A Matter of Life and Death

Whilst returning home to England after a mission over Germany during World War II, RAF pilot Peter Carter (David Niven) reports back to American radio operator June (Kim Hunter) and alerts her to the presence of his squad, who all bailed out of their severely damaged aircraft. With his own radio technician, Bob (Robert Coote), dead and no intact parac/hutes remaining, Carter knows he will not survive the return journey, but plans to eject anyway, preferring to jump rather than fry, but during his brie dialogue with June the pair develop an attraction. Suffice to say, Carter bails out and his plane crashes but, miraculously, he awakes on shore, fully alive. You see there has been an error in Heaven and, due to the heavy fog across the English Channel, Carter’s body could not be found. An agent of Heaven, Conductor 71 (Marius Goring), is sent to retrieve him, but alas he has met in person with June and the two have fallen hopelessly in love, and therefore Carter is far from willing to accept his allotted demise, and instead intends to fight his case to the end.
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The Red Shoes

I’ve read before that this is supposedly Martin Scorsese’s favourite film. I can’t remember why, and I’m still not sure now, but if he likes it then fair enough. The Red Shoes tells the story of Julian Craster and Victoria Page. He is a music student, given a job at the ballet orchestra after his professor steals his work for a show, and she is a promising ballerina, given a shot at the big time when a professional dancer leaves to get married. Predictably, the two end up working on the same show, the Ballet of the Red Shoes, he as composer and she as the star.  I’ve never been overly keen on dance, and I’ve never attended a ballet recital, so I can’t say I was necessarily engrossed in the backstage goings on, as the Machiavellian show director forbids the leading couple from seeing one another, but there was an interesting 20-minute wordless dream/dance sequence involving fairytale backgrounds and characters, and I liked the implication of a train passing using puffs of smoke, lights, sounds and actors following the ‘train’ with their eyes, but overall found the film was largely dull.
Choose life 4/10