films seen
average score
UK - 81 years old
Alive and kicking
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That is, if you appreciate the vulgarities. Even though the film itself is quite refined, its character are everything but.

The Pillow Book

1996 / 126m - UK
Drama, Romance
The Pillow Book poster

Eisenstein in Guanajuato

2015 / 105m - The Netherlands
Comedy, Romance
Eisenstein in Guanajuato poster

Not your typical biography, then again Greenaway isn't your typical director either. A pretty quirky look at Eisenstein's passage in Mexico, focusing on his sexual awakening more so than on his work as a filmmaker. That may put people off, especially big Eisenstein fans, but I found it quite refreshing.

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Greenaway also pays homage to Eisenstein's visual style, with many unique cuts and lots of visual trickery. It's a shame though he doesn't keep it up for the entire film. Still, there is plenty to admire here. Split screens, sharp editing, cool camera work and fun fades add a lot of extra flavor to the film.

Eisenstein is portrayed as a very colorful character and Greenaway has a lot of fun with him. Not sure how historically correct it all is, but at least it makes for a better film. There's not quite enough here for a 90-minute feature and the second half doesn't feel quite as fresh, but this was surprisingly fun and creative.

The Tulse Luper Suitcases, Part 1: The Moab Story poster

Prospero's Books

1991 / 124m - UK
Fantasy, Experimental
Prospero's Books poster

Peter Greenaway. There's a literary/classic background in many of his films that doesn't really speak to me. At the same time, his work is so very different and bears such a strong audiovisual signature that it's difficult not to be amazed and intrigued by the results. That explains why I'm giving this love-or-hate film a middle-of-the-road rating.

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Prospero's Books is a loose adaptation of Shakespeare's The Tempest. I'll be honest, it's hard to piece anything together while watching the film if you're not familiar with the story, so it's probably smart to read a short synopsis before submerging yourself in this film. It's not the kind that can be spoiled by reading the plot anyway.

The grand and imaginative sets and visuals are what sets this film apart, though it would be unfair to leave the epic soundtrack out of the equation. The story was too obtuse for me, but seen as an audiovisual/experimental film there was plenty to like and love. A fun little oddity, fans of Greenaway won't be disappointed.

Drowning by Numbers

1988 / 118m - UK
Comedy, Drama
Drowning by Numbers poster