Tuesday, February 19, 2008

Greenaway excites film club

Take a long and careful look into the eyes of the man in the headline shot above. He is stark staring bonkers and a genius of astonishing proportions. He is Peter Greenaway, film maker extraordinaire.
On Sunday film club sat down to watch his 1996 offering "The Pillow Book" - all of us a tad unsure about what to expect. After the shade over two hours worth of unremitting sumptuous imagery I felt the need to declare that I may have discovered a new favourite film.
Why is it so good? What makes it so special? I'm at a bit of a loss to explain it. The plot is quite thin, yet fascinating, and concerns a woman with a fetish for being written upon in beautiful calligraphy and quest for sexual fulfilment through this obsession. There is also a "revenge" story in which the woman exacts a toll from a publisher who humiliated her father whilst she was a small girl.

There's lots and lots of nudity. There's lots an lots of naked people with writing all over them. There's no way I can explain how or why this film grips and enthralls - but it does. It's well acted, the cinematography is very clever (using split screen almost continuously), the surrealism of the screenplay and the lifestyles it portrays somehow manages to show a side of the human condition not often glimpsed in the frenetic world of film making. It's quite simply a masterpiece. A challenging masterpiece, but a very rewarding one.

Sadly the blogging site that I use to publish all of my nonsense is having a problem with its photo uploading server so I can't upload more than the ones above and I have a parish council meeting to attend in very few minutes...so this'll just have to do as a review. If you're in any doubt - I loved The Pillow Book.

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