A commissioned project, made for TV in honor the the 200th anniversary of Mozart's death, this is a highly avant-garde piece of music, theater and dance, set to an original score by the ... See full summary »

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Cast

Complete credited cast:
Astrid Seriese ...
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Ben Craft ...
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Kate Gowar ...
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Karin Potisk ...
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Storyline

A commissioned project, made for TV in honor the the 200th anniversary of Mozart's death, this is a highly avant-garde piece of music, theater and dance, set to an original score by the controversial Dutch composer Louis Andriessen (who would later collaborate with Greenaway on the operas "Rosa" and "Writing to Vermeer"). Four nude, powder-white dancers (representing the Gods) appear on a stage designed in the style of an 18th century anatomy theater. A woman sings a list of objects beginning with various letters of the alphabet up to "M"; the Gods then decide to create Man, assembling him from body parts listed as onscreen text. Having created Man, the Gods then give him Movement; so as to give him a reason to move, they create Music; finally, so as to have Perfect Music, they create Mozart. Written by Josh Martin

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gods | mozart | text | dance | surrealism | See All (12) »

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Release Date:

3 November 1991 (UK)  »

Also Known As:

Not Mozart  »

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1.33 : 1
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User Reviews

Greenaway Delegated
29 July 2000 | by (Virginia Beach) – See all my reviews

What a man! He rewards in so many different ways. Here is one of them.

The thing that attracts me about him is his remarkably abstruse references to arcane organizing principles which are fleshed out by reference to external ideas and images. But in order to appreciate these films, you need to do your homework.

`Prospero's Books' is an example of this. It is what makes him important, but it also drives viewers away, including a significant percentage of those who pay admission.

This work is something different all together. It is all there. You just have to sit back and enjoy. Nothing profound or erudite here, just pure pleasure.

The formula seems to be to delegate large parts of the artistic endeavor, and stitch them together with a mastery of visual presentation. The music is wonderfully, accessibly composed and performed, not as his normal collaborator Nyman would have it. But the dance! Lovely. That's the core, turning this over to people who are among the best in their fields. The three dancers (all nude) evoke forces way beyond the erotic.

The filming is only superficially experimental, using Greenaway's by now trademarked overlay technique. But it is ALL in overlay so there is no simultaneous sorting out of annotative images. It is filmed for video, so the color and screen ratio don't offend in that medium. Moreover, he has apparently carefully flattened the perspective for little TeeVee screens, and the choreography exploits this trick.

The title is a puzzle. The box says `Not Mozart,' The tape says `M is for Man, Music, Mozart.' But the movements are 4: Man, Movement, Music and Mozart, and there is really no Mozart in the film. It would be characteristic of Greenaway to make a point about the empty filigree of his music compared to say the real substance of Chopin. (The Music section has listeners holding their noses while Man "learns.") But that's just speculation. The video seemed about an hour long.

It is not important (read difficult) Greenaway. But if you like dance, you'll love this little work.


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