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  1. #1
    Senior Member Country: UK didi-5's Avatar
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    I recently rewatched this - I hadn't seen it since its original cinema release going on for twenty years ago.



    A Peter Greenaway film, it is a peculiar but brilliant version of Shakespeare's 'The Tempest', with a cast headed by John Gielgud, and featuring Isabelle Pasco (Miranda), Mark Rylance (Ferdinand), and dancer Michael Clark (Caliban).



    I just wondered if anyone else rates this film - which I imagine is very much a 'love it or hate it' - as a standalone film or a Shakespeare film. The primitive special effects and HD filming in nearly every frame means there is a lot going on. A bit overpowering for a small screen. (Not to mention there's rather a lot of nudity; it isn't a film for the kids).



    Never been available on DVD as far as I know, only VHS, and I don't recall it appearing on TV (although someone can probably confirm this!).

  2. #2
    Senior Member Country: Scotland narabdela's Avatar
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    It is available on DVD, if you're feeling flush.



    [ame=http://www.amazon.co.uk/Golden-Calf-Winners-1991-Prosperos/dp/B0015FNH3Q/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&s=dvd&qid=1258637615&sr=1-1]Golden Calf Winners 1991 - 1995 5 DVD Box Set Prospero's Books,Kyodai Makes the Big Time,Zakmes, Het,1000 Rosen,Zusje: Amazon.co.uk: Peter Greenaway, John Gielgud, Michel Blanc: DVD[/ame]

  3. #3
    Super Moderator Country: UK christoph404's Avatar
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    Im one of those who fall into the camp of "hate it". In fact I loathe Peter Greenaway films, I find them pretentious and un-watchable, I've tried to see one through to the end but can never endure more than 15 minutes!! I even found the "Draughtsman's Contract" tedious and pretentious, it didn't do much for the career of Anthony Higgins either. What am I missing? Possibly nowt as there are many who share my view including Alan Parker who in the past has publicly lambasted Greenaway for giving the Brit film industry a bad name!!

  4. #4
    Super Moderator Country: UK batman's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by christoph404
    Im one of those who fall into the camp of "hate it".
    I am with you on this one Chris ... a truly awful film and possibly the worst Shakey adaptation ever IMHO.



    I only like one Greenaway film, Belly of an Architect, and that's solely because it contains a stunning performance by Brian Dennehy.




  5. #5
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    I wouldn't say it is the worst adaption by long chalk, but I do find it of interest.



    The Cook, the Thief, His Wife & Her Lover is the only flick I'd own of Mr. Greenaway. I believe there'll be a lot of vitriol about that one too, but I view it as a black comedy.

  6. #6
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    With the possible exception of the two Henry V's....each has fine moments, each has flaws....this is IMHO the greatest Shakespeare adaptation on film. Gielgud is majestic, the art design phenomenal, the music spinetingling, the film both Gielgud and Greenaway were born to make. Magical and hallucinatory, as The Tempest should be. And the climactic valedictory speech from Gielgud/Prospero/Shakespeare has never had more depth of meaning.......noy a Greenaway fan either, btw, but this one he got absolutely right.

  7. #7
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    I admire this film hugely... At the time it seemed revolutionary, but now is a little dated. Still great Gielgud performance.

  8. #8
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    Quote Originally Posted by penfold
    With the possible exception of the two Henry V's....each has fine moments, each has flaws....this is IMHO the greatest Shakespeare adaptation on film. Gielgud is majestic, the art design phenomenal, the music spinetingling, the film both Gielgud and Greenaway were born to make. Magical and hallucinatory, as The Tempest should be. And the climactic valedictory speech from Gielgud/Prospero/Shakespeare has never had more depth of meaning.......noy a Greenaway fan either, btw, but this one he got absolutely right.
    Or stagey, campy and pretentious.??



    I first encountered Greenaway when Channel 4 opened and highlighted "The Draughtsman's Contract". I was fascinated and spellbound. The sets, the visual structure and the minmal acting (replaced in later years by continual spouting of words, lists and monolugues).



    The music of Michael Nyman has been a core and foundation to many of Greenaway's films. So much so that I would think that Nyman is now a "bigger" name and catch than Greenaway himself.



    Where did he move onto? Nowhere that didn't include diversions, usually of nudity, usually of actors with celebrity from Frances Barber to Joely Richardson and Juliet Stevenson; from Helen Mirren to Julia Ormond to John Gelguid and John Standing.



    Why ?



    Because of his cache, because of the money ? Hardly because of the scripts because they are basically lists. And all that is required of the actor is to be in some over dressed set reciting lists. Preferably naked.



    Greenaway has never developed imo. A kind of psuedo intellectual Harrison Marks.

    And just as meaningless and pointless.

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