The Tales of Hoffmann

Martin Scorsese’s Film Foundation and the British Film Archive teamed up for this dazzling digital restoration of one of the masterpieces of British, and musical, cinema. In many ways an artistic companion piece to The Red Shoes, Powell and Pressburger’s adaptation of French composer Jacques Offenbach’s 1881 opera tells the tale of a melancholy poet who dreams of three women—a mechanical performing doll, a bejeweled satanic siren and a consumptive opera singer—all of whom break his heart in different ways. While in their earlier film the narrative was propelled by music and dance, Hoffmann is a pure opera, composed entirely of music, dance, color, light, and rhythm. “An audacious essay in film fantasy! It’s crazy, twee, camp, exhilarating, trite, bold! It’s lip-sync opera, multilayered meta-theater, a kitsch extravaganza of luridly colored design, and keenly musical ballet.”—Alastair Macaulat, New York Times. “The perfect combination of music, dance, song, acting, design and beautiful women. As Cecil B. DeMille had said, you can have everything.”– Michael Powell.

Appears in: Special Screenings

Genres: Musical