Tongue-in-cheek, early Greenaway short reflects the incredibly meticulous encyclopedic nature of his early films. An attempt is made to "reconstruct" a proposed, but never made, film ...
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The planet has been affected by a mysterious occurrence known as the Violent Unknown Event, or V.U.E. It has caused immortality and disability. Victims have learned new and peculiar ... See full summary »
An anonymous narrator outlines a bizarre journey taken through "H", aided by a series of extraordinary maps, and his previous dealings with the mysterious Tulse Luper and the keeper of the ... See full summary »
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 ... See full summary »
An exiled magician finds an opportunity for revenge against his enemies muted when his daughter and the son of his chief enemy fall in love in this uniquely structured retelling of the 'The... See full summary »
Oliver Deuce, a successful doctor, is shattered when his wife is killed in a freak car accident involving the car being driven by Alba Bewick colliding with a very large rare bird. His twin... See full summary »
The first of three parts, we follow Tulse Luper in three distinct episodes: as a child during the first World War, as an explorer in Mormon Utah, and as a writer in Belgium during the rise ... See full summary »
Raymond J. Barry,
An American architect arrives in Italy, supervising an exhibition for a French architect, Boullée, who is famous for his oval structures. Through the course of 9 months he becomes obsessed ... See full summary »
Tired of her husband's philanderous ways, the mother of two daughters drowns her husband. With the reluctant help of the local coroner, the murder is obscured. Her daughters are having ... See full summary »
Hypnotic photography of swirling rivers and misty ponds and droning music (not Michael Nyman for a change) form the backdrop to a documentary-style narration about the history of a ... See full summary »
Tongue-in-cheek, early Greenaway short reflects the incredibly meticulous encyclopedic nature of his early films. An attempt is made to "reconstruct" a proposed, but never made, film according to some reasonably vague directions. The attempt is made over and over because of conflicting interpretations of the instructions. Written by
Mark Toscano <firstname.lastname@example.org>
"The Institute of Restoration and Reclamation would like to acknowledge the assistance of Donald Lazenby, Cedric Pheasant and Ian MacMorrin in the making of this film". Continuing the film, an imaginary organization thanks imaginary people. See more »
A wilfully experimental mockumentary from Peter Greenaway
Vertical Features Remake takes the form of a mockumentary and is made up primarily by four films made by four academics from the raw footage of an incomplete film made by an elusive character called Tulse Luper. The material takes the form of static filmed images of a variety of vertical features, both natural and man-made, such as posts and trees etc. The images are organised into eleven sections of eleven shots, resulting in one hundred and twenty one images of vertical features per film. While each version shows the same number of images, they differ in specific rules for how long a shot is held and have differing minimalistic music accompanying them.
With this film, film-maker Peter Greenaway was poking fun at structuralist film theory, which seemingly was discussed frequently at the time by film academics. The basic idea behind this theory is that films convey meaning in a similar way that languages do. They achieve this by combining edited shots together to communicate ideas. While an individual shot would not express the full idea, a specific combination of images would. Greenaway had some disdain for this theory for some reason and in this film he has academics over-analysing things and coming up with different versions of films, the results of which are absurd but strangely fascinating. The differing editing rules and music used do make a difference to the effect, which is interesting in itself. The imagery is committedly mundane, yet decidedly odd when presented in this manner. Minimalist composers, Michael Nyman and Brian Eno provide the music which does seem somewhat apt for this experimental project. I guess it would all be a bit dry without the wraparound mockumentary about the genesis of the films themselves and their creators. The central character in all this, Tulse Luper, was to become a recurring character in Greenaway's future filmography and would feature extensively in his next, more ambitious and quite epic avant-garde outing, The Falls (1980). Vertical Features Remake is certainly a very left-field bit of cinema that's only going to appeal to more adventurous film-viewers but it's one that has a pleasing lightness of touch in its experiments and consequently makes for a very enjoyably eccentric detour.
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