Peter Greenaway’s familiar mannerisms are present in this new film: it unceasingly bombards you with images and ideas. There are the trademark rectilinear compositions, madly overcooked monologues and hammy acting, faces in closeup lit from below, reflections of Hockneyesque rippling water, an interest in architecture that Greenaway here complicates with woozily bending wide angles and Escher-type illusions: all unfolding on a single, unvarying rhetorical note.
Sometimes it’s insufferable but sometimes intriguing. It also has passion. Because there’s something else here, something very explicit and erotic. This is a speculation based on Sergei Eisenstein’s trip to Mexico in 1930 to work on a film project (ultimately doomed) called ¡Que Viva Mexico!, which was going to depict the history of Mexico leading up to the 1910 revolution. Greenaway