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 »
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 »
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 ... See full summary »
A short film which has its emphasis on back street walls with peeling posters and the constant pedestrian traffic in the foreground. It has a static camera positioned in front of the walls;... 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 »
A narrator relates a variety of peculiar stories involving characters with the initials HC and their dealings with telephones. These are interspersed with artistic shots of telephone boxes ... 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 »
The sound of running water is soothing to me. Listening to running taps & flowing pipes while snuggled up in bed warm at night is a key childhood memory, likewise the pitter patter of rain on the shingles above. So imagine the delight at spending a full half-hour reveling in the best spot in the house- the john! (or worst depending on your priorities). Now I don't think I could review a full length Greenaway movie, too dense for my limited capacities (just a few minutes from any of his will probably overload virgin viewers) but this seems just perfect for amateur eyes.
The imagery is just as ornate in this bite sized serving, focused entirely on a beautiful array of bathrooms, alphabetically classified (of course) with the a neoclassical score buzzing away in the background, overlaid with the ponderings of inhabitants who are often in a state of undress, the same Greenaway humor too (though gentler).
I was surprised that one scene even featured a child washing himself in the background, even though this is Greenaway & frankness about the human body, uninhibited by media hierarchization is part & parcel. PROSPERO'S BOOKS exploited that to the fullest and its one of the most joyous productions I've ever had the pleasure to ogle. The mother washing her infant at the start is such a simple, unguarded moment- it was beautiful in a way that has nothing to do with glamour or sexiness or any of the stuff we now seem to exclusively associate with the word. The lady here was even addressing the danger in looking at the human body in just sexy terms. I find it hard to reconcile Greenaway physicality with the mainstream version you see around you, the airbrushed symmetrical perfection and plastic rigidity that's very contrived & inhuman but no less immersive. It's a very different POV.
But this works wonderfully- the nudity, the cultivated vulnerability, catching people brushing their teeth or peeing or shaving, stripping off the vague shame associated with the facility & letting it all hang out, so to speak. That it comes out in this precise, clipped English pronunciation makes it even better.
Its light & frothy without sacrificing those core directorial flourishes.
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