Author Spotlight

Ian Christie

Ian Christie is a film historian, curator, broadcaster, and professor of film and media history at Birkbeck College, University of London. He has written and edited many books on Russian, British, and American cinema—including Arrows of Desire: The Films of Michael Powell and Emeric Pressburger, The Film Factory (coedited with Richard Taylor), and Scorsese on Scorsese (coedited with David Thompson)—and has written about and provided commentaries for Powell and Pressburger films and other titles for the Criterion Collection.

12 Results

The Color of Pomegranates: Parajanov Unbound
The Color of Pomegranates: Parajanov Unbound

Soviet filmmaker Sergei Parajanov explored his Transcaucasian roots in this visually spectacular and wonderfully strange ode to the Armenian poet Sayat-Nova.


By Ian Christie

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The River: A New Authenticity

The River: A New Authenticity

“A film about India without elephants and tiger hunts”—this was how Jean Renoir described his objective in making The River. Guided by Rumer Godden’s autobiographical novel, he rejected the India of exotic action and spectacle to make a medit…

By Ian Christie

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When Noël Met David . . .
When Noël Met David . . .

Coward and Lean? It may not sound as natural as Launder and Gilliat or Powell and Pressburger, perhaps because we don’t instinctively think of Noël Coward as a filmmaker or of David Lean as part of a team. But they were the key creative figures in…

By Ian Christie

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Fish Tank: An England Story
Fish Tank: An England Story

Andrea Arnold seemed to emerge out of nowhere with Red Road (2006), her revelatory, shrewdly observed debut feature about voyeurism and sexual revenge. That film won Arnold multiple awards, and she had already earned an Oscar for her short Wasp (20…

By Ian Christie

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All Those Things That Are to Die: Antichrist
All Those Things That Are to Die: Antichrist

To say that Lars von Trier deals in provocation and controversy is like saying John Ford made westerns: obviously true, but far from giving a measure of the director’s importance. Ever since The Element of Crime polarized critics at Cannes in 19…

By Ian Christie

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Before the Rain: Never-Ending Story

Before the Rain brought a vision of “Balkan conflict” to the world that caused a sensation in the mid-1990s, winning the Golden Lion in Venice and an Academy Award nomination. Five years of increasingly horrific news from the former Yugoslavia, w…

By Ian Christie


The Lion Has Wings: The Lion Triumphant

Britain’s heraldic coat of arms features two creatures, a lion and a unicorn, which have often been taken to symbolize the qualities of strength and imagination. As Britain stood on the threshold of a long-dreaded war in 1939, Alexander Korda decid…

By Ian Christie


Tales from the Lives of Marionettes

Why would a filmmaker simply film an opera? Many admirers of Michael Powell’s have assumed that the decision to make The Tales of Hoffmann, in 1950, was in some way an admission by Powell and his long-term partner, Emeric Pressburger, that they cou…

By Ian Christie


The Horse's Mouth
The Horse's Mouth

By any standard, The Horse’s Mouth shines as an outstandingly personal work from a decade that often seems the most arid in British cinema. Amid tepid comedies and timid thrillers, it sparkles with conviction and eccentricity—at least that’s ho…

By Ian Christie


The Ruling Class

The Ruling Class may not be recognized as a neglected masterpiece—at least, not yet. But if we remember how long it took for Welles’ The Magnificent Ambersons and Renoir’s Rules of the Game to be recognized as supreme anatomies of social uneas…

By Ian Christie


I Know Where I’m Going!

I Know Where I’m Going! is a love story that is also a fable. Joan Webster thinks she knows exactly where she’s going: to marry the richest industrialist in Britain. But when the elements stop her from reaching a remote Scottish island where the …

By Ian Christie


The Red Shoes
The Red Shoes

Before The Red Shoes, there were films with dance numbers. After it, there was a new medium which combined dance, design, and music in a dreamlike spectacle. Hollywood musicals were quick to pay tribute—An American in Paris was the most obviously i…

By Ian Christie

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