West End play, Peter Ustinov’s Banbury Nose, which meant that he was unavailable to go on location. The Archers got round this by employing a double, trained by Livesey, to stand in for him in all exterior scenes. The interiors were filmed with Livesey at Denham, and with the help of sophisticated rear projection, medium and close shots of the actor were cut in with location material to create the illusion that he

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Roger Livesey’s double in Scotland

Livesey at Denham

actually was in Scotland. The illusion was extraordinarily convincing, and only on several viewings does the extent of the rear projection, which was used for some of Wendy Hiller’s scenes in Scotland as well as the whirlpool sequence, become evident. Erwin Hillier, faced with obsolete rear projection equipment at Denham, decided to employ the telescopic lenses he had used to achieve clarity of image in the exterior location shots for the rear projection filming as well. Working on the largest stage Denham had to offer, where there was a 90-ft throw from projector to screen, Hillier used deep-focus

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photography to produce a composite image in which both characters and background were sharp and in focus. This achievement is even more unusual when it is considered that there were no light meters, and exposure had to be judged by eye.56 Such technical ingenuity was characteristic of The Archers’ innovative approach to film-making, and an essential feature of Rank’s bid to put British cinema on the world map. But the use of doubles and rear projection in ikwig has another dimension too, reinforcing the sense of dreamscape, the hallucinatory quality that establishes this Scotland as Joan’s fantasy projection. This strategy is not so much the result of a modernist agenda of distancing viewers from the illusion; rather, it draws us in, emotionally and intellectually, to an imaginary experience in which there is no clear distinction between fantasy and reality. Such tactics would have been familiar to some of The Archers’ team, and particularly to Pressburger himself, from the Ruritanian romances and operettas produced by UFA in the 1920s and 30s, in which the places created through elaborate set and costume design were consciously not the real thing, but a substitute, often intended to put on display the technological and creative resources of the studio. On one level, ikwig’s Scotland is a stand-in, a double for the ‘real’ place – and, indeed, much of it was recreated at Denham Studios. Substitution, an important element in dreaming, also figured strongly in the choice of actress to play the heroine. For the part of the dreamer, Joan Webster, The Archers originally had in mind Deborah Kerr, who had made a strong impression as Edith/Barbara/ Angela in Colonel Blimp, and with whom Michael Powell had a serious romantic entanglement. But she was unable to liberate herself from her MGM contract. Wendy Hiller, who had to drop out of Colonel Blimp when she became pregnant, and was replaced by Kerr on that film, was offered the part of Joan and accepted with enthusiasm. Hiller was a successful theatre actress who was known for her work with George Bernard Shaw. Her film appearances (three prior to ikwig: Lancashire Luck (1937), Pygmalion (1938)

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and Major Barbara) were rare and she was resistant to the idea of becoming a film star, despite receiving tempting offers from Hollywood.57 Her theatrical credentials and aversion to Hollywood glamour endowed her with cultural status, and her acceptance of the part of Joan was perceived as something of a coup for The Archers.58 Again, one can only imagine what ikwig might have become with Deborah Kerr in the lead. Hiller, with her proud chin, long stride and cropped hair, brought a boyish energy and impudence to the role. She also had the elegance necessary to depict Joan’s modern look in the early scenes. Her androgyny was exactly what was required by the script, which transformed her from stylish New Woman to tousled tomboy in the course of the story. Evidently, Hiller herself was as strong-willed as the character. She did not get on with Michael Powell, whose abrasive treatment of actors was well known. These tensions are not evident on screen, however, where the only

Sexual chemistry

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A present-day Diana: Pamela Brown as Catriona

sparks that fly are between the characters. The sexual chemistry between Livesey and Hiller fairly crackles, creating a dynamic momentum, and the interaction between them and Pamela Brown adds another frisson. Brown plays Catriona MacLaine, Torquil’s childhood friend, now married to an Englishman named Potts who is away in the Middle East. She is the owner of Erraig House, where Joan and Torquil take shelter from the storm. Catriona is a strong, selfsufficient woman who breeds Irish wolfhounds, hunts wild animals in order to put food on the table and knows the right way to skin a rabbit. She is first seen in silhouette, striding with her pack of hounds across a dark, tempestuous landscape, for all the world like a contemporary version of Diana, the goddess of hunting. A few moments later, she enters the house like a whirlwind, long hair flying, dressed in a leather jacket and brandishing a shotgun. Catriona’s wild

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disarray is in sharp contrast to Joan’s stylish sophistication, yet they share an androgynous quality, a fighting spirit and an arrogance tempered by a sense of honour. In a way, they are reverse images of one another: the war has brought Catriona poverty and hardship, while it has enabled Joan to acquire wealth and position. In terms of screen time, Catriona’s role may seem relatively insignificant (much of it was apparently cut in post-production); however, she is vital to the narrative. Catriona is responsible for the sudden flash of insight that sends Torquil rushing to Joan’s side as she embarks on her desperate journey into the maelström; and she utters the crucial words in answer to Joan’s question about why she and other Highland landowners do not sell up and move away: ‘Money isn’t everything.’ Though clearly a modern woman in many respects, Catriona provides a link with the ancient, bloody past that both Joan and Torquil must face. Her ancestor and namesake laid the curse on the descendants of the MacNeil clan that deters Torquil from entering the ruins of Moy Castle, the scene of a horrible punishment inflicted on her and her lover by her vengeful husband. Thus Catriona is woven into the mythic texture of ikwig. She has the power to intervene to affect the course of events, in much the same way as the gods interfere in the destiny of human beings. She is not exactly a matriarch, and it would be misleading to characterise ikwig’s Scotland as a matriarchal culture. Nevertheless, it is one in which women exert considerable authority. In a small but significant scene, Rebecca Crozier, the owner of Achnacroish, played with aplomb by the redoubtable Nancy Price,59 entrances Joan with her passionate evocation of the pageantry and splendour of the traditional Highland gatherings. There is a strong implication that women are the guardians of Scottish history and culture: the myth of the curse is handed down to Torquil by his nanny, whose voiceover is heard telling the story as he crosses the threshold of Moy Castle for the first time at the end of the film. This lilting, female Scottish voiceover is in meaningful contrast to the brisk, male English one that accompanies the opening

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credit sequence in which Joan’s life and destiny are mapped out, or the clipped bureaucratic tones heard reciting her itinerary as it gets washed away by the stormy seas. Joan certainly notices the difference: when she hears her fiancé’s abrasive bark over the radio link between Mull and Kiloran at the coastguard station, she asks him what is wrong with his voice. But even though Joan has travelled far away from a sterile, modern capitalist future dominated by men in suits, there is more to this quaint rural retreat than community solidarity, colourful customs and indifference to wealth. As with Brigadoon’s Scotland, the other side of this pastoral haven is a Gothic tradition steeped in predatory instincts and bloodthirsty vengeance. Without this Gothic dimension, ikwig would be a lesser achievement. Its sombre vision invokes the demonic forces at work in this ‘primitive’ community. These forces are those of nature ‘red in tooth and claw’, irrational instincts and lex talionis, the stuff of fairytales, myths and legends. ikwig warns of the terrible consequences of forgetting the power of the irrational to sabotage civilised human behaviour – the lessons of the war were not to be easily erased, however much people wished to leave such atrocities behind and move on. Another eccentric Englishman There is one character (or maybe more) whose role in the film is difficult to explain in narrative terms, and whose presence may only be accounted for by the displacements and associations characteristic of dream logic. When Joan first crosses the threshold of Catriona’s house on Mull, the first door she comes to bears a sign: ‘Potts’. There is no indication as to why this very English name should adorn the door – though one explanation could be that it designates a private area out of bounds to the airmen who were billeted in the house. It has been established in an earlier scene that Catriona has an English husband, and the door is opened by an Englishman, who may or may not be Potts. It is quickly confirmed by Torquil that this is in fact Colonel Barnstaple, the owner and trainer of a golden eagle whom he

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Another English eccentric: Colonel Barnstaple

has named ‘Torquil’ after his friend the Laird. The Colonel’s presence in the house, or on the island, is never explained. He is too old to be on active war service, and his rank presumably identifies him as a veteran of World War I, or perhaps of some British colonial venture. The Colonel is played by Captain C. W. R. Knight, and the bird by ‘Mr Ramshaw’, his famous golden eagle (famous, that is, in Britain: although Captain Knight and Mr Ramshaw both feature in the credits in the British pressbook, neither appears in the US pressbook). Captain Knight, an experienced falconer, was the uncle of Esmond Knight, who had acted in several Archers productions. The Captain was also a documentary film-maker in his own right, well known for his exploits in obtaining rare footage of eagles in their eyries in the Highland mountains.60 One reason for his presence, then, is non-diegetic: as Captain Knight, he lives and works in the Highlands – a characteristic Archers joke that blurs the boundaries

