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 »
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
I have resisted Greenaway's insistence on nudity for his performers almost from the beginning but he was right and I was wrong, because I was thinking in stage terms and he in visual-art terms. I misunderstood Helen Mirren exposing her amazing breasts in The Fook, Juliette Stevenson her steel-spring body in Drowning by Numbers, Joan Plowright's refusal to bare all in the same film, John Gielgud's courageous self-exposure in Propero's Books. When one performs for Greenaway, one crosses a threshold, one leaves the stage and enters the frame. I still do not know if he is a great artist but my opinion is irrelevant, he is a necessary one for our time. I salute him.
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