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Thread: Peter Greenaway

  1. #21
    Senior Member Country: England
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    I'm looking forward to his next Korean film in Welsh.

  2. #22
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    I too love Prosperos Books, it's truly magical.

    The camera (Sacha Vierny,"Last year at Marienbad") is stunning.



    I am writing my diploma about "Prospero's Books" and "The Tempest" by Derek Jarman, they are totally different, but have some connections in the background.

    (Derek Jarman asked John Gielgud in 1979 to play his Prospero in the beginning, but Gielgud refused, and it is said that the primary idea of Prospero speaking all the lines of the play came from Derek Jarman firstly...though Peter Greenaway claimed that he has never seen Jarman's "The Tempest", there are some visual correlations)



    I recommend a double feature of these two

    (only because if you like Shakespeares "Tempest", of course:_), it's really interesting.)

  3. #23
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    Drowning by Numbers is a magical film, and always takes me back to my late teens, when I was beginning to take the movies more seriously. Greenaway here reminds us of the artifice of film, of the 'myth of realism', by placing, literally, the numbers 1 to 100, in one form or another on the screen, at various intervals throughout. They're not always easy to spot. Such a visual game, though (which is actually quite fun to play), doesn't detract from this strangely touching tale.



    Time Out Film Guide:



    Obsessed with obscure English folk games and father to corpse-collecting Smut, coroner Madgett becomes involved with three generations of women all named Cissie Colpitts. Unsurprisingly, his amorously optimistic agreement to keep mum about the aquatic deaths of their husbands lands him in deep water. Greenaway returns to the playful punning, ludicrous lists, and quizzical conundrums of his earlier work: opening with a girl counting a hundred stars, the 'plot' then proceeds with those same numbers appearing either in the dialogue or in suitably bizarre images. Equally teasing is the film's complex web of absurdly interlocking allusions to games, sex and mortality: famous last words, Samson and Delilah, Breughel, circumcision, etc. Elegantly scored and luminously shot, it's a modernist black comedy filled with arcane, archaic and apocryphal lore, and hugely enjoyable.




  4. #24
    Senior Member Country: Scotland narabdela's Avatar
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    I'm all for a bit of gratuitous nudity, but I think Greenaway's use of it borders on the prurient.

  5. #25
    Senior Member moonfleet's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by pod1969
    Drowning by Numbers is a magical film, and always takes me back to my late teens, when I was beginning to take the movies more seriously. Greenaway here reminds us of the artifice of film, of the 'myth of realism', by placing, literally, the numbers 1 to 100, in one form or another on the screen, at various intervals throughout. They're not always easy to spot. Such a visual game, though (which is actually quite fun to play), doesn't detract from this strangely touching tale.



    Time Out Film Guide:



    Obsessed with obscure English folk games and father to corpse-collecting Smut, coroner Madgett becomes involved with three generations of women all named Cissie Colpitts. Unsurprisingly, his amorously optimistic agreement to keep mum about the aquatic deaths of their husbands lands him in deep water. Greenaway returns to the playful punning, ludicrous lists, and quizzical conundrums of his earlier work: opening with a girl counting a hundred stars, the 'plot' then proceeds with those same numbers appearing either in the dialogue or in suitably bizarre images. Equally teasing is the film's complex web of absurdly interlocking allusions to games, sex and mortality: famous last words, Samson and Delilah, Breughel, circumcision, etc. Elegantly scored and luminously shot, it's a modernist black comedy filled with arcane, archaic and apocryphal lore, and hugely enjoyable.



    Drowning by Numbers is my Greenaway's favourite (....even if I haven't seen all his movies) !!!



    To say it short, a mix of Fellinian Englishness ( also you can say Greenaway is a "sensual" director ) . . . .....very humourus too !! With a Black Comedy pitch....



    Moon. (n� 97)

  6. #26
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    Have you seen A TV Dante (1989) and Darwin (1993)? I finally got hold of copies. Enjoyed them even more than the first time round.

  7. #27
    Senior Member moonfleet's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by pod1969
    Have you seen A TV Dante (1989) and Darwin (1993)? I finally got hold of copies. Enjoyed them even more than the first time round.
    Later :. . . ..... : No, I haven't.



    Moon.

  8. #28
    Member Country: UK Afterglow2001's Avatar
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    "I don't what it is about Peter Greenaway that makes my flesh crawl, perhaps it's his utter contempt for human life"

    Ken Russell




    I do find Greenaway far too cold and cyncial for my tastes. He also gives the impression of being obsessed with his own brilliance at the cost of never changing. I don't think he's pretentious though. As he says-what is he being pretentious about?

    I DID like parts of "Belly of an Architect" (1986) though , his most underrated film. Greenaway admitted, the lead actor Brian Dennehy talked him into replacing a lot of his more composed shots and artistic musings with shots of Dennehy acting. So we actually see his pain, as his marriage breaks down. Everyone else is still in a Greenaway film, acting amorally,sitting prettily and thowing fruit around but Dehenny actually comes across as a real person and the film works far more as a result. In Take 10 Greenaway talks about how he benefitted a lot from the experience, and will change his films as a result. I don't think it happened...



    Anyone seen Nightwatch with Martin Freeman as Rembrandt? now that did look as if it could work

  9. #29
    Senior Member moonfleet's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Afterglow2001
    "I don't what it is about Peter Greenaway that makes my flesh crawl, perhaps it's his utter contempt for human life"

    Ken Russell




    I do find Greenaway far too cold and cyncial for my tastes. He also gives the impression of being obsessed with his own brilliance at the cost of never changing. I don't think he's pretentious though. As he says-what is he being pretentious about?