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between fiction and reality. As Colonel Barnstaple, he is one of several eccentric English characters that figure in The Archers’ films, and who seem to elude the requirements of character motivation or narrative logic. Colonel Barnstaple is a conundrum in other respects too: in one scene he emerges from Catriona’s kitchen to announce that food is ready, wearing an apron and a towel worn turban-style on his head, brandishing a miniature gong. This bizarre iconography evokes changing gender roles on one hand, and the decline of colonialism on another, with perhaps a playful dig at the famous Rank insignia for good measure. Barnstaple is a figure of fun, but he also seems to be emblematic of British cultural and social traditions that, in 1945, were perceived by The Archers as giving way to a modern ethic of brash commercialism and the rise of the newly rich, who, like Sir Robert Bellinger and the Robinsons, represented a new breed of colonialists. Like the Scots in ikwig, the Colonel belongs to a dying way of life that is the butt of much affectionate humour, which certainly lays the film open to accusations of regressive sentimentality. At the same time, despite their quaint eccentricity, these traditions are seen to be imbued with the same ruthlessness and cruelty that characterises the post-war materialist ethic. Colonel Barnstaple’s eagle ‘Torquil’ may not be the sheep-killer he is accused of being, but he is a vicious predator none the less. The resemblance between ‘Torquil’ and Torquil is remarked upon more than once, and is given sexual resonance when, during the ceilidh sequence, as the mutual attraction between Joan and the Laird intensifies, he physically pins her to the ladder on which she is standing, fixing her with a piercing gaze which identifies her as at once the object of desire and his victim – a role she is determined to resist, despite being passionately drawn to this exotic young Scotsman. Joan behaves increasingly like a trapped animal desperate to escape, gripped by an instinct to flee which takes her to the edge of extinction in the Corryvreckan whirlpool. Yet Torquil’s aquiline characteristics are counteracted by his all-too-human trepidation in the face of the curse that has haunted his

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Trapped: Joan is pinned down by Torquil at the ceilidh

Haunted by demons: Torquil enters Moy Castle

clan for generations, and which inhibits him from entering the ruin of Moy Castle, even when challenged by Joan. The Laird is trapped by the past, and by traditions he both honours and fears. To be free, he too must cross a threshold and confront the demons of his childhood. Cinematography, magic and memory In A Life in Movies, Powell claims that he left Pressburger in Devon writing the script while he toured the Western Isles looking for locations, accompanied by his wife Frankie – a stormy journey in

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more senses than one. It was during this trip, apparently, that the mythic dimension of ikwig was born. Powell excavated the legends and sagas associated with the Isle of Mull, and discovered the dangerous waters of Corryvreckan, the tidal current between the islands of Scarba and Jura that took its name from the old Norse legend that Torquil recounts to Joan, and became the basis for the film’s ambitious whirlpool sequence. Here, too, Powell remembered his obsession with Edgar Allan Poe’s chilling tale of hubris, Descent into the Maelström. In both stories, the heroes tie themselves to the mast of their boat to avoid being swept overboard. It seems that Powell’s identification was such that during breaks in shooting, he and Pamela Brown would venture out by boat right to the edge of the whirlpool, where, strapped to the mast, Powell used his Eyemo hand camera to obtain the dramatic shots that were used in the rear projection back at Denham.61 Despite Powell’s swashbuckling,

Boy’s Own adventure

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Boy’s Own-style account of the making of ikwig, in which he plays a central heroic role, there can be no doubt that the contribution of cinematographer Erwin Hillier, the camera crew and the Denham special effects team was crucial. Powell acknowledges this, while still claiming credit for the inventive use of trick photography, which not only solved a number of practical and technical problems, but forms an essential part of the film’s play with substitution and reality. The Archers were, of course, a creative team; nevertheless, the extent and significance of the photographic effects mean that ikwig can be seen as primarily a cinematographer’s film. The press response to ikwig universally praised Hillier’s poetic use of black-and-white photography to create stunningly beautiful landscapes as a backdrop to the simple story. Some critics saw it as compensating for the rather clichéd romance. In almost all cases, the cinematography was identified as a major attraction. The dangerous location shooting and the Corryvreckan whirlpool featured prominently in the British and US press campaigns, as evidence of The Archers’ technical skill and artistry. However, the special effects in themselves were not used to market the film, and the use of doubles and rear projection was glossed over, with Wendy Hiller’s participation in the location filming in Scotland foregrounded and Livesey’s enforced absence unmentioned. Since the success of the rear projection would be measured by the extent to which it appeared convincing, its invisibility in promotional material is not surprising. The majority of the press seems to have been convinced – only one or two reviews complained that the film’s authenticity was marred by artificiality, while the few that remarked on the trick photography praised its ingenuity. The craftsmanship displayed by the cinematography in ikwig is impressive by any standards. Hillier’s painstaking approach, his willingness to take risks and skill at problem-solving are evident throughout. An analogy could be drawn with Citizen Kane (1941), which some would argue is also primarily a cinematographer’s film – though many of Gregg Toland’s bravura flourishes appear

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portentous in comparison with the playful touch exhibited by ikwig. This lightness of tone is deceptive, and may be one of the reasons why canonisation has eluded The Archers’ film, and why, despite its cult reputation, it is still considered a relatively minor work within their corpus. Hillier started out as an artist in Germany, and his painterly approach towards the composition of images was much in evidence. As was his wont, he spent hours waiting for the light to be exactly right for the exterior shots – much to Powell’s exasperation. The result was some extraordinary vistas of overcast, looming skies seared by luminescent ribbons which intensify the elemental struggle between life and death. One of Hillier’s preferred techniques was to film against the light, immersing the foreground in shadow and using minimal artificial lighting so that characters are visible almost entirely in silhouette. This, especially when combined with the use of swirling mist, had the desired effect of creating a mysterious, Gothic ambience – but it also provided powerful images of crossing borders between one world and another, between exterior (light, knowledge, reason, objectivity) and interior (darkness, demons, irrationality, subjectivity). Joan’s arrival at Port Erraig on Mull is one such moment: filmed from behind, looking outwards towards the stormy sea and her island destination, she is silhouetted against threatening skies as she moves down to the harbour to meet the boat she expects to carry her across to Kiloran. Moments later, shrouded in mist and murky half-light at the harbour’s edge, she encounters Torquil for the first time, a shadowy figure who erupts almost magically into the frame. Their first encounter is confrontational, as Joan stubbornly refuses to take Torquil’s advice that she return to Tobermory until the storm has blown over. As she sits on her suitcase, facing the troubled waters that lead to the next stage of her journey, the wind rips her itinerary from her hand and consigns it to the depths of the ocean. There could hardly be a clearer sign that a frontier has been reached – one that will necessitate a change in direction and a major revision of goals. Finally deciding to take shelter, she retraces her steps inland to

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Against the light

Gothic threshold

Catriona’s home, Erraig House, which appears as a menacing shape in the fog. As she opens the front door, a sharp cut leads to the next shot, in which the camera is positioned inside, in the gloom of the interior, silhouetting Joan, framed in the doorway, against the light. This shot, which is echoed twice more – once when Joan stands on the threshold of the ruined Moy Castle, but does not go in, and again when Torquil does enter Moy at the end of the film – evokes the moment in Gothic fiction when the hero or heroine enters the dangerous, forbidden place where they will confront their demons.

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Such places are full of obscure corners and hidden terrors, representing an interior psychic landscape in which familiar spaces and objects are rendered strange and unreadable. The external projection of subjective states of mind is a feature of cinematic expressionism, and is primarily associated with the Weimar tradition known as German Expressionism, whose major legacy is generally interpreted as the foregrounding of elements such as set design, camera angles and lighting techniques to give exterior expression to intense emotion and psychological conflict. Patterns of high-contrast light and shade are used to break up normal spatial relationships, creating a sense of fragmentation and disorientation. Rather than agents of their own destiny, characters are driven by forces beyond their control, and are visualised almost as automata, becoming part of the overall design of the film as if trapped in an intricate spider’s web. The influence of expressionist lighting techniques on British cinema (and on Hollywood) in the late 1930s and 40s was considerable – indeed, the full impact of German Expressionism remains to be assessed. No doubt the origins of expressionism in an aesthetic derived from a body of internationally respected art films contributed to the widespread appropriation of its visual vocabulary, particularly during a period in which British cinema aspired to be perceived as an international cinema of quality. But German Expressionism was more than an aesthetic – as a modernist movement it articulated a dilemma central to modernity itself, that the utopian vision of progress could only be achieved by confronting and exorcising the past. Without this process of exorcism, society was doomed to repeat history and would be unable to move on. This modernist dilemma would have been particularly relevant at the end of World War II, with the full horror of wartime atrocities only just being revealed. Despite Erwin Hillier’s insistence that ikwig is a lighthearted fairytale,62 the evidence is that like all fairytales, this one has its dark side where the id raises its ugly head. The film uses the iconography of the fairy story quite self-consciously, from

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its narrative based on a quest beset by enforced digressions, its play with disguise and substitution, the magical powers invested in natural forces and the simple moral opposition drawn between mercenary greed and love, to the elemental battle with imaginary monsters from the deep no less terrifying than the wolves and dragons of the traditional folktale. The fairytale aspects, with their emphasis on the fantastic and the uncanny, appear to be in tension with the film’s avowed search for authenticity in its representation of Scotland and Scottishness, which featured prominently in the press campaigns. The emphasis on fantasy renders ‘Scotland’ as a fiction, consigned to the past and retrievable only through memory. Perhaps this tension between fiction and reality is what has inspired people to take the journey to Mull in search of the original locations, to verify whether they actually exist. Yet it could be said that ikwig’s Scotland functions as a pretext for the playing out of more general concerns about past and future, memory and modernity. Hillier’s cinematography played a key role in visualising a fairytale mise en scène. His natural predilection was for unusual lighting effects, even on daylight exteriors, and, despite the prevalence of low-key lighting in many sequences, there are also a number of exterior shots where light dominates, and where the landscape itself sparkles as though alive. This shimmering effect is breathtakingly beautiful, producing the sense of an enchanted realm. The dramatic use of light does not only contribute to mood and atmosphere, it also has an aesthetic function, drawing attention to the overall design of the film and indicating the presence of a specific style – one which Hillier has identified as ‘Germanic’, but which also bears his signature. Light can also act as a distraction, particularly when it glances off reflective surfaces, catching the eye with flashes of brilliance. Although not taken to the excess characteristic of Hollywood glamour photography, this technique does produce moments of emotional redundancy, when affect takes precedence over narrative or thematic interpretation, and when the image itself is imbued with magical power.

