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Michael Powell, innovative film director

Michael Powell, innovative director of The Life and Death of Colonel Blimp, The Red Shoes, and 30 other films, has died at age 84. Mr. Powell, who became ill two weeks ago in New York, died Monday night at his home in Avening in Gloucestershire, the National Film Archive said Tuesday.

"Of his generation, he was unquestionably the most innovative and most creatively brilliant filmmaker this country ever boasted," said fellow director Sir Richard Attenborough. "He broke new ground and set standards of quality which almost no other filmmaker ever did and he will be deeply, deeply missed."

Mr. Powell and screenwriter Emeric Pressburger, who died in 1988, formed one of the most creative partnerships in British cinema.

Their first movie was Spy in Black in 1938, devised for the German actor Conrad Veidt. It was titled U-Boat 29 in the United States.

49th Parallel, starring Laurence Olivier, followed in 1940. Titled The Original Story of the Invaders in the United States, it won an Academy Award for best original story (by Pressburger) and was nominated for best picture and best script.

Pressburger and Mr. Powell formed the Archers Film Producing Co. in 1942. The team took joint credits for producing, directing and script, but Mr. Powell was largely responsible for directing.

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