    I DID like parts of "Belly of an Architect" (1986) though , his most underrated film. Greenaway admitted, the lead actor Brian Dennehy talked him into replacing a lot of his more composed shots and artistic musings with shots of Dennehy acting. So we actually see his pain, as his marriage breaks down. Everyone else is still in a Greenaway film, acting amorally,sitting prettily and thowing fruit around but Dehenny actually comes across as a real person and the film works far more as a result. In Take 10 Greenaway talks about how he benefitted a lot from the experience, and will change his films as a result. I don't think it happened...



    Anyone seen Nightwatch with Martin Freeman as Rembrandt? now that did look as if it could work
    To me, this "contempt" is a pose, I do like too The Belly Of An Architect, it's a "cynical" script, but the interpretation from B.Dennehy is very touching .....

    Also, I think that P.Greenaway is one of the last surrealist (just that !)



    Moon.

  10. #30
    Senior Member Country: Scotland julian_craster's Avatar
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    An interview with the great director......



    Peter Greenaway's pact with death | Film | The Guardian






  11. #31
    Senior Member Country: UK agutterfan's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by moonfleet View Post
    To me, this "contempt" is a pose, I do like too The Belly Of An Architect, it's a "cynical" script, but the interpretation from B.Dennehy is very touching .....

    Also, I think that P.Greenaway is one of the last surrealist (just that !) Moon.
    Greenaway has stated that cinema is to good to be wasted on just storytellers .... if he was Russian and working in the 20s he'd be hailed as a formalist and a genius of cinema, but because he is British and 'modern' he's denounced and accused of being pretentious, often by people who have NO concept of that word's meaning. It isn't shorthand for arty and complex, it means pretending or having aspirations to be something that it isn't. If you accept Greenaway isn't a storyteller but more interested in formal aspects of cinema, and ideas rather than emotions, he makes much more sense (though you may still not like him). As for his 'contempt' and pornography, he is interested in the human body simply as that, i.e. flesh/meat (I thought The Cook etc made that plain), in the way painters like Rubens and Rembrandt were, as well as paradoxically the site of both desire (eroticism) and disgust (toilet functions, decomposition after death), and how this distinction between how the body is viewed as either a nude or naked is constructed (amongh other artistic interests). Like the writer J G Ballard he often looks at people in a clinical way like a doctor of anatomy, and is less interested in psychology or character (though not motives, see The Draughtsman's Contract). Also, note his cineamtographer of choice, Sacha Vierney (Marienbad and Belle de Jour).

    Anyway, I thought members might be interested in this bit of news (just don't tell the Dirk Bogarde fans): http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/entertainment-arts-22567566

  12. #32
    Senior Member Country: Great Britain
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    Quote Originally Posted by agutterfan View Post
    Greenaway has stated that cinema is to good to be wasted on just storytellers .... if he was Russian and working in the 20s he'd be hailed as a formalist and a genius of cinema, but because he is British and 'modern' he's denounced and accused of being pretentious, often by people who have NO concept of that word's meaning. It isn't shorthand for arty and complex, it means pretending or having aspirations to be something that it isn't. If you accept Greenaway isn't a storyteller but more interested in formal aspects of cinema, and ideas rather than emotions, he makes much more sense (though you may still not like him). As for his 'contempt' and pornography, he is interested in the human body simply as that, i.e. flesh/meat (I thought The Cook etc made that plain), in the way painters like Rubens and Rembrandt were, as well as paradoxically the site of both desire (eroticism) and disgust (toilet functions, decomposition after death), and how this distinction between how the body is viewed as either a nude or naked is constructed (amongh other artistic interests). Like the writer J G Ballard he often looks at people in a clinical way like a doctor of anatomy, and is less interested in psychology or character (though not motives, see The Draughtsman's Contract). Also, note his cineamtographer of choice, Sacha Vierney (Marienbad and Belle de Jour).
    Brilliant post! Absolutely spot on.

  13. #33
    Senior Member moonfleet's Avatar
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    I don't feel him as pretentious at all Yes he shows in his film his aspirations and influences, and it's a beautiful combination of visual and (too symbolic sometimes ?) meanings, locations, I don't agree to say he's a 'cold thinker', on the contrary, he is very 'sensual' ( in the XVIIIth century way IMO ), Rembrandt is sensual too... I put him close to David Cronenberg, for their photography film quality, the 'flesh' appeal link ( and its decomposition, as for fruits etc... ), and good stories

    Don't bother the bad english it's french-english.

      Spoiler:
    Last edited by moonfleet; 23-05-13 at 08:29 PM.

  14. #34
    Senior Member Country: UK agutterfan's Avatar
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    D'accord. I agree that he is very sensual (particualrly pictorially). In many ways he is more connected artistically to British Jacobean theatre, which dealt with physical and moral decay, as well as the cruelty of life, than to British film culture. I'd love to see him do The Changeling by Middleton & Rowley, or The Revenger's Tragedy by Middleton and/or Tourneur. Not surprisingly, Greenaway is one of the few modern directors for whom DVD is a boon, allowing the spectator to rewatch scenes with the emphasis on different aspects. Appreciation of The Belly of an Architect is also aided when one considers it as a modern parallel to the Rome of I Claudius (currently being reshown on BB4, thank you, auntie!), particularly Augustus and his wife Livia.

  15. #35
    Senior Member Country: Australia lllIIlllIIlllIIl's Avatar
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    So has anything of his recent stuff reached English screens?

    The last thing shown at the cinemas here was his Pillow Book seven years ago.

  16. #36
    Senior Member Country: England noglea's Avatar
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    Goltzius and the Pelican Company is going to be released later this year by the BFI according to a recent letter in Sight and Sound.

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