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Incandescent moment

Such incandescent moments add to the film’s emotional intensity – as with the soft-focus insert of Joan’s hand wearing her engagement ring as she tells her father about her impending marriage, shot using filters so that the diamond appears to radiate fire, or the gleam in Joan’s eyes, highlighted when she is overcome by desire or conflicting feelings. At times, this play with reflected light seems to convey irony. The exaggerated shine of the plastic covering Joan’s wedding dress and the glinting metal of the train wheels in the dream sequence contribute to the sense of fantasy while suggesting a superficial attachment to surface at the heart of Joan’s consumerist longings – evoking, perhaps, the proverb ‘All that glisters is not gold’. However, while ikwig’s ostensible message may well have been that there is more to life than shallow materialism, it was at the level of surfaces that the film-makers chose to operate, particularly through their adoption of expressionist aesthetics that foregrounded such

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Projecting memories of homeland

elements as visual design and effects.63 The ultimate irony is that the moral values of simplicity, honesty and lack of artifice espoused by the film are available only through ersatz images of an idealised past whose fictional status is overtly acknowledged. The play with surfaces extended to the use of trick photography and rear projection. When the stationmaster’s top hat dissolves into a steam funnel, or the rolling Scottish hills appear enveloped in mock tartan, a process of displacement and association of ideas takes place which is characteristic of memory, and which depends on a layering of images over one another similar to the cinematic technique of superimposition. Memory, perceived as an activity of recalling images rather than the retrieval of a particular content, is a matter of invention rather than a search for historical accuracy or authenticity. Rear projection, in which characters are filmed against a screen on which is projected previously filmed footage, producing

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a composite image, can also be seen as a metaphor for memory – not only bringing the past into the present, but superimposing the present on the past. The term ‘nostalgia’ does not seem adequate to account for the emotional impact of this experience, although nostalgia did play a key role in marketing ikwig, particularly in the US, where publicity was consciously directed at Scottish exiles. The Archers’ film can be seen as connecting one diaspora (the Scottish expatriate community in North America) to another (the continental European film-makers working in Britain) through an exploration of memory, which acknowledges that place or ‘home’ are inevitably coloured by distance and the passage of time, and can never fully be recovered. ‘Scotland’ literally becomes a screen against which is played out the loss of homeland, and the recollection of images of home that characterises the diasporic experience. Through a process of substitution and displacement, The Archers created an imbrication of memories that is both poignant and profound in its evocation of the pleasure and pain of encounters with the past. Visualising passion and desire The interiors, designed by Alfred Junge, who also supervised construction at Denham, were as important as the exteriors to the film’s symbolic and emotional texture. Yet little has been written about them. Michael Powell in A Life in Movies mentions in passing that Junge spent a couple of weeks on location at the beginning of shooting, then returned to London to work on the sets in preparation for the crew’s return. The production design did not feature significantly in marketing, nor did many critics respond to this aspect in their reviews. This is all the more remarkable because by this stage, Junge was a prominent member of The Archers’ team, and a prestigious figure within the British film industry. He had worked with Powell and Pressburger on Contraband (1940), and was production designer on Colonel Blimp, The Silver Fleet and The Volunteer (1944). A veteran with more than forty years’ experience, Junge (who, like Hillier, had studied painting) began his career at the

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A powerful name

age of eighteen when he joined the Görlitz Stadttheater, where he learned how to do everything from designing sets to costumes, special effects and acting. He worked as scenic artist with the Berlin State Opera and State Theatre before joining UFA as an art director in 1920, where he gained extensive experience of studio production and organisation. In 1928 he visited Britain to work with E. A. Dupont on the spectacular Moulin Rouge and Piccadilly, a collaboration which continued over the next few years. In 1932 Junge moved to Britain permanently, becoming supervising art director at Gaumont-British, where he exerted considerable power and influence, overseeing the entire ‘look’ of the film in a manner unprecedented in British cinema, helping to lay the foundations for the role of the modern production designer. Junge, along with other continental émigrés who came to Britain in the 1920s and 30s, revolutionised studio production techniques.64 By all accounts, he was something of a tartar, approaching the shoot like a military operation. In the process, he gained authority and respect in the industry, commanding large teams of technical personnel and often claiming responsibility for all aspects of design, including costume and cinematography. It is notable that the only design credit on ikwig cites Alfred Junge as

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production designer, incorporating costume and sets, and presumably some compositional elements as well, since the position of actors and props, camera angles and lighting techniques contributed to the impact of the sets. The size and prominence of the title card is an indication of his status and international reputation at the time. During the war, many continental expatriates working in Britain were interned or subject to severe restrictions, Allan Gray, Junge and Pressburger among them. But the backlash against foreign nationals cannot be held responsible for the silence towards Junge’s work on ikwig, since Erwin Hillier’s cinematography did not receive the same treatment – indeed, quite the contrary. It seems more likely that the relatively small scale of the sets, combined with the publicity campaigns focused on the spectacular visual effects and the Scottish landscape, relegated the interior designs to secondary status. Despite their apparently modest conception and realisation, however, the sets and costumes play a key role in the film. Junge’s interior designs, based on photographs taken on location, were characteristically detailed, with a three-dimensional architectural quality, indicating spatial relationships between separate areas, light sources and the position of characters and props, presumably in order to lend depth and realism to the studio reconstructions. In some cases his sketches evoke a connection between interior and exterior, as when a curtain blown by the wind is shown billowing into the room – a recurring image in ikwig. Around thirty sets in the film are identifiable as replicas built at Denham, and they closely resemble Junge’s detailed drawings. The degree of accuracy in his reconstructions is astonishing, with the baronial hall at Sorne Castle, the foyer and dining room of the Western Isles Hotel and the telephone box beside the waterfall all appearing completely authentic – so much so that it is often difficult to distinguish between the Denham sets and the actual locations.65 As with the special effects, the attention to detail in the set design, the skill and craftsmanship of the reconstruction process and the technical flair with which these elements were seamlessly knitted together played a key role in identifying ikwig as a quality British production.

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The realistic recreation of the Scottish locations may well also have been an important factor in the film’s attempt to appeal to exiled Scots in the US. Yet The Archers’ technical achievement could only be appreciated if audiences understood, on some level, that they were being offered a reproduction rather than the real thing – an experience that would generate the sense of loss essential to the bitter-sweet pleasures of remembrance. The authenticity of the sets, while admirable, was by no means the whole story. They figure strongly in the film’s emotional landscape Junge’s set design for the baronial hall at Sorne Castle

Denham reconstruction of the baronial hall

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Remarkable accuracy: the foyer of the Western Isles Hotel

and in its creation of a realm of fantasy. Occasionally, they exceed their narrative function and provide a self-referential commentary on key themes. In the opening sequence in Manchester, the decor of the expensive modern restaurant in which Joan meets her father is all faux-marble floors, columns and mock-Grecian statuary, a neoclassical design statement which hints at modernity’s obsession with the past, and seems to presage the trajectory of Joan’s psychological journey through times gone by. The private sleeper compartment on the train that carries her from Manchester to Glasgow is similarly avant-garde in design terms, fitted with state-of-the-art electric lights that Joan and her father feel compelled to play with. It is not long before Joan enters a world untouched by such visions of technological sophistication, where the trappings of modernity cease to hold sway. Paradoxically, as she travels backwards in order to move forward, electric light becomes a thing of the past.

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The symbolic and emotional resonances of the sets come into their own when Joan arrives at Port Erraig on Mull. The Gothic dimension created by Erwin Hillier’s dramatic lighting techniques is enhanced by the ominous ruin of Moy Castle in the background and the forbidding façade of Erraig House as it looms out of the swirling mist. As Joan ventures deeper into the unfamiliar space of Erraig House, a point-of-view shot reveals a long corridor stretching out ahead of her, rendered slightly uncanny by the use of exaggerated perspective, perhaps achieved by using deep-focus photography combined with high-contrast lighting effects in which the angular shapes of windows are projected against the corridor wall. The sense of disorientation is increased as the door marked ‘Potts’ opens to reveal the eccentric Colonel Barnstaple. The strangeness of the house quickly dissipates, as the Colonel and Torquil usher Joan into the light and warmth of Catriona’s shabby but homely sitting room. Yet the Colonel’s remark, ‘May I be the first to welcome you to these marble halls, young lady!’ – no doubt intended to indicate that Erraig House has seen better days – could also be seen as an ironic reference to the ‘marble halls’ that Joan has left behind in Manchester. This selfreferential comment, uttered by a character who is distinctly ‘odd’, and whose presence is never accounted for by the narrative, helps to maintain the sense of a quirky dream logic at work in Joan’s fantasy. Shortly afterwards, Catriona bursts into the room, bringing the wild and threatening outdoors in with her. This is one of several occasions when the dissolution of the boundaries between interior and exterior is expressed through the sets. Doors and windows are used to signify thresholds that divide inside from outside in both a spatial and a psychological sense, and they represent liminal areas of trespass and risk. The significance attached to the doorways of Erraig House and Moy Castle for both Joan and Torquil has already been noted, but windows also provide an eloquent image of emotional turmoil. The windows that allow characters access to the outside also let the stormy exterior penetrate inner spaces, emphasised by the recurring image of curtains billowing even when windows are firmly

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An emotional landscape: Joan leaves Erraig House

Outside in

closed against the raging winds. This motif is particularly marked at moments of heightened tension, as when Joan returns to the Western Isles Hotel after the ceilidh, in a state of extreme distress as her passion for Torquil threatens to overcome her reason. She rushes to her room in panic, but it offers neither refuge nor respite. She paces up and down before the window, the swirling curtains and the wild skies beyond acting as metaphors for her troubled state of mind as superimposed images of reeling ceilidh dancers invade the screen. It is almost as if she were drowning.

