FT Top 100 Films

Antony Easton says:
It’s a back lot dream of religious exoticism, its about the nature of desire, its about power and control in relation to sex, its about viewing the divine temporally instead of celestially. But none of that matters, what matters is Kathleen Bryon’s performance as Sister Ruth: the lipstick scene is one of the most sexual ever filmed, the crimson slash against her face, the phallic aggression of presentation, how quiet and serene it is, and how solitary. She has no one in the middle of the Himalayas who will ever appreciate the colour, it is done for those in the audience.

Pete Baran says:
Its a primal film for me, one of those I remember seeing at a very young age, looking like a film – it is oddly linked with The Wizard Of Oz in the ultra technicolour part of my brain). Its link with the Wizard is possibly due to how frightening I found it. There is a brooding air which I remember, a tension which I had encountered with the flying monkeys, was here again in the equally Oz like Himalaya’s. It also gave me a tiny taste of vertigo, the final sequences gave me a taste of what it was like to plummet from high points, and I did not much like it.

Because of all of this, it is a film I have avoided since. Why re-edit your childhood memories, especially if they are memories which may only really apply to you. My Black Narcissus is a frighteningly tense, colourful nightmare which seems to stumble out at 1pm on a Saturday afternoon, in the matinee slot. I would like to think thatthis is disturbing programming to other people too.