Michael Powell & Emeric Pressburger
UK / 1948
135 min. / 35 mm / Original version
Moira Shearer, Anton Walbrook
Arsenal 1zu den Ticketszu dem Kalender
Why do you want to dance? – “Why do you want to live?” – “I must!” – “That is my answer, too.” This short dialogue between young dancer Victoria Page (Moira Shearer) and arrogant ballet company impresario Lermontov (Anton Walbrook) is at once an icebreaker between the pair as well as a harbinger of the existential conflict that will soon come to a head: dance or life. For the tyrannical Lermontov, this is never even a question, while for the up-and-coming prima ballerina it only becomes relevant once she falls in love with a young composer and Lermontov attempts to stop the relationship. Freely adapted from the Hans-Christian Andersen fairy tale, this miraculous Technicolor ballet film boasts splendidly vivid production design and culminates in a nearly 20-minute sequence of obsessive dance, which forms one of the most impressive cinema movements ever.