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As well as performing an expressive function, Junge’s sets contribute to the overall design concept, in which a series of visual rhyming puns illuminates the film’s themes. As an extension of the striking exterior photography, Hillier executed dramatic interior lighting effects, using contrasting patterns of light and shadow to fragment ‘normal’ space. This technique gives external expression to conflicting thoughts and feelings in characters who find themselves at the mercy of forces beyond their control or comprehension. Sometimes, however, lighting effects are treated in a playful and knowing manner, as when the oil lamp in Joan’s bedroom at Erraig House is almost extinguished as she carries it to her bedside table, nearly plunging the room into darkness (how far she has travelled from the safety of electric light and all that it represents). The oil lamp throws a pool of light up to the circular ceiling, divided by five beams meeting at the centre, where a carved head, which may or may not represent Neptune, glares down at Joan. The circular pattern is echoed in the design of the bedroom wallpaper, taking the vortex motif to the point of redundancy so that it acts as an uncanny harbinger of Joan’s imminent descent into the maelström. The ‘pool of light’ trope recurs later, when the bedside lamps in Joan’s hotel room cast luminous roundels on the ceiling (this time courtesy of electric power) as she prays to be released from captivity so that she can cross to Kiloran. Following the ceilidh, Joan is so desperate to escape from Mull and Torquil that she pays the young, inexperienced Kenny to risk taking her across in the gale. In one of the film’s most powerful sequences, realised entirely through expressionist film-making techniques, the passions and conflicts simmering beneath the surface erupt into violent confrontation. The scene begins when Joan returns to Erraig House to pack her suitcases, watched by a silent Catriona, whose disapproving stare Joan returns with defiance. Curtains blowing in the wind in the bedroom and in the adjacent corridor cast flickering shadows on the walls, so that the sets appear to be constantly in motion. A medium long shot reveals the circular

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Pools of light

ceiling looming over the scene, giving the strongest sense yet that elemental forces have invaded the house. This could almost be the maelström itself. The tension rises as Kenny’s fiancée Bridie (Margot Fitzsimons) arrives to plead with Joan to abandon the hazardous boat journey. When Joan refuses, Bridie angrily accuses her of arrogance and selfish indifference to the needs of others, which provokes Joan’s despairing response, delivered with intense urgency: ‘You think I’m risking Kenny’s life when I could stay safely here, but I’m not safe here, I’m on the brink of losing everything I’ve ever wanted, ever since I could want anything!’ The sense of danger is palpable. As well as the mobility of light and shadow, strong diagonal lines cut across the set to create an aura of instability, while tight framing on the overwrought characters heightens the emotional conflict as Joan’s psychological turmoil reaches a peak. Moments later a

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Battle of the sexes

furious Torquil rushes in to confront Joan about her foolhardy plan, whereupon an angry quarrel ensues on the stairs, during which Torquil verbally abuses and physically assaults Joan, knocking her down and then pulling her to her feet by grabbing her collar. This extraordinary scene of sexual violence, played out on a steep staircase rendered vertiginous by tall shadows that tower over the characters, featured explicitly in the American press campaign, where posters displayed images of antagonism between Livesey and Hiller in equal measure with more romantic pictures of the two stars together. The headstrong, feisty nature of the film’s heroine also figured strongly in the US advertising, which picked up on themes of forbidden sexual passion and frustrated desire, no doubt with the intention of attracting female audiences. Interestingly enough, these sexual themes were ignored by the British press campaign, despite the fact that they are the central motivating force of the film.

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Expressionist techniques are used to powerful effect in this sequence, giving graphic exterior visualisation to Joan’s innermost fears. At the same time, by virtue of their expressive function, the sets and lighting take on a metaphorical dimension, at odds with the filmmakers’ avowed aspirations to realism and authenticity. Instead of maintaining the boundaries between interior and exterior necessary to creating an illusion of real space, internal and external become indistinguishable. The storm that rages outside simultaneously rampages through the house and ravages Joan’s mind and emotions, collapsing objectivity and subjectivity together and questioning the very nature of reality. Costume, consumerism and the absent spectacle There is no separate credit for costume design on ikwig, and as the costumes are relatively simple it is reasonable to assume that the Denham wardrobe department took care of this aspect of the production, under Junge’s supervision. Powell himself may also have had some input.66 Despite the potential for exploiting the spectacular elements of Scottish national dress, the display of kilts and other forms of tartanry is low-key, even in the ceilidh sequence, where it might be expected to enhance authenticity. The absence of colour may have been a factor in this, and it is notable that the only occasion on which Highland spectacle is consciously evoked is in the scene at Achnacroish when Rebecca Crozier vividly describes the peacetime Highland gatherings, with their splendid balls, where the men dressed in velvet doublets, scarlet waistcoats and ruffled shirts appear more beautiful than the women. Joan is all too conscious of the attractions of the Scottish male adorned in a kilt, as Torquil stands uncomfortably close by, innocently sipping his cup of tea. Rebecca’s description of Highland dress is littered with indigenous terms, one of which – the filiberg – is translated by Torquil as the word for the modern ‘little kilt’. The discussion of Highland customs is cut short by Mrs Robinson’s querulous demand that they play bridge. Rather like the Gaelic, the ethnic costume seems to be evidence of a dying culture.

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Men in kilts

In the context of wartime austerity conditions, and the impoverished state of the Highland communities, it is perhaps not surprising that the spectacular elements of Scottish national dress were downplayed, though in theory the costume had as much expressive potential as any other visual element.67 Since the dress in ikwig was contemporary, it would be easy enough to obtain costumes from stock, or for the actors to use their own clothes. Indeed, Wendy Hiller has claimed that she wore many of her own clothes in the film.68 However, it is likely that some items of costume, such as kilts and uniforms, and accessories such as the ocelot hat and handbag, would be specially provided. Joan’s glamorous wedding dress, which features prominently in the story, and other garments such as the fishermen’s sweaters and oilskins worn by the central characters in the final stages of the film show signs of some design input, and when pressed on the matter of the wedding dress, Wendy

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Magical power: the wedding dress

Hiller remembered that high-profile costume designer Elizabeth Haffenden worked on the production.69 Haffenden’s name does not appear in the credits, nor in any accounts of the making of ikwig, nor, as far as I am able to determine, in any of the press or production materials. This is puzzling, since in 1944 she was at the height of her career, and had been head of the Gaumont-British costume department since 1942. She had an international reputation for her dashing and flamboyant designs for the popular Gainsborough period romances, which were often used in studio publicity as a major selling point. She had worked with Powell before, on The Spy in Black, and had contributed to The Thief of Bagdad (1940). Her professional relationship with Junge at this point is less clear, since his role as head of the Gaumont-British art department had ended by the late 1930s – but Haffenden and Junge did work together later, during the 1950s, at MGM British. Rank had a controlling interest

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in Gaumont-British, so it is possible that some exchange of creative personnel took place, and that Haffenden ‘helped out’ on ikwig. However, if that was the case, then her contribution was totally erased. There appears to be no surviving evidence, in the form of costume sketches, production stills or even notes, to indicate that Haffenden was involved. The memories of those who worked on the production of ikwig have played a major part in the writing of the film’s history, and these accounts have been accepted as more or less reliable. The recollections of Wendy Hiller on the Haffenden issue, confirmed by Erwin Hillier, must therefore be taken seriously. However, in the absence of other documentation, we can only speculate as to how Haffenden’s participation came about, and why it has been completely occluded. It is possible that her contribution was limited, and that Junge’s overall credit for production design included the costume elements, whether he was actually responsible for them or not. The fact that Haffenden was not a regular member of the Archers team may have been a factor, and if so, this raises some interesting questions about the cultural power of that creative group. It is no doubt dangerous to draw conclusions from interpretive readings of the film text itself, especially armed only with hindsight. Nevertheless, despite the fact that there are very few costume changes in ikwig, a self-conscious use of costume design is certainly visible, and there are signs of a ‘costume plot’ – though the origins of both remain obscure. The ‘costume plot’ – a kind of storyboard – is a term that describes the way the costume is used to interpret a film’s narrative. Rather like the set design, costume has multiple functions. It conveys information about story and characters, and is essential to continuity. At the same time, it can exceed the demands of narrative and use design elements expressively or playfully to comment on themes, as in the case of the stovepipe hat that mutates into a train funnel, or the Scottish hills swathed in tartan fabric. The spectacular aspects of costume can be used to appeal to certain audiences, or to put on

