10 essential Greenaway films

Discussion in 'Art & Culture' started by Magical Realist, Mar 13, 2016.

  1. Magical Realist Valued Senior Member

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    "To properly acquaint oneself with the work of English auteur Peter Greenaway is to become a student of the neo-baroque, postmodernism, art history, and religious allegory. Trained as a painter, Greenaway’s passion for the films of Bergman, Fellini, Godard, Pasolini, and Resnais led him to begin a career in experimental film in the early 1960’s. His first film, The Death of Sentiment (1965) was a pastiche of several elements that he would later explore throughout his oeuvre: architecture, religion, death and words as images.

    Few filmmakers have spoken as extensively on their work or submitted to so much academic analysis as Greenaway; throughout his discussions of his own work runs a thread of dissatisfaction with cinema. People today, Greenaway opines, suffer from visual illiteracy.

    To paraphrase his many lectures, interviews and discussions: we live in a text-based world, an “age of the screen” in which cinema is the illustration of text rather than a method of autonomous creation. To best understand Greenaway’s films (and especially the “essential” ones that follow), we first have to understand his position as a skeptic of the boundaries of cinema and his disenchantment and subsequent aberration with the conventions of the medium..."

    Read more: http://www.tasteofcinema.com/2014/1...enaway-films-you-need-to-watch/#ixzz42pW0zdkU
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    I've been a fan of Greenaway ever since I was shocked by his study in post-monarchal brutality back in 2001 titled: "The Cook, the Thief, his Wife, and her Lover". Every foray into Greenaway land is to find oneself simultaneously assaulted and seduced by a wildly inventive bricolage of the sacred and the perverse. You feel you are watching the visual deconstruction of Western values and the restoration of cinema as a pure artform all at once. I've seen 8 of Greenaway's films. Remember thru all of these films Greenaway's underlying theme of non-narrative forms of meaning. Of the semantic of a new optical language. It may actually help you get thru most of them!

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    Last edited: Mar 13, 2016
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  3. exchemist Valued Senior Member

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    I can't stand Greenaway's films. Nasty whiffs of degeneracy and violence. I always get the feeling he's the sort of homosexual who enjoys getting his penis nailed to a board, or something. Ugh.
     
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  5. Magical Realist Valued Senior Member

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    How many have you seen? I wouldn't suggest starting off with The Baby Macon. Start with something light...like Drowning by Numbers or The Pillow Book.
     
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  7. Sarkus Hippomonstrosesquippedalo phobe Valued Senior Member

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    Not a fan either. I have little interest in his subject matters, or in his style, and I have found his films far too demanding for such a casual viewer. That's not to say I wouldn't appreciate his film and his artistry if I was studying work, but appreciating and liking are two distinct things. I can appreciate the paintings of Van Gogh, da Vinci etc, but they're not something I would necessarily choose to hang on my wall or look at.

    I remember watching The Draughtsmans Contract a while ago and was rather bored by it, with Michael Nyman's music the best part about it. And it was clearly a longer film before the released version hit the screens. I can imagine that "directors cut" versions would be superior in almost every way, but still not my cup of tea.

    And since then I've only ever seen parts of his films, usually turning the television over onto something more bearable... or watching a recent coat of paint dry on my wall, whichever is around.

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  8. Magical Realist Valued Senior Member

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    What others have said about Peter Greenaway

    "There's something very honest I think about Peter's work and I think he's a very honest person. He's obviously very complex. He doesn't make films to make you cry or to make you feel sad because the dog died, or to make you feel excited because someone's in jeopardy, he absolutely does not make those sort of films. His films are very theatrical, they're very objective, they push the audience back. He has to push you away in order to present this extreme, surreal, poetic and excessive world." - Helen Mirren

    "He is a director, but not only a director. An artist, yes, but more than that. Above all he is a sulphurous creator of images with symbolic and visionary content, always suspended between dreams and reality, always reaching towards refined explorations into art, art that becomes science, and science that in turn becomes imagines. This is Peter Greenaway, the most versatile film-maker in Europe, a painter on celluloid, creator of cult feature films." - Susanna Legrenzi, IO DONNA

    "Peter Greenaway has the most inscrutable, brilliant and possibly deranged mind in modern cinema. Once you develop an interest in Greenaway, it cannot stop. The further you are lured in, the deeper and more hypnotic the abyss. You are being sucked - not into a movie, but into the British filmmaker's mind. If you're up for the intriguing, no-exit plunge, do it." - Desson Howe, Washington Post

    "As far as Greenaway is concerned, how could anyone not want to work with him? He is a fundamental part of international cinema. I first met him right before starting work on The Tulse Luper Suitcases last year. I only worked with him for a couple of days but it was an experience I will always treasure." - Franka Potente

    "We should admire Greenaway more than we do. Not only is he our best film director since Michael Powell, he is unique in World Cinema." - Chris Peachment, The Times

    "Mr. Greenaway is a genuine wit with a grand imagination... the irrepressible anthropologist of this mad, doomed world." - Vincent Canby, New York Times

    "What is it about Greenaway's films that makes the flesh crawl? I think it's his apparent loathing of the human race." - Ken Russell

    "I like Peter because he's got such a tremendous IQ, but, yes, he's a strange creature. Very strange." - Joan Plowright

    "You either love him, in other words, or you hate him. In either case, you do not understand him." - Roger Ebert, Chicago Sun-Times

    "It doesn't matter what the technology is - no one will watch a Peter Greenaway film anyway." - Alan Parker

    "If Gucci handbags were still in fashion Greenaway would carry his scripts in them." - Derek Jarman

    "Greenaway is a true original with an eccentric and bizarre sense of humour." - Derek Malcolm, The Guardian

    "Greenaway is a cultural omnivore who eats with his mouth open." - Pauline Kael

    http://petergreenaway.org.uk/quotes.htm
     
  9. exchemist Valued Senior Member

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    Some of these very good, esp. Ken Russell and Pauline Kael ones and maybe Desson Howe.

    And the prize for the stupidest comment goes, without question, to Jarman.
     
  10. PhysBang Valued Senior Member

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    I loved Prospero's Books; The Cook, The Thief, His Wife, and Her Lover; and The Pillow Book.
     
  11. exchemist Valued Senior Member

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    I hated the first so much that I walked out. I also hated the second. I did not make any effort to see the third.
     

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