An 'essayistic' 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 explains the ... 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,
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 »
Rejected by Hollywood and facing pressure to return to Stalinist Russia, filmmaker Sergei Eisenstein travels to Mexico to shoot a new film. Chaperoned by his guide Palomino, he experiences the ties between Eros and Thanatos, happy to create their effects in cinema, troubled to suffer them in life.
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 »
Tired of her husband's philandering ways, the mother of two daughters drowns her husband. With the reluctant help of the local coroner, the murder is covered up. Her daughters are having ... 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
Once again, Peter Greenaway has created a film that holds your attention, and tells a story in a very captivating way.
What I found most ironic, and what really bowled me over, was how "unexperimental" this film seemed. After his recent directorial forays ("8 1/2 Women" and the "Tulse Luper Suitcases" come to mind), "Nightwatching" will seem unexpectedly boring in comparison. One might anticipate a visual spectacle, an overwhelming of the senses as seems to be Greenaway's modus operandi. The real richness of "Nightwatching" is in the little things, the simplest of details, and the pure joy of watching a master working within a more traditional cinematic framework.
When I think of the impact "Nightwatching" had on me initially, I am reminded of a similar experience when I recently viewed Lars Von Trier's "Antichrist". I was rather caught off-guard by "Antichrist's" lack of overt experimentation. But as someone who appreciates subtlety and nuance in film, I felt my time was well-spent. Plus, there's nothing I like more than walking away feeling as if I haven't been spoon-fed a story, that I've been allowed to use my BRAIN, and fill in the blanks a bit as the story moves along.
I find it doubly ironic that this film was released internationally in 2007, and only recently released domestically in the US (2010), and to lukewarm reviews at best. Greenaway is an artist never to be underestimated, and I implore you to give this film your utmost attention. It's also kinda cool to see Greenaway "geek out" a bit -- he's so obsessed with Remembrandt and all things Dutch, enjoy!
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