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Hidden value: Wendy Hiller and Michael Powell on the set of the dream sequence

display studio resources. Sometimes costume bears the distinctive signature of a particular designer or star. The costume plot may encompass all these functions; it runs alongside the narrative, though it can cause friction along the way, particularly when its spectacular dimension comes into play, and visual or design elements become too distracting. Such friction is relatively rare in ikwig, since the costumes are generally characterised by restraint rather than excess, in keeping with the film’s anti-materialist message. The costume plot depicts Joan’s moral trajectory by charting the conversion of her consumerist

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aspirations into an appreciation of human values, as her urban sophistication is gradually stripped away and she ends up looking like a windswept urchin. Despite this disavowal of glamour, there are times when star quality is expressed through clothing, distinguishing the lead actors from other members of the cast. At such moments, lighting, sets and costume combine to produce an extra dimension to the image, characteristic of fetishism. Clothing, props and accessories are endowed with a magical quality intended to seduce and captivate viewers. Such erotically charged images may seem like a contradiction in terms, in the light of ikwig’s celebration of the simple, basic way of life of the Highland community. But they play a crucial part in drawing in the audience to an emotional and imaginative experience. Costume is a key signifying element from the very first scene, when Joan meets her father at the Manchester restaurant. Joan’s desire for an expensive lifestyle has already been set up in the witty

At age five, Joan asks Santa Claus for silk stockings

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Utility chic: Joan with her father in Manchester

opening credit sequence (according to Erwin Hillier, designed by himself and Junge with Powell and Pressburger), which lampoons government-sponsored documentaries. At the age of five, Joan writes a letter to Santa Claus requesting a pair of silk stockings – and they must be silk, not artificial. At twelve, she gets her first pair of silk stockings, and they are artificial. At eighteen, she prefers to eat at the best hotel in town, and at twenty-five, as she strides confidently into the elegant surroundings of the restaurant, she is clearly used to an extravagant existence – a fact noted with some disapproval by her bank-manager father. In this upmarket ambience, if the number of fur coats in evidence is anything to go by, hedonism is the order of the day. It is significant, then, that Joan’s smart tailored suit (which she wears, with minor variations, until her foray into the Corryvreckan whirlpool), while certainly chic, is in the spirit of utility restraint

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rather than haute couture. The utility scheme had been introduced by the Board of Trade in 1941 as one of a number of measures intended to control commodity consumption and conserve resources for the war effort. It imposed restrictions on designers and manufacturers as well as consumers, limiting them to certain fabrics and encouraging them to be economical in the amount of material they used. Shorter skirts, kick pleats rather than box pleats, trousers without turn-ups, narrow lapels, single-breasted jackets with smaller and fewer pockets were all characteristic of utility designs, which were often modelled on military uniforms and were intended to be functional rather than fashionable. However, the opposition between practicality and fashion was not clear-cut. The Conservative-led government, conscious of the need to maintain morale on the all-important home front, commissioned leading fashion designers and artists to produce highquality clothing and furniture from utility materials at a reasonable cost that would make them accessible to everyone. At the same time, consumers were encouraged to recycle their old clothes to create innovative designs for themselves. Fashion magazines such as Vogue promoted British utility fashions as the height of chic, and as a challenge to the Paris fashion houses whose domination of the world industry had been seriously dented during the war. Expert tailoring, superb cut and fit, always the hallmarks of British design, came to the fore as minimalism and simplicity became bywords. The utility movement is generally associated with the war years, but it had a far-reaching impact. It democratised fashion, which had previously been available only to those on higher incomes, and paved the way for the huge expansion of the ready-to-wear industry in the 1950s and 60s. Its emphasis on experimentation and creativity produced innovative solutions in the context of wartime shortages and post-war austerity conditions. Above all, its dedication to quality and high standards of craftsmanship was part of a bid to put Britain on the world stage as a modern and technologically advanced nation. This was precisely the ethos that informed Rank’s enterprise at

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Denham in the 1940s, and the context in which ikwig was made. Although the film has often been seen as participating in the reformist idealism of the 1945 Labour government, it clearly owes just as much to wartime utility ethics. Joan’s costume in the restaurant sequence seems to visualise the contradictions facing British culture and society at the end of the war, with its aspirations to class mobility, consumerism and modernity. Her tailored suit is utility-style, fashioned in wool tweed, with a small kick pleat at the back of the skirt and single-breasted jacket, under which she wears an elegant but simple top. Her outfit is smart enough for the fashionable surroundings without being flashy, and the only signs of excess are the four decorative buttons and large diamanté brooch on her jacket, her expensive fur hat and clutch bag, and the fact that she is wearing stockings (presumably nylon). Since utility restrictions, including clothes rationing, still prevailed in 1944, and fur, jewellery and stockings were hard to come by, it would appear that Joan is well connected, though her background is middle class. The restrained elegance of her look has class connotations, and contrasts with the more ‘vulgar’ displays of wealth evident in the restaurant. At the same time, her businesslike suit indicates her status as an independent working woman. She is the epitome of upwardly mobile femininity, poised on the brink of a prosperous future. Her vision of that future is encapsulated in the dazzling diamond engagement ring (later identified by her fiancé as a Cartier design) that she shows her father. In a rather strange shot, an insert shows her hand in huge close-up wearing the ring, lit so that the diamond sparkles with unnatural brightness. The intensity of the glow seems to celebrate the magical beauty, power and wealth represented by the ring. Yet the sheer brilliance of the image lends the shot a certain irony, suggesting that Joan (and the audience) have been blinded by consumerist desire. The implication that Joan is beguiled by appearances is reinforced when she checks her make-up in her powder compact mirror, drawing a stern rebuke from her father that she should

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stop pretending that she already is Lady Bellinger. But despite her expensive accessories, it is noticeable that, in contrast to other women in the room, Joan wears her hair cropped short, complying with government guidelines, and is hardly dripping furs and jewellery. It is almost as though she is preparing to play a role for which she does not yet look the part – as the ensuing dream sequence aboard the Glasgow Express confirms. In the dream, Joan is married to Consolidated Chemical Industries and becomes the wealthy and glamorous Lady Bellinger, her short hair transformed into a flowing blonde mane reminiscent of Hollywood stars such as Veronica Lake. Sir Robert Bellinger has used his power and influence to obtain the Cartier engagement ring, the sleeping compartment, and no doubt Joan’s wedding dress too. The dress, which makes its first appearance on the train, is made of white satin, a very rare commodity during the

End of a dream: the wedding dress goes overboard

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war. Indeed, white weddings were themselves rare, and many couples made do with a simple registry office ceremony at which they wore their everyday clothes. Joan is completely entranced by her wedding dress, visualising herself wearing it in her dream, and later in her room at Erraig House. As the dream sequence indicates, Joan sees the dress as a magical object that will empower her, giving her access to the luxurious lifestyle she desires. The dress itself seems to give her a sense of invulnerability, as she carries it with her into the whirlpool. However, its power is illusory, and the raging seas of Corryvreckan sweep it overboard, leaving Joan, Torquil and Kenny to fight for their lives. With the loss of her wedding dress, which has brought her face to face with oblivion, Joan relinquishes the last vestiges of her materialistic belief system. Music, sound and the composed film In A Life in Movies, Michael Powell writes about his ideas for a ‘composed film’, which he was moving towards with Black Narcissus, but only fully achieved in The Tales of Hoffmann.70 He conceived the composed film in terms of a soundtrack which would be designed as an organic whole of dialogue, sound effects and music, very much in the way that an opera was composed. Powell explains that for Black Narcissus he decided to part company with his long-term musical collaborator Allan Gray in order to find a composer who thought operatically, and he describes Gray with affection, as an excellent composer whose main gift was his ability to convey the dramatic ethos of a scene or situation, but who remained committed to a traditional use of film music. Despite Powell’s comments about working with Brian Easdale on the ‘operatic’ sequence in Black Narcissus, elements of the composed film can be detected in ikwig too, which suggests that Allan Gray may have possessed creative skills that went beyond the ‘keen ear for a tune’ with which Powell credits him. Gray is often described as having a talent for incidental music and pastiche,71 as though serious composition was outside his capabilities. Yet he was trained as a serious musician, and there is

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no reason to suppose that his background did not influence his film work. Gray was born Josef Zmigrod in 1902, in Tarnów, Poland. He was educated at the Stern’sches Konservatorium in Berlin, where he studied under the modernist composer Arnold Schoenberg. By all accounts, he adopted the pseudonym Allan Gray (after Oscar Wilde’s doomed hero Dorian Gray) as a cover for the popular cabaret music he composed in order to pay for his tuition fees, and it was this route that eventually led to his working on film scores. He joined UFA in the early 1930s, where he met Pressburger, and their paths crossed again in Britain in 1938, on The Challenge, scripted by Pressburger with music by Gray. Gray subsequently composed the music for every Archers production from The Silver Fleet to A Matter of Life and Death, until the collaboration ended in 1946. It is true that his score for ikwig contains strong elements of pastiche – it is a mixture of traditional Scottish songs and melodies, and uses a variety of musical instruments, including bagpipes and the harmonica as well as more conventional orchestral arrangements. It also employs the usual thematic music to interpret the narrative – a romantic, lilting theme for the young lovers, and a jaunty, jazzy theme to accompany the forward momentum of Joan’s journey. For the early scenes in the restaurant and on the Glasgow train, Gray used big-band music to suggest American-influenced modernity, while for the whirlpool sequence he composed an exciting action-adventure theme full of modernist dissonances. At times, this same modernist influence can be detected in the way the music imitates the sounds of the storm. Gray’s method of musical counterpoint underscores narrative themes and contributes to heightening emotional or dramatic intensity in certain scenes, as we might expect from a conventional film score. The music is sometimes used playfully or ironically, as in the opening credit sequence. However, rather less conventional is the way that in some circumstances, the music works together with voice and sound effects to produce precisely the sense of organic composition that Powell was looking for in the composed film.

