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Making a Splash (1984)

Peter Greenaway's celebration of water, and the human relationship with it, choreographed to Michael Nyman music and culminating with a synchronised swimming sequence!

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Peter Greenaway's celebration of water, and the human relationship with it, choreographed to Michael Nyman music and culminating with a synchronised swimming sequence! Written by D.Giddings <darren.giddings@newcastle.ac.uk>

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swimming | art | independent film | See All (3) »

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Short | Music

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8 July 1984 (UK)  »

Also Known As:

Facendo un tuffo  »

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"Music Video" set to Nyman's Water Dances.
12 January 2007 | by See all my reviews

A commission for UK's Channel 4, you could say this was a sort of trial run for Greenaway's Prospero's Books which features a similar use of water images at times. Well shot on Super 16mm and without any of Greenaway's signature obsessions with bodily decay or highly obscure literary references that might turn the average viewer off, this could be one of his most accessible pieces. It's a 25 min musical mostly set in a swimming pool filled with children then adults then a troupe of synchronized swimmers. There is a brief bit of nudity in the middle of the piece but as in most other Greenaway films it's like seeing a nude sculpture in the art museum. The film is quite good until the last 8 minutes where it seems the filmmakers ran out of steam but fortunately there's the synchronized water dancing and the great music at this point.

This is probably the only place that Michael Nyman's excellent work "Water Dances" can be heard in it's entirety. For some reason, Nyman has never made this recording available on CD or rerecorded the full work although he's done some very good excerpts of it. The CD, "The Kiss and other movements" contains a version of the music that seems to use the same musicians as the recording for this film. This also could be the only time that Nyman has used a drum set in his music (just at the very end). He has wisely avoided that since.

Strangely unavailable except in Japan.


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