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Friday, 25 December 2009
A Canterbury Tale

This is one of my favourite films, a wartime production by The Archers who were Michael Powell and Eric Pressburger. They also made One of our Aircraft is Missing and postwar, I Know Where I'm Going and the Black Narcissus.
I mentioned the film
here in October last year and was reminded of it by John's comments to his Xth post on Christmas Carols this morning.  The village where most of the action takes place is a the  bend in the road where the Pilgrims whould get their first view of Canterbury and its cathedral. I cannot remember whether these are Pilgrims on the route Chaucer wrote about, from Southwark along the south bank of the Thames (roughly the course of the present A2) or the other historic route further south from Winchester, another great Cathedral and place of pilgrimage. 
This is the Town Clerk at his lecture, on the subject of our connection with our ancestors, do we but extend our focus.

I am intrigued that the most extensive (but much less than the whole film) extracts on Youtube have French subtitles. Canterbury is popular with French visitors, and the French do appreciate the subtleties of cinema which The Archers had in abundance.
The exchange between the English (Cockney) and American soldiers, written into French is rather droll. Enjoy!

Posted on 12/25/2009 4:36 AM by Esmerelda Weatherwax
26 Dec 2009
Send an emailJohn M. J.

Couldn't agree with Sam more if I tried to. Inspired post, Esme - and you conjured great memories. Thanks!

25 Dec 2009
Sam Gaines

 I saw this film for the first time earlier this year--it's marvelous. Powell and Pressburger were a marvelous filmmaking team, responsible for some of my absolute favorites (The Life and Times of Colonel Blimp, A Matter of Life and Death, I Know Where I'm Going, Black Narcissus ... Simply marvelous cinema.