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The clearest example of organic composition occurs in the sequence aboard the Glasgow train, which begins with a cacophony of sound effects depicting the noise of shunting steam trains. As the train draws out of the station and gathers speed, the title song ‘I Know Where I’m Going’ is heard on the soundtrack, briskly sung by a choir of female voices. The orchestral rendition of the tune builds as Joan reads her itinerary, and a male voiceover intones the stages in her journey, accompanied by the choir singing the title song. As Joan’s dream of becoming Lady Bellinger begins, the song segues into the American Big Band music heard in the Manchester restaurant, now playing over the wedding ceremony, conducted in the dream by Joan’s father, during which the toot of a train funnel indicates the consent of Consolidated Chemical Industries to the union. A series of special voice effects is played over the montage in which Joan dreams of enjoying the Bellinger wealth and status, which ends with a Scottish male voice singing ‘You’ll Take the High Road’. A stentorian voice over a loudspeaker announces Joan’s arrival in Glasgow, where the stationmaster’s hat emits the sound of a train funnel, which dissolves into the noise of a funnel tooting the ‘I Know Where I’m Going’ melody, inaugurating the next stage of Joan’s journey. The inventiveness of this sequence is striking. Images, music, dialogue and sound effects combine to produce a virtuoso set piece. Besides its cleverness, it also indicates that the film’s special effects are not confined to visual elements, and, indeed, a range of sound effects, as well as music and voiceover, are used throughout ikwig. The credits in both pressbooks list members of the Glasgow Orpheus Choir as responsible for the special musical effects, and it is evident that the choir played a more extensive role in the soundtrack than simply singing at the ceilidh. The ceilidh is another set piece. It is preceded by Rebecca Crozier’s colourful description of the Oban gatherings, over which is heard the sound of bagpipes and dancing, which then leads into the lively Schottische underway at the ceilidh. The ceilidh was marketed as offering a privileged glimpse into traditional Scottish culture,

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The stationmaster’s hat toots

Train funnel toots ‘I Know Where I’m Going’

and it is presented in the film as a staged performance, watched from a distance by Torquil and Joan. The performance consists of music played by three pipers (from the Scots Guards), together with traditional songs sung by members of the choir, mostly in Gaelic, mixing popular tunes such as ‘The Campbells Are Coming’, ‘Over the Sea to Skye’ and ‘Nut Brown Maiden’ with less familiar material such as a haunting lament, and dancing (also performed by the choir, with members of the cast) to the rousing music of reels and Schottisches. The ceilidh is one of the most moving sequences in ikwig, partly

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A joyous reel at the ceilidh

A mournful lament

because it conveys a powerful sense of loss as well as exuberant celebration. However, despite the emphasis on authenticity, this is hardly a traditional Scottish ritual. In addition to the members of the Glasgow Orpheus Choir, the ceilidh is attended by non-Gaelicspeaking Scots, and some English soldiers and airmen (presumably billeted in the area), one of whom is played by Graham Moffatt in a cameo role. Other cameo performances are given by actors John Laurie (who helped to organise the ceilidh), Jean Cadell and Kitty Kirwan, harmonica player Arthur Chesney, and the mother of Margot

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Glasgow Orpheus Choir

Fitzsimons, who played Bridie, and was promoted as Hollywood star Maureen O’Hara’s younger sister (presumably of Irish descent, like the film’s title song). The ceilidh’s cocktail of the popular, the modern and the traditional is in harmony with Gray’s score, which is also a mixed bag of cultural references. Indeed, Gray’s predilection for pastiche chimes perfectly with the tension between authenticity and fiction that provides the creative mainspring for the film. Musical pastiche enables the score to weave fragments of Scottish themes together with other musical sources, celebrating a fantasy homeland and culture while mourning its demise, and intensifying the sense of longing. Rather than simply ‘adding on’ the music, Gray created a musical experience which, together with the voice and sound effects, is integral to the lyricism and rhythmic texture of ikwig, making it not quite a musical, nor exactly melodrama, but a musical film none the less.

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Descent into the maelström As important as the music and sound effects are to ikwig, their significance was eclipsed for contemporary reviewers by the technical ingenuity and excitement of the Corryvreckan whirlpool sequence, which lasts for almost ten minutes and is the most elaborate and expensive of the set pieces, accounting for most of the £40,000 art department budget. It is also the symbolic centre of the film, as our traveller looks into the abyss, and faces the consequences of her hubris. The pressbooks made much of the dangerous conditions under which the location shooting took place, with the film-makers venturing into waters considered unnavigable by the navy. One of the major problems was the powerful pull of the counter-currents that produced the whirlpool itself. Despite the perilous circumstances, Erwin Hillier insisted on a second journey into the maelström by the camera crew, this time using 3–4-inch

Location footage of the whirlpool

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telescopic lenses to produce shots with sufficient clarity to bring the audience into close contact with the storm-tossed ocean.72 The sequence took full advantage of the Denham studio facilities, and of the resourcefulness of technical personnel in overcoming the inadequacies of available equipment. The results were extraordinary, and even today ikwig’s whirlpool remains a tour de force of special effects. Macdonald states that a huge tank was constructed at Denham by David Rawnsley, head of Rank’s art department, in which an imitation whirlpool was constructed, using gelatine effects similar to those employed by Cecil B. DeMille for the parting of the Red Sea in The Ten Commandments (1923). Michael Powell goes into more detail about the making of the sequence, but does not mention Rawnsley’s involvement. This is a little surprising, since Rawnsley had been art director on 49th Parallel (1941) and One of Our

Rear projection in the storm sequence

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Centre of the vortex

Aircraft is Missing and Powell was a great admirer of his work. Indeed, they collaborated on the short-lived Independent Frame project, an innovative method of using rear projection and mobile sets developed by Rawnsley as head of Rank’s research department. According to Powell, it was Percy (‘Poppa’) Day and his special effects team who were responsible for recreating the whirlpool in the studio tank, which involved building machines that could move a large, inert mass of water in a circular direction, as well as machines that could create huge waves and spray, and wind machines that could churn up the surface of the water and fling the actors about violently, so that they appeared to be at the mercy of the elements. In addition, a rocking device was constructed for the open boat (Powell claims that this was the actual motorboat used for location shooting) which simulated as closely as possible the pitching and tossing motion of the raging sea. The rocking boat containing the actors was

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filmed against a rear projection screen, while technical crew directed wind machines and flung water at them.73 The clarity achieved by Hillier’s deep-focus techniques in the rear projection, combined with exciting location footage of the whirlpool itself, produced a surprisingly convincing illusion. The final result was achieved by editing together many different types of material, including shots of the real whirlpool, tank shots, scale models of boats with dummy passengers, rear projection material, and the shot of the boat reaching the centre of the vortex before skidding away to safety. For this last, virtuoso effect, Poppa Day utilised gelatine instead of water to create the centre of the maelström, and the scene was filmed using a high-speed camera running in reverse, and double exposures with superimposition. The different shots, and the sound effects, were spliced together with great skill by John Seabourne, with the result that the audience is carried along with the characters on an emotional rollercoaster ride, experiencing with them the thrills and danger of the descent into the abyss. This is the pinnacle of the film, and it provides a very necessary catharsis, releasing the tensions that have built to a crescendo since the ceilidh. In the following scenes, the characters come to terms with their destiny. With characteristic playfulness, The Archers finish with a double ending which questions any simple resolution: at first, Joan and Torquil accept the demands of duty, going their separate ways after a passionate kiss. As Torquil finally crosses the threshold of Moy Castle, facing the demons of the past, Joan returns with the pipers, and the couple embrace once more, this time in the Gothic ruin of Moy, where the ghosts have apparently been laid to rest. Despite this upbeat finale, which confirms the triumph of love over mercenary motives, one cannot help feeling that the lovers face a stormy future, and that their journey is not yet over. However, as they stride off arm in arm, under clear skies, they are at least going in the same direction.

