The first of three parts, we follow Tulse Luper in three distinct episodes: as a child during the first World War, as an explorer in Mormon Utah, and as a writer in Belgium during the rise ... See full summary »
Tulse Luper is a 20th century everyman whose collection of 92 suitcases intersects with every person, event and movement in history. Here in the second of a three part story, we find him ... See full summary »
Raymond J. Barry,
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The first of three parts, we follow Tulse Luper in three distinct episodes: as a child during the first World War, as an explorer in Mormon Utah, and as a writer in Belgium during the rise of fascism. Packed with stylistic flourishes, it's a dense, comic study of 20th century history, revolving around the contents of one man's suitcases. Written by
The Moab Story is part 1 of a 3 part, 6 hour film tracing the life of the eponymous Tulse Luper and, for reasons not yet clear, the history of Uranium (atomic number 92 - this is important so pay attention at the back).
Greenaway continues to evolve his directorial style, overlapping images and sounds, embedding windows within windows, mixing media. The results are often confusing, sometimes stunning, never boring.
I wondered if Greenaway was hinting that this was in some sense an autobiographical piece. Tulse Luper is cited as the author of 'The Belly of an Architect' and in a list of his lost works appears 'The Falls', both earlier films by Greenaway.
Of course it might just be the director playing games. A clip from 'A Zed and Two Noughts' is used at one point, and there is a character named 'Cissie Colpits', the name of the three women in 'Drowning by Numbers'. I suspect there might well have been many more references to earlier films in there.
This is closer in style to 'Properos Books' or 'A TV Dante' than some of his earlier works such as 'The Cook, the Thief, his Wife and her Lover'. Narrative flow has been sacrificed in part for creating a cinematic work of art. Nothing wrong with that in my opinion though, when the result is a film like this. Sit back and let the experience wash over you.
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