Criterion: The Red Shoes

“Why do you want to live?”

These simple words spoken by the main character Victoria Page would have such an impact on me. I remember watching The Red Shoes for the first time. It was 11pm and unknown to me, the movie wouldn’t finish until 1 o’clock in the morning. I had heard about this movie several times before. Especially after Darren Aronofsky’s “Black Swan” had been released in 2010. Names like Martin Scorsese were associated with this film, so immediately I was drawn to it. However, I was adamant due to the woman’s fearful face on the cover. Long story short, I fell in love.

From the creative minds of Michael Powell and Emeric Pressburger, the story of “The Red Shoes” is based on Hans Christian Andersen’s story of the same name. The story centers around Victoria Page (Moira Shearer), a young girl whose world revolves around dancing, and her struggle to choose her passion or the man she loves. The film in itself is a magical one. The ten-minute ballet scene will have you craving more. It’s not a film to just be watched, but a film to immerse yourself in.

The Criterion version of “The Red Shoes” was released in July 2010. Though a DVD of “The Red Shoes” had previously been released, it did not achieve the beauty that this film so rightly deserved. With the help of Martin Scorsese, Thelma Schoonmaker Powell (Michael Powell’s widow), and The UCLA Film and Television Archive and the Film Foundation, the film is presented in a newly restored 1080p/24hz. From the moment you insert the Blu-ray into your player, you will see the crisp restoration they were able to achieve.

The Red Shoes represents that feeling in all of us. That feeling of coming to a fork in the road, not knowing which way your heart will take you. Powell and Pressburger’s creative adaptation of Andersen’s fable lives on through this wonderfully restored Blu-ray.

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The Red Shoes

Directed By: Michael Powell and Emeric Pressburger

Starring: Anton Walbrook, Marius Goring, and Moira Shearer

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