Peter Greenaway

Peter Greenaway – Prospero’s Books (1991)

Quote:
Peter Greenaway’s “Prospero’s Books” is not a movie in the sense that we usually employ the word. It’s an experiment in form and content. It is likely to bore most audiences, but will enchant others — especially those able to free themselves from the notion that movies must tell stories. This film should be approached like a record album or an art book. Each “page” is there to be studied in its complexity and richness, while on the soundtrack we hear one of the great voices in theater history, John Gielgud’s. Read More »

Peter Greenaway – The Death of a Composer: Rosa, a Horse Drama (1999)

IMDB Summary:
This is a TV adaptation of a 1993 opera entitled “Rosa,” with a libretto by Greenaway and score by Louis Andriessen. “Rosa” is the first in a projected series of 10 operas, each dealing with the death of a famous composer – some real (Anton Webern, Jean-Baptiste Lully, John Lennon), others fictional. “Rosa” falls into the latter category; it tells the story of Juan Manuel de Rosa, a Brazilian who went to study music in America but spent most of his time in the cinema instead, becoming particularly entranced by Westerns. Now 32 years old and residing in an abandoned Uraguayan slaughterhouse, Rosa has become one of Hollywood’s foremost composers, specializing in (what else?) Westerns. He also has a beautiful 19-year-old fiancee, Esmeralda, but he pays her little heed, instead lavishing his attentions on a black mare named Bola. One day, a group of men attired as cowboys arrive at the abattoir and kill both Rosa and Bola; an investigation is conducted, with particular suspicion! Read More »

Peter Greenaway – 8 ½ Women (1999)

Quote:
ontinuing his pattern of alternating critically praised arthouse projects with alienating personal studies, the controversial Peter Greenaway followed his unexpectedly popular The Pillow Book with 8½ Women, a playful and thoroughly obscure compendium of art history fetishism, film history, and globe-hopping comic debauchery. The results pleased few, but Greenaway fanatics will find it more rewarding than newcomers despite its glaring flaws. Read More »

Peter Greenaway – Eisenstein in Guanajuato (2015)

Quote:
In 1931 the Soviet director Sergei Eisenstein travels to Guanajuato to direct his film Que viva México. There he encounters a new culture and its dealings with death; he also discovers another revolution – and his own body. Peter Greenaway depicts Eisenstein as an eccentric artist who travels to Mexico filled with the hubris of being an internationally celebrated star director. Once there, he gets into difficulties with his American financier, the novelist Upton Sinclair. At the same time he begins, in the simultaneously joyful and threatening foreign land, to re-evaluate his homeland and the Stalinist regime. And, in doing so, he undergoes the transition from a conceptual filmmaker into an artist fascinated by the human condition. Under his gaze, the signs, impressions, religious and pagan symbols of Mexican culture assemble themselves anew. Read More »

Peter Greenaway – The Cook, the Thief, His Wife & Her Lover (1989)

Quote:
The wife of a barbaric crime boss engages in a secretive romance with a gentle bookseller between meals at her husband’s restaurant. Food, colour coding, sex, murder, torture and cannibalism are the exotic fare in this beautifully filmed but brutally uncompromising modern fable which has been interpreted as an allegory for Thatcherism. Read More »

Peter Greenaway – The Draughtsman’s Contract (1982)

Quote:
Mr. Neville, a cocksure young artist is contracted by Mrs. Herbert, the wife of a wealthy landowner, to produce a set of twelve drawings of her husband’s estate, a contract which extends much further than either the purse or the sketchpad. The sketches themselves prove of an even greater significance than supposed upon the discovery of the body of Mr. Herbert. Read More »

Peter Greenaway – The Belly of an Architect (1987)

Quote:
STOURLEY KRACKLITE (Brian Dennehy), the central figure in Peter Greenaway’s ”Belly of an Architect,” is at one point seen reflected in the central panel of a triptych mirror in his Rome apartment, wearing a blood-red robe and flanked by multiple Xerox copies of classically sculpted abdomens, copies he has made from photographs of Roman statuary. It’s a perfect moment, or at least the kind of perfect moment Mr. Greenaway favors: orderly, symmetrical and obscure, offering great compositional beauty but no compelling reason why its riddles require solution. Read More »