REVIEW: Prospero’s Books [1991]

“And yet I needs must curse” I have a hard enough time with William Shakespeare when the characters onscreen are speaking his words with relevant visual cues to cut through the iambic pentameter and present the stories for my eyes. Don’t ask me to comprehend anything while reading his plays because my mind is constantly […]

REVIEW: The Pillow Book [1996]

“Itch to read. Scratch to understand.” There aren’t many auteurs quite as inventively unique as Peter Greenaway and his “inspired by” adaptation of Sei Shonagon‘s The Pillow Book is a perfect example of why. Sexual explicitness and ink on flesh fetish aside, the sheer formal construction of the film puts it on a level all […]

REVIEW: A Walk Through H: The Reincarnation of an Ornithologist [1978]

“This drawing was probably the one I’d need first” What is “H”? It doesn’t stand for heron or owl keeper Van Hoyten. No, “H” is a place only decipherable when approaching its end—a journey spanning 1,418 miles traveled by following 92 distinct drawings that double as maps until such time comes when they fade into […]

REVIEW: Dear Phone [1976]

“Hirous claimed he could make ten calls for the price of a beer” During his avant-garde experimental phase—as if you wouldn’t call the two feature films I’ve seen from later on in his career avant-garde or experimental—Peter Greenaway took it upon himself to play a high-brow telephone game with his short film Dear Phone, an […]

REVIEW: The Draughtsman’s Contract [1983]

“Four garments and a ladder do not lead us to a corpse” It’s said Peter Greenaway‘s original cut of The Draughtman’s Contract came in at three hours before almost half the runtime was excised to deliver its theatrical form. I’m quite happy by this result because the lack of answers for its shadowy mysteries befits […]

REVIEW: The Cook, the Thief, His Wife & Her Lover [1989]

“The naughty bits and the dirty bits are so close together” The above quote pretty much sums up Peter Greenaway‘s The Cook, the Thief, His Wife & Her Lover. High society and criminal filth: seemingly disparate sectors of civilization that wouldn’t truly wish to consort together yet constantly overlap through history to almost merge into […]