"The Furniture" is our weekly series on Production Design. Here's Daniel Walber...
In movies, if perhaps not in life, people can be driven mad by mountains. In films by Michael Powell and Emeric Pressburger, they can be driven mad by paintings of mountains.
Black Narcissus is the story of a group of Anglican nuns who trek up to an abandoned cliffside palace in the Himalayas to establish a new convent. Deborah Kerr, cinema’s most consistent nun, is Sister Clodagh, the young mother superior. Her mission is doomed from the beginning, of course, though not necessarily because the locals reject their presence. Rather, it is the landscape that overwhelms their emotions and breaks their faith and their vows.
Powell and Pressburger did not shoot on location in India, however. The set was built at Pinewood Studios. [More...]