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Paradise regained ikwig’s happy ending leaves many questions unanswered. Indeed, it is less clear at this point where our travellers are going than it was at the beginning. As in the case of Brigadoon, the protagonists make a choice to remain in an imaginary past rather than embrace the future, seeking a recovery of lost innocence. With its affirmation of simple human values of love and loyalty, and its evocation of an enchanted realm of impossible beauty, the film deploys legend, myth and fairytale to invite us to lose our modern, cynical selves and rediscover a childlike naïveté. It celebrates the magical possibilities of cinema to transport us to places beyond our imagination where good overcomes evil and monsters are annihilated. At the same time, its ironic patchwork of familiar images reinforces a sense of loss, reminding us that new identities and solutions do not appear from nowhere – they are fabricated from fragments of the old. This is perhaps why ikwig’s

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bright and breezy conclusion is tainted by a faint aura of melancholy, deriving from a feeling that it is too good to be true. Since its release in 1945, ikwig has continued to touch different audiences over the decades, inspiring some to follow Joan’s route in search of the Scotland portrayed in the film, and to relive her journey of self-discovery. This is a tribute to the power of cinema to engage us on profound levels, even when we are aware of the fact that the truth we seek behind images will always elude us. Apart from a wish to experience ‘the real thing’, what may attract ikwig fans to follow in Joan’s footsteps is the sense the film conveys of perpetual motion, as though it embodies the rhythms of restless desire. It could be that Joan Webster’s fellow-travellers are compelled to act out the dilemmas of modern existence by choosing to cast themselves as characters embarking on a heroic quest, in a bid to escape the humdrum routine of urban life. This suggests an empathetic response to the film’s epic dimension, whereby the protagonists are propelled by unseen forces to discover their fate, as in classic tragedy. Such imaginative encounters lead us somewhere outside time and place, where conventional social boundaries no longer hold sway. This is not to imply that ikwig operates on the level of the universal and the transcendental. The Archers’ film emerged from specific historical, cultural and industrial circumstances, which profoundly affected its conception and making – yet it reaches beyond that context, drawing on a rich treasury of mixed cultural resources, including the memories and experiences of its makers. It manages to be both of its time, and timeless. It conjures up a particular region in Scotland, which is also nowhere in particular, a hybrid concoction of miscellaneous images from various sources. By adopting this dual focus, and by playing off the authentic reconstruction of place against its recreation via pastiche, The Archers mobilised a powerful emotion which lies at the heart of the diasporic experience, provoking a longing for the lost homeland which simultaneously recognises that it is gone for ever. In turn, this yearning for something lost and irrecoverable appeals to audiences

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beyond those for whom the film was originally intended, making connections between people from different social and cultural contexts. No doubt this was part of a deliberate strategy to ensure that ikwig could be successfully marketed to as many audiences as possible. But it is also the key to the film’s enduring freshness and vitality, and one of the reasons it continues to exert a spellbinding effect on successive generations of viewers.

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Notes Where publication details are not given, see Bibliography. 1 See IMDb Filming & Production page for I Know Where I’m Going!: , and IMDb Release Info page: . Accessed 28 January 2021. 2 See Pam Cook, I Know Where I’m Going! (London: BFI, 2002), p. 72. 3 Tom Gunning, ‘On Knowing and Not Knowing, Going and Not Going, Loving and Not Loving: I Know Where I’m Going! and Falling in Love Again’, in Ian Christie and Andrew Moor (eds), The Cinema of Michael Powell: International Perspectives on an English Film-Maker (London: BFI, 2005), pp. 94–116. 4 Paul Ricoeur, ‘Narrative Time’, in W. J. T. Mitchell (ed.), On Narrative (Chicago, IL: Chicago University Press, 1981). Cited by Gunning. 5 See Gunning, 2005; and Ian Christie’s audio commentary on the Criterion Collection DVD. 6 Stella Hockenhull, Neo-Romantic Landscapes: An Aesthetic Approach to the Films of Powell and Pressburger (Newcastle-upon-Tyne: Cambridge Scholars Publishing, 2008), pp. 115–46. 7 K. J. Donnelly, ‘I Know Where I’m Going! Hearing Germanic Music in the Scottish Isles’, in Tim Bergfelder and Christian Cargnelli (eds), Destination London: German-Speaking Émigrés and British Cinema, 1925–1950 (Oxford and New York: Berghahn Books, 2008), pp. 220–29. 8 Powell, A Life in Movies, p. 455.

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9 See the testimony of Nancy Franklin and Martin Scorsese in the 1994 BBC documentary I Know Where I’m Going! Revisited. This documentary is included on the Criterion Collection DVD version of IKWIG. In it, Franklin retraces Joan Webster’s journey to the Isle of Mull. 10 See Marwick, British Society Since 1945. 11 Kevin Macdonald gives a moving account of his grandfather Emeric Pressburger’s experiences as a Hungarian Jewish émigré in Emeric Pressburger. 12 Michael Powell tells an amusing story about the way A Matter of Life and Death was conceived over lunch with Beddington in A Life in Movies, pp. 455–7. 13 The circumstances of IKWIG’s genesis are revealed in Macdonald, Emeric Pressburger, pp. 242–4. 14 Ibid., p. 249. See also the contemporary reviews of the film, BFI Library microfiche. 15 See Christie, Powell, Pressburger and Others, p. 25. 16 These developments are documented in Cook (ed.), Gainsborough Pictures. See also Bergfelder, ‘The Production Designer and the Gesamtkunstwerk’; Kevin Gough-Yates, ‘Jews and Exiles in British Cinema’. 17 However, the collaborative model may be more common in British cinema than is generally acknowledged. The discourse of international co-operation surrounding the hugely successful The English Patient (1996) provides an interesting example. 18 Macdonald, Emeric Pressburger, p. 189.

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19 The details of Rank’s involvement in IPL are given by Macnab, J. Arthur Rank and the British Film Industry, pp. 90–110. See also Christie, Powell, Pressburger and Others, p. 30. Powell and Pressburger were to form the nucleus of IPL: later recruits were Gabriel Pascal; Sidney Gilliat and Frank Launder; David Lean, Anthony Havelock-Allan and Ronald Neame; and Ian Dalrymple. 20 Powell praises Rank in the BBC2 Arena documentary, A Pretty British Affair (1981), and in A Life in Movies, p. 670. Both Macnab and Powell suggest that it was under the influence of his increasingly powerful financial guru John Davis that Rank abandoned his paternalistic, expansive vision of film production. 21 William K. Everson in a programme note accompanying screenings of IKWIG at the New York Museum of Modern Art in November 1980, BFI Library microfiche. 22 For the details of John Ford’s contact with Murnau, see Tag Gallagher, John Ford: The Man and His Films (Berkeley: University of California Press, 1986), p. 50. 23 Macdonald, Emeric Pressburger, p. 33. 24 Powell, A Life in Movies, p. 158. Macdonald (Emeric Pressburger, p. 33) also speculates on Murnau’s influence on The Archers’ productions. 25 As Charles Barr has noted, Alfred Hitchcock’s British films also contain a ‘hypnagogic discourse’ associated with sexual fantasy. See ‘Hitchcock’s British Films Revisited’, in Dissolving Views, p. 15. This could be put down to the acknowledged influence of Murnau

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and UFA on Hitchcock, and extended to include all the director’s work. 26 See Macnab, J. Arthur Rank, pp. 162ff. 27 I am indebted to Tim Bergfelder for drawing my attention to this connection. Bergfelder discusses the British manifestation of the ‘whitecollar-worker’ comedies in Gainsborough Pictures, pp. 40ff. The genre was also very successful in the US during the 1920s and 30s. 28 See Macdonald, Emeric Pressburger, pp. 74–6. 29 Ibid., p. 90. 30 This plot synopsis for IKWIG appears in Macdonald, Emeric Pressburger, p. 242, and Powell, A Life in Movies, p. 459. 31 See Christie on Blimp and John Ellis on A Matter of Life and Death in Christie (ed.), Powell, Pressburger and Others. 32 Macdonald, Emeric Pressburger, p. 242. 33 Ibid., pp. 45–8. 34 The often harrowing details of Pressburger’s travels up to his arrival in London in 1935 are documented in the first seven chapters of Macdonald, Emeric Pressburger. 35 The details of the pair’s collaboration on the scripts are given in Macdonald, Emeric Pressburger, pp. 231–2, and confirmed, with a slight change of emphasis, by Powell, A Life in Movies, pp. 467–9. Macdonald suggests that Pressburger’s UFA training resulted in a scriptwriting style that was highly visual (p. 77). 36 According to Powell, A Life in Movies, p. 459, and Macdonald, Emeric Pressburger, p. 243. 37 A point acknowledged by the title of Christie’s Powell, Pressburger and Others.

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38 An exception is Christie’s Arrows of Desire, which locates their work within a kaleidoscope of cultural references that consciously mixes European and English cultural traditions (pp. 19–22). 39 See Pressburger Special Collection in BFI Library, Box 7, Item 12. 40 Eric Britton, ‘I Know Where I’m Going!’ (London: World Film Publications, 1946), p. 5. Held in the BFI Library. 41 See Marwick, British Society Since 1945, p. 21. 42 See Lant, Blackout, pp. 59–113. Lant also discusses the figure of the ‘immobile woman’, whose fate was dramatised in films such as Brief Encounter (1946). 43 Lant’s analysis of The Gentle Sex (1943) in Blackout, pp. 89ff, demonstrates how difficult a task this could be. 44 See Cooper, ‘Snoek Piquante’, in Age of Austerity, pp. 41–2. 45 See Marwick, British Society Since 1945, pp. 18–33. 46 I am indebted to Ian Christie’s commentary on the laser disc and DVD versions of IKWIG for this information. 47 Marwick, British Society Since 1945, pp. 22–4. 48 Pressburger Special Collection, Box 7, Item 12. 49 At the time of writing, the question of Scottish devolution has been decided by referendum, and Scotland now has its own parliament. 50 See the US pressbook for IKWIG on microfiche in the BFI Library. 51 McArthur, Scotch Reels, p. 47. 52 Powell, A Life in Movies, p. 468. 53 The Cinema, 13 September 1944; Kine Weekly, 14 September 1944, p. 35.

