Monday, August 29, 2005

Favourite Movies: #15 I Know Where I'm Going!

This week I chose number 15 from list I Know Where I'm Going! (1945). While it may seem an odd place to start, I believe it a perfect place; it captures everything I love about movies. I am not sure why I respond to this movie so much...Is it the mythic-like Scottish locations? The undeniable chemistry between the 2 leads? Or that catchy title ditty?
The basic story is simple enough: a young woman can't get to an island to meet her fiance. But, as with all other great works of art, there is so much more to the scene. Fantastic directors Powell and Pressburger created a mythic world in the highlands of Scotland without making the film a fantasy. We know from the beginning that things are not going to be conventional; the title sequence alone is 20 years ahead of its time. We are introduced to headstrong Joan Webster who apparently knows where she is going. Her impending nuptials are planned and she is complete control of her destiny. One her way to meet her intended husband she is stopped in the Herbrides during a storm (a gale wind if you will) and nature will not permit their meeting. It's almost as if the mysterious place and the people there know more about her than she does herself and she is eventually overcome by it. There she meets simple people steeped in lore, which contrasts to Joan intensly material life back in Manchester, where she is marrying her fiance to become Mrs. Consolidated Chemical Industries. Try as she might to remind herself that she is "in the real world" she is suceptible to the myths of the island, including falling for local landowner, and overall Scottish hunk, Torquil.
Very unassuming compared to the directors' The Red Shoes and Black Narcissus, IKWIG! is still as original and delicate. It may not contain the colour and splash of their pair's two most famous films but it has a quiet mystery that can't be found in another movie.