Peter Greenaway got his art training in the medium of painting, but he is best known to the world as the director of films such as THE PILLOW BOOK, DROWNING BY NUMBERS and THE COOK THE THIEF HIS WIFE & HER LOVER.
In addition to his filmmaking, Greenaway also works on various fine art projects and does live DJ-like performances that mix music and visuals. Keep an eye out for him at European festivals....
THE COOK, THE THIEF, HIS WIFE AND HER LOVER - 1989 - written and directed by Peter Greenaway
As with all of Greenaway's films, fine art painting lends much to the look of the film. In the main room of the restaurant, "The Banquet of the Officers of the St. George Militia of Haarlem" (1614) by Frans Hals is a mural on the back wall. Much of the look and costuming of the film draws from this image as well. Jean Paul Gaultier made his debut as a film costume designer with this movie.
The different settings were based on primarily singular colors. Outside the restaurant everything is very blue, the kitchen is green, the bathrooms are blinding white and the main dining room of the restaurant is red. The costumes remain the same from room to room, but switch colors as the actors move from one set to another, an effect that is most dramatic when the Wife (Helen Mirren) goes from room to room, her dress changing from red to green to black and to blue, but always staying the same style.
The cook works at a restaurant, owned by the thief. The thief's wife is trapped and bored in her marriage and takes one of the restaurants' regular patrons as a lover.
THE BELLY OF AN ARCHITECT
Brian Dennehy portrays Stourley Kracklite, an American architect who arrives in Rome with his wife Louisa (Chloe Webb) to put on an exhibition honoring the architect Boullee. His marriage is a bit strained as is his career.
He keeps a diary, addressing each entry to Boullee himself. He also takes postcards from all the historic places he visits without paying for them. Kracklite is obsessed with his stomach, which increasinly pains him. His wife is obsessed with having a child, which is Kracklite's, although she is carrying on an affair with the Italian liasion Capasian Speckler (Lambert Wilson), who in turn is embezzling money from the exhibition.
Louisa's pregnancy advances, Kracklite is diagnosed with stomach cancer and the exhibition advances, with all things seeming to be connected and hanging by a thread at the same time. Dennehy is fantastic as a man facing and racing against his ambitions and mortality.
One thing which struck me when I first saw this movie was the soundtrack. I like how bits of the music are upbeat yet haunting. I'm really happy to have this soundtrack in my collection.
About Peter Greenaway
Greenaway produces paintings that are filmic and makes movies that are rich fine art scenes.
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The cinematic endeavours of Peter Greenaway
Greenaway dot com
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- Peter Greenaway - imdb.com
Filmography, Awards, Biography, Agent, Discussions, Photos, News Articles, Fan Sites
- The Early Films of Peter Greenaway
This site showcases the work of Peter Greenaway: from his provocative early shorts (1973-1978) to the feature films that marked his arrival as a significant avant-garde director.
Peter Greenaway Rarities and Older Films
You may have to be VHS capable to catch up with some Greenaway films that aren't currently available on DVD. Also, be sure to check for the appropriate region when bidding on DVDs.
THE PILLOW BOOK - starring Vivian Wu and Ewan MacGregor
In THE PILLOW BOOK, we first meet Nagiko when she is five, and her father is painting her name on her face which he does each year on her birthday. Her father is an author, and is humiliated annually by his publisher.
As an adult, Nagiko (Vivian Wu) not only craves a lover who will paint on her body, but she vows revenge against the publisher. She becomes lovers with Jerome (Ewan MacGregor), a young man who will not only paint on her, but is also himself a lover of the publisher. She sends the publisher a series of books, each painted on the body of a man. The love triangle ends in both sorrow and triumph for the young woman.
Drowning By Numbers - Starring Joan Plowright, Bernard Hill, Juliet Stevenson and Joely Richardson
A whimsical murder movie. This film follows the actions and counting of three related women, all named Cissie, who all drown their husbands. They conspire with the local coroner Magit (Bernard Hill) to have the deaths reported as accidents, and then must play a game of wits with him to reveal or keep hidden their secrets.
Magit tries to barter sexual favors from each woman in exchange for his signing the death certificates "accidental drowning" but they all just lead him on frustratedly. Metaphors of playing games are woven in the story, as are many actual games played by the characters over the course of the story. You can read details on all the games on Peter Greenaway's website.
There is a lot about counting in this film. The little girl jumping rope counts 100 stars. There are actual numbers visually found throughout the films settings that lead from zero at the beginning of the movie up to 100 in the very last scene.
Trailers, Interviews and Clips
Peter Greenaway Comments and Criticism - Greenaway and others talk about his projects and work.
- The Ensemble Sospeso - Peter Greenaway
peter greenaway in conversation with joshua cody
- The Tulse Luper Suitcase
Peter Greenaway, one of the UK's leading auteurs and director of 8 1/2 WOMEN is working on his most ambitious project to date. The project is called THE TULSE LUPER SUITCASE and it concerns the adventures of one man - TULSE LUPER, a writer and projec
- Peter Greenaway Quotes
Peter Greenaway quotes, both from interviews and from movies. Eight web pages long.
- Salon | Peter Greenaway
he director of "The Cook, the Thief, His Wife and Her Lover" talks about sensationalism, nudity, the death of cinema, his passion for lists, his new film, "The Pillow Book," and his big plans for the Internet.BY CHRISTOPHER HAWTHORNE
- Greenaway Guide by Uwe Hemmen
Upon request of Saskia Boddeke, supported by Peter Greenaway, the GUIDE has been closed on February 3rd, 2006The discussion board remains open for members only. New members only by recommendation.
- Paris Transatlantic: Peter Greenaway Interview
Peter Greenaway Interview-Paris Transatlantic is a site for Global Coverage of New and Avant-Garde Non-Commercial Music, Dance, and Art: Electronics, Modern Music, Composers,Composer, Radical Sounds, New Sounds.
- Guardian Unlimited Film | Features | Why j'aime Peter Greenaway... and why I loathe his films
The French revere him as Britain's most 'aristocratic' auteur. To the English he is an embarrassment. French critic Jean Roy and David Thomson slug it out Thursday May 22, 2003 The Guardian
- disinformation | peter greenaway: monsters of macon
Author's Note: This was written in early 1994 for Rabelais, the infamous La Trobe University student newspaper. I learned more in an hour with Peter Greenaway about film directing and handling the media, than at any other time. Unfortunately the full