In the early 1990s Peter Greenaway was a cult figure for cinephiles in Russia and pretty much the same in Europe, I believe. I remember Prospero's Books, changing my perception of what cinema can be. It was a treat so visually rich I had a problem to digest it first. Then watching The Cook, the Thief... and The Baby of Mâcon came as an attack I had been prepared for. It was an utterly enjoyable experience though to get emotionally involved was always a difficult bit. Then there was a decade of various experiments for the director that took him to the places, times, and forms that did not managed get me through the lengthy hours of his films.
But Goltzius and the Pelican Company came as an oeuvre with a good balance. Being able to enjoy the major features of the Greenawayness, such as constant visual and audio aggression breaking all taboos yet again matched with equal dose of grace, satire and self-irony. Using the fine art tradition dealing with the film themes adds, as usual, considerable impact to the picture. Making us feel the legacy of the Western classical tradition integrally interwoven in this film. And apart from these formal aesthetic achievements, which is a kind of standard for most of Greenaway's works, in Goltzius and the Pelican Company there is a certain rhythmic structure reaching its top with an amazing Dance of Salome.
In short this is not so much a formal exercise in cinema language as the recent master's films often appear to be, but also an emotionally involving (at least as much as you could expect from a Greenaway) coherent story.
Still I think it may not work for an audience completely unacquainted with the author's works, so I recommend to watch a trailer before buying a ticket.
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