1948 / 134 min. / PG
Director: Emeric Pressburger and Michael Powell
Cast: Moira Shearer; Ludmilla Tchérina; Anton Walbrook; Marius Goring

Ladies of Burlesque: THE RED SHOES

A hypnotic kaleidoscope of colour and bodies in motion, THE RED SHOES is inarguably one of the most beautiful films of all time. Directed by legendary British duo Powell and Pressburger, and featuring the breathtaking cinematography of Jack Cardiff, it is largely regarded as the most innovative and influential use of Technicolor in the industry. Its stunning palette of goldenrod, pearlescent whites, and deep entrancing blues are swoon-inducing, yet it’s the fiery red hair of its leading lady that secured Technicolor’s dominance and made its stock rise. Dubbed “the face that sold Technicolor,” prima-ballerina Moira Shearer was a mid-century revelation. Having never acted before, her performance as Victoria Page—an up-and-coming ballet star who must choose between her career and love—casts a dazzling magical spell.

Caught between the domineering, gaslighting Svengali-like ballet director Boris Lermontov (Walbrook), who wishes to possess and control the young ballerina, and the aspiring composer whom she loves (Goring), Victoria falls prey to the destructive intentions of men. Yet, her desire to dance, especially in the lead role of The Red Shoes—a ballet based on Hans Christian Andersen’s beloved fairy tale—cannot be suppressed. As much a fantasy-based horror film (there are hints of demonic possession) as it is a dance film, THE RED SHOES is a hallucinatory masterpiece that demands to be seen on the big screen.

This Ladies of Burlesque screening is presented in a stunning restoration supervised by Martin Scorsese and features a burlesque pointe performance from Knox Harter!

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