April 8—15, 2024


Timeless Photos: Fred Daniels. An Exhibition of Portrait Photographs by the Collaborator of Michael Powell & Emeric Pressburger

Timeless Film Festival Warsaw presents a wide selection of portrait photographs by the acclaimed British artist Fred Daniels. The exhibition accompanies the major retrospective of films by Michael Powell & Emeric Pressburger. What an opportunity to take a closer look at the moments captured in time and space by one of The Archers’ leading stills photographers! The curators Ewa Reeves and Nigel Arthur showcased the work of Fred Daniels at The National Portrait Gallery in London in 2012, and also published the English-Polish book The Archers. Powell & Pressburger. Portraits / Portrety devoted to Daniels. Now the exhibition at Kino Iluzjon allows viewers to enrich their experience of the films made by the great British duo. Printed in a large format, the photographs taken by Daniels transport us to 1940s Britain and its sophisticated film culture. Actors and protagonists from the films screened at Timeless, including Deborah Kerr and Anton Walbrook, are immortalized in striking and often playful compositions. Fred Daniels had impeccable taste and a keen eye, and he used his camera to capture the essence of his subjects – and the essence of the Archers’ unique art.

Join us for the exhibition which pays tribute to the glamour and style of classical cinema. As Powell & Pressburger state in their manifesto: “We hope you will come on in, the water’s fine.”

curators Ewa Reeves and Nigel Arthur

The exhibition will be held at Kino Iluzjon from 7 April till 31 May 2024.

Opening: 6 PM, April 7, 2024

After the opening we invite you to a 7 PM screening of the film One of Our Aircraft is Missing (Michael Powell, Emeric Pressburger, UK 1942) from an archival 35mm print at Kino Iluzjon.

About Fred Daniels

Fred Daniels was very gifted technically, and his portraits are the work of one of the most underrated portrait photographers of his generation. Daniels first collaborated with Powell & Pressburger during the filming of 49th Parallel at Denham Studios (1941). This was followed by special assignments on Powell & Pressburger films, including: One of Our Aircraft is Missing (1942), The Life and Death of Colonel Blimp (1943), A Canterbury Tale (1944), I Know Where I’m Going! (1945), A Matter of Life and Death (1946), Black Narcissus (1947), Gone to Earth (1950) and The Elusive Pimpernel (1950). Working with The Archers he photographed most of their leading actors. Using lamps and spotlights in the studio to create the right level of light on the sitter’s face, his work showed a talent for understanding character and temperament. As examples of British “glamour” in the context of publicity stills, his portraits might constitute a starting point for further research and discussion on the reception of British cinema in general.

Daniels was a freelance photographer and he retained the copyrights and the negatives. This practice was unique within the film industry, as most photographers were under contract to specific studios; it enabled Daniels to move freely within the film industry and choose assignments that interested him. Remaining independent all his life, Daniels’ portraits are the result of his experiments with light and human character, conducted in his studio at 17 Coventry Street, established next to the Trocadero in the heart of London despite the outbreak of war. There he received actors, musicians, establishment figures, members of the capital’s gay community – in general, people from many different backgrounds. Daniels became an extremely in-demand photographer. One of his assistants was the mischievous and witty gay photographer Billie Love, who also worked on her own account as a photographer under the pseudonym Amanda, and while Daniels was away she and her friends used the studio for some spectacular parties! Daniels did not mind: after all he mingled with a creative and unruly set himself. Though stylish in appearance and classic in nature, on closer examination his photographs also reveal a hidden joke, a mystery, a mockery perhaps. And for that matter they also convey the timeless notion of pure pleasure in performing art from the heart!

About Powell & Pressburger

Michael Powell & Emeric Pressburger were two imaginative filmmakers whose creative and flamboyant partnership is unsurpassed in the history of cinema. Their genius has inspired Martin Scorsese and many others in all the various aspects of film, including cinematography, music and art direction. Though supported by Alexander Korda and J. Arthur Rank, they were independent producers who created their own production company, The Archers, in January 1942. A unique duo who inspired each other over several decades – although The Tales of Hoffmann (1951) would mark a turning point in their collaboration – they described their partnership as being akin to a good marriage: tense and complementary at the same time.

Their films are timeless gems with hidden tropes and ideas, full of art elements that Powell adopted as his lifetime motto “For all art is one and your art chooses you, not you the art” – which originated from a Kipling text. Every aspect of filmmaking was important to them and they particularly admired the work of stills photographer Fred Daniels.

exhibition co-orginised with


April 7 – May 31, 2024


during cinema opening hours


Kino Iluzjon


April 7, 2024


6:00 PM


Kino Iluzjon



Timeless Photos: Fred Daniels. An Exhibition of Portrait Photographs by the Collaborator of Michael Powell & Emeric Pressburger






Ewa Reeves, Nigel Arthur








Fred Daniels Estate