IMDb > Prospero's Books (1991)
Prospero's Books
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Prospero's Books (1991) More at IMDbPro »

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Overview

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6.9/10   4,700 votes »
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Down 18% in popularity this week. See why on IMDbPro.
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View company contact information for Prospero's Books on IMDbPro.
Release Date:
30 August 1991 (UK) See more »
Genre:
Tagline:
A magician's spell, the innocence of young love and a dream of revenge unite to create a tempest.
Plot:
An exiled magician finds an opportunity for revenge against his enemies muted when his daughter and... See more » | Add synopsis »
Awards:
Nominated for BAFTA Film Award. Another 3 wins & 2 nominations See more »
NewsDesk:
(20 articles)
Scala Beyond: new season urges cinephiles to show films their way
 (From The Guardian - Film News. 26 June 2012, 4:31 AM, PDT)

Erland Josephson, 1923 - 2012
 (From MUBI. 29 February 2012, 1:31 AM, PST)

The Tempest – review
 (From The Guardian - Film News. 5 March 2011, 4:04 PM, PST)

User Reviews:
A Masterful Film about the Limits of Film See more (79 total) »

Cast

  (in credits order) (verified as complete)

Directed by
Peter Greenaway 
 
Writing credits
William Shakespeare (play "The Tempest")

Peter Greenaway 

Produced by
Philippe Carcassonne .... co-producer
Masato Hara .... associate producer
Kees Kasander .... executive producer
Kees Kasander .... producer
Michel Seydoux .... co-producer
Denis Wigman .... executive producer
Roland Wigman .... associate producer
 
Original Music by
Michael Nyman 
 
Cinematography by
Sacha Vierny 
 
Film Editing by
Marina Bodbijl 
 
Production Design by
Ben van Os 
Jan Roelfs 
 
Costume Design by
Ellen Lens 
 
Makeup Department
Mariël Hoevenaars .... assistant makeup artist
 
Production Management
Karin Van Der Werff .... production manager
 
Art Department
Rob Duiker .... carpenter
John Rawsthorn .... painter
Jorien Sont .... props maker
Floris Vos .... propmaker
Ben Zuydwijk .... painter
Peter Greenaway .... sculptor: Prospero's books (uncredited)
Todd Van Hulzen .... scenic artist (uncredited)
 
Sound Department
Mike Dowson .... sound re-recording mixer
Mathew Knights .... sound editor
Garth Marshall .... production sound
Chris Wyatt .... sound editor
 
Camera and Electrical Department
Nico Komen .... best boy
Chris Renson .... camera operator
Reinier van Brummelen .... gaffer
 
Costume and Wardrobe Department
Ellen Lens .... costume designer: Prospero's creatures
Debbie Luiten .... wardrobe assistant
Cyntia Roosberg .... wardrobe assistant
Dien van Straalen .... wardrobe mistress
Emi Wada .... costume designer: Prospero's cloak
 
Music Department
Tim Amhurst .... musician: double bass
Graham Ashton .... musician: trumpet
Alexander Balanescu .... musician: violin
Nigel Barr .... musician: bass trombone
Jonathan Carney .... musician: violin
Richard Clews .... musician: horn
Clare Conners .... musician: violin
David Cunningham .... music producer
Marjorie Dunn .... musician: horn
Martin Elliott .... musician: bass guitar
Andrew Findon .... musician: tenor/baritone saxophone, piccolo and flute
John Harle .... musician: soprano and alto saxophone
Tony Hinnigan .... musician: cello
Lynda Houghton .... musician: double bass
Sarah Leonard .... musician: Soprano solo
Paul Morgan .... musician: double bass
Kate Musker .... musician: viola
Michael Nyman .... musical director
Michael Nyman .... musician: piano
Justin Pearson .... musician: cello
David Rix .... musician: clarinet and bass clarinet
Steve Saunders .... musician: bass trombone
Jamie Talbot .... musician: soprano and alto saxophone
 
Other crew
Michael Clark .... choreographer: Caliban
Milfid Ellis .... coach: actors
Jacques Janssen .... Milanese hats
Han Ing Lim .... book designer
Caitlin Maynard .... production assistant
Maggie McMahon .... Milanese ruffs
Roger Phillips .... end titles
Eve Ramboz .... infography
Kayo Sakurai .... assistant: Emi Wada
Karine Saporta .... choreographer
Trix van Alphen .... publicist
 

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Additional Details

Also Known As:
MPAA:
Rated R for pervasive nudity
Runtime:
124 min | 129 min
Country:
Language:
Color:
Aspect Ratio:
1.78 : 1 See more »
Sound Mix:
Company:

Did You Know?

Trivia:
The idea of Prospero's library including 24 books was based on the famous saying by Jean-Luc Godard that "cinema is truth 24 times a second".See more »
Movie Connections:

FAQ

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40 out of 58 people found the following review useful.
A Masterful Film about the Limits of Film, 30 April 2000
Author: tedg (tedg@FilmsFolded.com) from Virginia Beach

I'm attracted to competence, and especially when the vision is unusual and moving. But I love self-referential art, in this case a movie that includes as part (in fact the center) of its message some perspective on what the movie is all about.

This film is one of my most valued experiences, and here, I'll just write about the self-reference. For this, you have to know the context of the play itself. `The Tempest' was written at the end of Shakespeare's career. Earlier, he had composed some of the richest drama that may ever be created. In so doing, the technique -- at least in the great plays -- was to grapple with great forces and ideas and project then into stories. The theatric convention of the days was one of sparse presentation: few props, sets, costumes.

But towards the end of Shakespeare's life, the conventions changed. Ben Jonson and Inigo Jones had introduced the notion of lush, magical special effects, and even popularized productions that consisted of nothing at all but the effects themselves. Shakespeare's prior efforts were deep structures which use the sparse conventions of the theater, without undue obfuscation from those. But here he was asked to produce, even compete, using techniques whose very nature is to distract. So he wrote a play ABOUT visual effects that obfuscate and manipulate, while USING visual effects to the same end.

But there's a deeper irony. Some think Prospero was modeled after John Dee, but this is likely not so, Instead the model was Magus Thomas Harriot who actually did visit the New World and report strange happenings. (In the winter of 1585, he wintered with Algonquian priests probably on, certainly near the land I'm writing from.) Harriot was the age's greatest scientist, but we hardly know him because he never wrote any books as he was under constant examination for heresy. There's lots to his story, all which Shakespeare would have known and partly lived, and the notion of Prospero's Books would have been especially rich at the time of writing.

Cinema is a medium which is all effects, nothing but illusion, and thus is nearly impossible to use as a lens for true visions of the world. So here we have Greenaway's film in which illusion is the point of the immensely clever theatric notion of Prospero's Books. The books are both the illusions and the distorted lens, and turned here into a means to make a film purely about what it means to be a film, and to do so with specific reference to Shakespeare's structure about the similar problem in the effect-laden theater. Moreover, Shakespeare's reference is to Harriot's earlier, similar conundrum between the motions of the great world and the imperfect lens of logic that is required to capture some image of those laws in books.

It's all so well conceived. I'll let others comment on the execution, which seems masterful to me. This film will live very long, and you will be less impoverished by seeing/experiencing it.

Was the above review useful to you?
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