The Tales of Hoffman 06/14/22

The Criterion Collection

The term ‘filmed opera’ in no way describes this phantasmagoria. Powell & Pressburger re-envisions the Offenbach work with dance sequences refracted through a cinematic prism. It’s high art made for the movies, without the condescenscion seen in Disney’s Fantasia. The stars are Moira Shearer and Robert Helpmann. Powell perfects techniques from Black Narcissus and The Red Shoes to fuse music, theater, dance and cinema; Martin Scorsese calls it a ‘composed film.’ This full restoration reinstates footage not seen since the first previews in 1951. On Blu-ray from The Criterion Collection.