Missing the swans and sylphides that have always graced the spring season? Why not give an evening to that crown jewel of the art form, The Red Shoes. The inspired work of director Michael Powell, screenwriter Emeric Pressburger, and their merry band of collaborators, this dazzling film of 1948 swept through the postwar world like a scarlet fever. Within two years it broke all box-office records. Powell and Pressburger had done their bit for the war effort with over half a dozen movies about British stoicism and heroism, among them the magnificent A Canterbury Tale (1944). The same do or die was brought to The Red Shoes, a movie about ballet.

The delicate redhead Moira Shearer, unforgettable as the ballerina to be, Victoria Page. Anton Walbrook, impossibly elegant and elitist as the omnipotent director Boris Lermontov. Marius Goring of the big blue eyes, the uncompromising young composer Julian Craster. Lyric intensity, love of art, desire. Martin Scorsese has called The Red Shoes “cinema as music.” How did a ballet movie make almost every list of the greatest movies ever made?