Stairway to Heaven (A Matter of Life and Death)

“The pilot of a blazing bomber ‘survives' certain death, only to find himself ‘suspended' between heaven (where he is summoned for trial) and earth (where he has fallen in love with an American girl). The doctor who befriends him diagnoses a ‘highly organised hallucination' and much the same could be said of the film, with its bewildering alternations of microcosm and macrocosm, poetry and pathos, monochrome and colour. A stunning, subversive masterpiece.” --British Film Institute.
“A Matter of Life and Death had everything going for it to make it a commercial success, and perhaps because it has something in it for everybody - whimsy, romance, comedy, drama, suspense - it is the one Powell/Pressburger film that continually delights (and surprises) contemporary audiences.... Quite certainly the fanciful sets of the other world, and the elaborate staircase linking the two worlds, allowed full reign to Alfred Junge's imaginative art direction, while the contrasting use of Technicolor for the sequences on earth and monochrome for Heaven (less optimistic directors might have reversed the process) made for continually interesting visual effects....” --William K. Everson

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