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54 Macdonald (Emeric Pressburger, p. 245) claims that Mason dropped out six weeks prior to shooting, while according to Powell (A Life in Movies, p. 475), Mason was fired when he made too many high-handed demands. 55 Ibid., p. 476. 56 Information provided by Erwin Hillier, in an interview with the author, 25 June 1997. 57 According to Marjorie Williams, ‘Give Wendy a Chance to Become Popular’, Picturegoer, 22 December 1945, p. 11. 58 The Cinema, 13 September 1944, announced IKWIG’s going into production with the headline ‘Archers Get Wendy Hiller’. 59 Nancy Price, a successful writer and theatrical producer as well as an actress, played the mother of Stewart Granger and Peter Glenville in Gainsborough’s Madonna of the Seven Moons (1944). 60 The Illustrated London News, 2 April 1927, pp. 578–9, featured a specially commissioned double-page drawing of Captain Knight in his hideaway in the Highlands, filming a mother eagle in her nest with her fledglings. I am indebted to Charles Barr for giving me a photocopy of this item. 61 According to Erwin Hillier (25 June 1997) Powell was not responsible for the handheld shots of the whirlpool, which were obtained by Hillier and the camera crew after Powell had returned to London to finalise the script. 62 In conversation with the author, June 1997.

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63 Bergfelder, in Gainsborough Pictures, argues that an aesthetic of ‘surface and distraction’, in which the narrative was carried by visual elements such as cinematography, set and costume design, was characteristic of 1920s Weimar cinema, in particular films produced by UFA, becoming part of cultural debates in Germany about the role of cinema in modern consumer society. Bergfelder claims that the influence of this aesthetic dominated by visual style can be found in ‘traces, flashes and echoes’, rather than in its wholesale adoption by British cinema. I suggest that such traces and echoes are part of a process of cultural memory that has had a profoundly transformative effect. 64 For an account of the impact of continental émigrés on British cinema, see Bergfelder in Dissolving Views. 65 In the BBC documentary on IKWIG cited above, Nancy Franklin comments on the accuracy of the Denham reconstruction of the baronial hall. 66 In the same documentary, Polly Sharp, Wendy Hiller’s driver and occasional stand-in, reveals that Powell knew the value of Joan’s elegant ocelot hat, which cost £90. A production photograph exists (courtesy of Erwin Hillier) of Michael Powell on the train set with Hiller, adjusting the blonde wig she wears in the dream sequence.

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67 The laser disc and DVD cited above have a supplement titled ‘Behind the Scenes of IKWIG’, consisting of a collection of production stills that include a comic pastiche of images in which Roger Livesey is shown dressing in his kilt. 68 In a telephone interview with the author, 4 July 1997, confirmed later in writing. 69 Dame Wendy was very clear on this point, and remembered Haffenden’s involvement without any prompting on my part (in any case, this information came as a complete surprise, as IKWIG does not appear in Haffenden’s filmography). Erwin Hillier later confirmed Haffenden’s involvement, and claimed that she worked on the fantasy sequence on the train and designed Joan’s blonde wig. 70 Powell, A Life in Movies, p. 181. Powell’s comments about the breakthrough achieved with Black Narcissus are contradicted by his opinion that IKWIG’s score represents one of The Archers’ best. 71 See also Macdonald, Emeric Pressburger, p. 255. 72 See I Know Where I’m Going! Revisited. 73 See Macdonald, Emeric Pressburger, p. 247; and Powell, A Life in Movies, pp. 482, 492–5.

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Credits I Know Where I’m Going! UK 1945 Directors Michael Powell Emeric Pressburger Producers Michael Powell Emeric Pressburger Writers Michael Powell Emeric Pressburger Photography Erwin Hiller [sic; i.e. Hillier] Editor John Seabourne Production Designer Alfred Junge Music Allan Gray Production Company Michael Powell and Emeric Pressburger present a production of The Archers Assistant Producer George Busby Assistant Director John Tunstall 2nd Assistant Director Bill Herlihy 3rd Assistant Director Parry Jones Continuity Patricia Arnold

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Assistant Continuity Ainslie L’Evine Camera Operator Cecil Cooney Focus Puller Eric Besche Clapper Loader Harold Case Stills Max Rosher Special Effects Henry Harris Additional Special Effects George Blackwell Back Projection Charles Staffell Assistant Editors Sidney Hayers Jim Pople Assistant Art Director Ward Richards Draughtsmen Elliot Scott Harry Hurdell William Kellner, David Buxton Song Sung by members of the Glasgow Orpheus Choir principal: Sir Hugh Roberton Music Conducted by Walter Goehr Recorded by C. C. Stevens Sound Camera Operator T. Bagley Sound Maintenance Roy Day

Music and Dubbing Sound Camera Peter T. Davies Boom Operator Gordon K. McCallum Boom Assistant Fred Ryan Gaelic Adviser Malcolm MacKellaig Adviser on the Ceilidh Sequences John Laurie CAST Wendy Hiller Joan Webster Roger Livesey Torquil MacNeil Pamela Brown Catriona Potts Finlay Currie Ruairidh Mhór George Carney Mr Webster Nancy Price Mrs Crozier Catherine Lacey Mrs Robinson Jean Cadell postmistress John Laurie John Campbell Valentine Dyall Mr Robinson Norman Shelley Sir Robert Bellinger Margot Fitzsimons Bridie Murdo Morrison Kenny

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Captain C. W. R. Knight, FZS Colonel Barnstaple Walter Hudd Hunter Captain Duncan MacKechnie Captain of ‘Lochinvar’ Ian Sadler Iain Donald Strachan shepherd John Rae old shepherd Duncan McIntyre old shepherd’s son Ivy Milton Peigi Antony Eustrel Hooper

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Petula Clark Cheril Alec Faversham Martin Herbert Lomas Mr Campbell Kitty Kirwan Mrs Campbell Graham Moffatt RAF sergeant Boyd Steven Maxwell Kennedy Jean Houston singers in the ceilidh (members of the Glasgow Orpheus Choir) Arthur Chesney harmonica player Mr Ramshaw Torquil, the eagle

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Black and White 8,213 feet 92 minutes Credits compiled by Markku Salmi, BFI Filmographic Unit

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Bibliography & Sources Barr, Charles, ‘Hitchcock’s British Films Revisited’, in Andrew Higson (ed.), Dissolving Views: Key Writings on British Cinema (London: Cassell, 1996). Bergfelder, Tim, ‘Surface and Distraction: Style and Genre at Gainsborough in the 1920s and 1930s’, in Pam Cook (ed.), Gainsborough Pictures (London: Cassell, 1998). ——, ‘The Production Designer and the Gesamtkunstwerk: German Film Technicians in the British Film Industry of the 1930s’, in Higson (ed.), Dissolving Views. Christie, Ian, Powell, Pressburger and Others (London: BFI, 1978). ——, Arrows of Desire: The Films of Michael Powell and Emeric Pressburger (London: Waterstone, 1985). Cook, Pam (ed.), Gainsborough Pictures (London: Cassell, 1998). Cooper, Susan, ‘Snoek Piquante’, in Michael Sissons and Philip French (eds), Age of Austerity (Oxford: Oxford University Press, 1963). Fischer, Lucy, Sunrise: A Song of Two Humans (London: BFI, 1998). Gough-Yates, Kevin, ‘Jews and Exiles in British Cinema’, in Arnold Paucker (ed.), Leo Baeck Yearbook, No. 37 (London: Secker and Warburg, 1992). Higson, Andrew (ed.), Dissolving Views: Key Writings on British Cinema (London: Cassell, 1996). Lant, Antonia, Blackout: Reinventing Women for Wartime British Cinema (Princeton, NJ: Princeton University Press, 1991).

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McArthur, Colin, Scotch Reels: Scotland in Cinema and Television (London: BFI, 1982). Macdonald, Kevin, Emeric Pressburger: The Life and Death of a Screenwriter (London: Faber and Faber, 1994). Macnab, Geoffrey, J. Arthur Rank and the British Film Industry (London: Routledge, 1993). Marwick, Arthur, British Society Since 1945 (London: Penguin Books, 1990). Powell, Michael, A Life in Movies: An Autobiography (London: Heinemann, 1986). Documentaries and other material A Pretty British Affair, directed by Gavin Millar, Arena, BBC2, tx. 17.11.1981. Michael Powell, directed by David Hinton, South Bank Show, LWT, tx. 26.10.1986. I Know Where I’m Going! Revisited, directed by Mark Cousins, BBC, tx. 3.9.1994. I Know Where I’m Going! Voyager Laser Disc, Criterion Collection. I Know Where I’m Going! The Criterion Collection DVD, 2001. Note on prints I consulted five viewing copies of the film: the BFI’s 35mm viewing copy; the BFI’s Connoisseur Video copy (no longer available); the Voyager laser disc copy; the Criterion Collection DVD copy; and the BBC2 print, in an off-air recording. Perhaps surprisingly, the last three, for which Erwin Hillier was involved in the grading process, were far superior to both BFI copies, which give the impression that the film is much darker than it actually is (or was intended to be).

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