One of the Cinema's great visual stylists, Michael Powell is best known for the seventeen British features he made in collaboration with the Hungarian-born screenwriter Emeric Pressburger between 1939 and 1946. In their best films, Powell and Pressburger achieved a degree of pictorial expressiveness and technical polish surpassing any body of work in the history of British Cinema. Unfortunately, the distribution of Powell's films in this country has been cursed by censorship and re-cutting, and other consequences of the crass market-place mentality of film importers. Two of his major works - The Life And Death Of Colonel Blimp and A Matter Of Life And Death (Stairway To Heaven) - were butchered by heavy editing for the U.S. release: The Small Back Room was shorn of 30 minutes by its U.S. distributor; Black Narcissus was censored on moral grounds; and films like Tales Of Hoffmann and the extraordinarily perverse Peeping Tom have suffered from distributor bankruptcies. Very few of Powell's masterworks remain in any kind of distribution in this country, and as a result American critics and serious film-goers know little of Powell's genius: American filmmakers are another story. Ask Francis Coppola for his favorite film, and he might say Thief Of Bagdad (1940), co-directed by Powell; ask Martin Scorsese and he'll nominate Peeping Tom, which happens to be the film that most influenced Jim McBride, and also is one of Susan Sontag's favorites. The 1977 Telluride Film Festival presented a Tribute to Michael Powell, which helped rehabilitate Powell's reputation in this country.