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Cardiff’s supreme achievement, Pandora and the Flying Dutchman stars Ava Gardner as the irresistible Pandora Reynolds, a woman who falls for a dark and brooding man cursed by immortality. TIFF BLB will be screening a newly restored print of this film.
Restored print! Beloved by the directors of the French New Wave, this delirious, dream-like modern fairy tale is perhaps Cardiff’s supreme achievement, particularly evident in this eye-popping restoration conducted under the auspices of Martin Scorsese (who has long counted it among his favourite films). In the Spanish port of Esperanza, the stunning Ava Gardner embodies the irresistible Pandora Reynolds, for whom men commit suicide or destroy their most priceless possessions. Accustomed to being an unattainable object of desire for a series of hapless males, she finds herself drawn to the dark and brooding Hendrick van der Zee (James Mason at his most sexily melancholy), whose centuries-old burden of immortality only she can release him from. Otherworldly in its intimations of cultures long past (Dutch and Spanish painting, Greek myth and German romanticism), Pandora luxuriates in the Technicolor fever dream of Cardiff’s swooningly gorgeous cinematography. “Masterpiece…. The supreme encounter between Surrealism and Hollywood. By contrast, the dream sequence designed by Dali in Hitchcock’s Spellbound is fairly drab and pedestrian” (Jonathan Rosenbaum).
Restored by George Eastman House in cooperation with The Douris Corporation. Restoration funded by The Film Foundation and the Franco-American Cultural Fund, a partnership of the Directors Guild of America, Société des Auteurs, Compositeurs et Editeurs de Musique, the Writers Guild of America - west, and the Motion Picture Association of America.