The Red Shoes Michael Powell & Emeric Pressburger 1948 UKAs a ballet group tours the world, its director fears for his lead dancer's commitment when she falls for the conductor.Aesthetically bold and exciting drama that still seems fresh, preceding Hollywood's musical renaissance and in production values very much holding its own against the finest of them. It works equally vivid on many levels: as a portrait over time of an intimate community of artists who know and care for one another on a daily basis; as a romance, and not just between its two lovers; as an exploration of the pressures and difficulties of devoting one's career to art. There's a humanity to every scene, which rewards some wonderfully warm and rich moments, like when Craster comes into his own as the conductor of the ballet and shouts at Vicky, only for in the next scene to retract his statement and give her the confidence boost she needs, in his own nervous excitement. In both the particular (acting, cinematography, etc.) and the general (mise-en-scene and so on), it all just works.See also: MICHAEL POWELL.