J'accuse is an 'essay-istic' documentary in which Greenaway's fierce criticism of today's visual illiteracy is argued by means of a forensic search of Rembrandt's Nightwatch. Greenaway ... 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 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 »
Raymond J. Barry,
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 »
An American architect arrives in Italy, supervising an exhibition for a French architect, Boullée, who is famous for his oval structures. Through the course of 9 months he becomes obsessed ... See full summary »
Mr. Neville, a cocksure young artist is contracted by Mrs. Herbert, the wife of a wealthy landowner, to produce a set of twelve drawings of her husband's estate, a contract which extends ... See full summary »
As a young girl in Japan, Nagiko's father paints characters on her face, and her aunt reads to her from "The Pillow Book", the diary of a 10th-century lady-in-waiting. Nagiko grows up, ... See full summary »
This is a TV adaptation of a 1993 opera entitled "Rosa," with a libretto by Greenaway and score by Louis Andriessen. "Rosa" is the first in a projected series of 10 operas, each dealing ... See full summary »
Miranda van Kralingen,
Three young friends decide to share a house together in London over the summer. But as the outside world infiltrates their happy home, truths are revealed, tensions rise and their ... See full summary »
The year 1642 marks the turning point in the life of the famous Dutch painter, Rembrandt, turning him from a wealthy respected celebrity into a discredited pauper. At the insistence of his pregnant wife Saskia, Rembrandt has reluctantly agreed to paint the Amsterdam Musketeer Militia in a group portrait that will later become to be known as The Nightwatch. He soon discovers that there is a conspiracy afoot with the Amsterdam merchants playing at soldiers maneuvering for financial advantage and personal power in, that time, the richest city in the Western World. Rembrandt stumbles on a foul murder. Confident in the birth of a longed-for son and heir, Rembrandt is determined to expose the conspiring murderers and builds his accusation meticulously in the form of the commissioned painting, uncovering the seamy and hypocritical side to Dutch Society in the Golden Age. Rembrandt's great good fortune turns. Saskia dies. Rembrandt reveals the accusation of murder in the painting and the ... Written by
In a way, Greenaway is my touchstone for deep film experience. It was with him that I first studied the things that have since become part of every viewing experience, from "Godzilla versus the Sea Monster" to the more homeopathically transcendent meditations of Medem and Ruiz.
Each film is its own adventure, and that's part of the joy. Each film is similar in reaching for a context outside of the ordinary context of other films, so it helps if you are knowledgeable about the dynamics of those contexts. Which of those that are more natural to you will color which of his films you prefer.
I like his "book" films the best because I had prewoven worlds that he just happened to encircle. All of his looping narratives and playing with discrete objects, events and relationships strung and structured capture me when they are prominent. I'm not crazy about his projects when he drifts toward conventional narrative as he does here and away from engaging in conceptual play.
This is more like "Draughtsman's Contract" or even "Cook, Thief" than his more complex films, so many people will like it. Its also his prettiest film since he lost his long time cinematographer.
If you don't know this film, its a simple fold: its about Rembrandt creating a painting with deep, Greenaway-like meaning. The filmmaker goes to great lengths to visually make his relationship to the film be similar to Rembrandt's with the painting, and thereby fold us into the thing because we see and hear (in great detail) viewers of that painting react. And they punish our painter much like the filmmaker has been.
Threaded throughout is a rather touching story not unique in Greenaway of a man and passion, and the woman and then women he loves. And how passion and love, and creativity encompass one another and drive that energy of life that we count on artists to use to break mountains ahead of us so we can pass.
Its the women here. It is always the lovers who allow creativity, who grow it and channel it. There is no real penetration of life without it, and the night it brings. Just on the straight narrative alone, its powerful. It works. The whole thing works, and could be a theatrical success for a wider audience than usual.
The three lovers are redheads, of course.
Ted's Evaluation -- 3 of 3: Worth watching.
24 of 39 people found this review helpful.
Was this review helpful to you?