Peter Greenaway

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AK
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Re: Peter Greenaway

#176 Post by AK » Wed Mar 06, 2013 12:41 pm

Anyone here know where I could find Death in the Seine?

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J Wilson
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Re: Peter Greenaway

#177 Post by J Wilson » Mon Mar 11, 2013 11:43 am

I used to have a VHS copy produced by Films for the Humanities, I think it was. That came out in the 90's though. I'm not aware of it ever having been released on disc format. Your best bet would seem to be eBay or Amazon, if copies ever pop up secondhand.


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ola t
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Re: Peter Greenaway

#179 Post by ola t » Tue Mar 12, 2013 5:28 am

Careful -- Death in the Seine is actually not included in the standalone French 2-disc edition of Nightwatching. (I own that one, so I'm quite sure.) Apparently BAC also released a larger Greenaway box set that included Nightwatching but had a different extras disc, and Death in the Seine appeared there, with French narration only.
Last edited by ola t on Tue Mar 12, 2013 2:22 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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Matt
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Re: Peter Greenaway

#180 Post by Matt » Tue Mar 12, 2013 12:21 pm

Terribly sorry. I should have known better than to trust library catalogers to be accurate.

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tavernier
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Re: Peter Greenaway

#181 Post by tavernier » Tue Mar 12, 2013 12:28 pm

ola t wrote:Apparently BAC also released a larger Greenaway box set that included Nightwatching but had a different extras disc, and Death in the Seine appeared there, with French narration only.
I have that set, and that's correct--it's French audio only on Seine.

AK
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Re: Peter Greenaway

#182 Post by AK » Tue Mar 12, 2013 12:43 pm

Thanks to everyone for the replies and help! Appreciate it. The library catalog indeed says "fait partie du coffret de 4 DVD 'Peter Greenaway'", but if it's narrated in French, I think I'll pass. Who knows, maybe it'll be made available someday in the original language.

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Tommaso
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Re: Peter Greenaway

#183 Post by Tommaso » Tue Mar 12, 2013 1:24 pm

Would be an ideal extra for "Drowning by Numbers", should anyone care to release this film in the UK (BFI, can you hear me?)

scissorduck
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Re: Peter Greenaway

#184 Post by scissorduck » Sun Aug 25, 2013 5:45 pm

Can anyone recommend a good site to buy the Mexican blu ray of The Cook, The Thief, His Wife & Her Lover? I can't hold out for the Criterion any longer.. Thanks.

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zedz
Joined: Sun Nov 07, 2004 7:24 pm

Re: Peter Greenaway

#185 Post by zedz » Mon Aug 26, 2013 12:10 am

scissorduck wrote:Can anyone recommend a good site to buy the Mexican blu ray of The Cook, The Thief, His Wife & Her Lover? I can't hold out for the Criterion any longer.. Thanks.
I love how a decade of wishful thinking has transformed this into a fait accompli.

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knives
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Re: Peter Greenaway

#186 Post by knives » Mon Aug 26, 2013 12:15 am

Eh, if Crit can get one Miramax title from Lionsgate it shouldn't be too hard to get another.

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Tommaso
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Re: Peter Greenaway

#187 Post by Tommaso » Mon Aug 26, 2013 5:08 am

Which is exactly why they should do "Prospero" first.

McCrutchy
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Re: Peter Greenaway

#188 Post by McCrutchy » Fri Jan 09, 2015 8:38 pm

King Records will release a Blu-ray box set of three Greenaway films in Japan on May 13, 2015:

The films will be Drowning by Numbers (1988), Prospero's Books (1991) and The Baby of Mâcon (1993).

The information provided specified that all the films will be uncensored, which is excellent news.

Be prepared for BD-25 discs (KR seem to hate BD-50 discs unless there are tons of extras) and sticker-shock price. Personally, I don't care. I'll be spending the money, and this is from someone who has the Swedish Baby of Mâcon Blu-ray already.

http://www.amazon.co.jp/Peter-Greenaway ... B00S14I8YC (List: ¥13,932 or ¥12,900 + tax)

There will also be individual DVDs released on the same day (List: ¥4,104 or ¥3,800 + tax each / ¥12,312 or ¥11,400 + tax for all three)

So the Blu-ray box costs only ¥1,620 (¥1,500 + tax) more than the three separate DVDs. That's about US $15. And we wonder why Japan has embraced Blu-ray so easily.

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Kirkinson
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Re: Peter Greenaway

#189 Post by Kirkinson » Fri Jan 09, 2015 11:49 pm

That Swedish Baby of Macon isn't bad, but it could certainly be improved upon. Unfortunately we have to temper expectations for how good Prospero's Books can look (per MichaelB's comments on the previous page of this thread) which is really a shame since from end to end it's full of the most deliriously sumptuous and finely detailed images Greenaway has ever indulged in. Still, a good transfer of as early a source as possible should still be an improvement over SD. I'll be interested to see if this one actually makes it out -- as I recall, the Swedish company that put out Baby of Macon also announced a Prospero BD but eventually canceled those plans (presumably because the elements they had didn't seem worth it).

At least there's every reason to be excited about Drowning By Numbers -- has that even had a home video release in its OAR yet?

criterionsnob
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Re: Peter Greenaway

#190 Post by criterionsnob » Thu Mar 19, 2015 5:02 pm


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jwd5275
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Re: Peter Greenaway

#191 Post by jwd5275 » Thu Mar 19, 2015 9:43 pm


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colinr0380
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Re: Peter Greenaway

#192 Post by colinr0380 » Fri Mar 27, 2015 8:53 am

Goltzius and the Pelican Company is a neat take on the old theme of patronage of the arts, and what making a deal to continue to produce art does to the work itself. More than that though the theme ripples outwards to illustrate the reinforcing/dangerous effect that artistic ideas can have on the wider society, especially if those ideas are experimental and subversive.

The Margrave at the centre of this is introduced taking a daily public bowel movement in the centre of his library, and the critique of the crudities of patrons and their money only gets worse from there! In return for funding the printing press and publishing copies of books that Golitzius and his company ask for, they agree to put on performances of stories that they will be printing. In response to the Margrave's demands that they be shocking and new, but also relevant, they put on stagings of erotic stories from the Old Testament, each illustrating the breaking of a sexual taboo. Of course things do not go exactly according to plan, though the whole tale is narrated from years afterwards by a successful Goltzius looking back on his hardscrabble days, as if the events of the film were the apprenticeship he had to serve, or sacrifice he had to offer up, to become successful.

Here is where the film gets truly interesting. Every staged performance (say the first one of Adam and Eve) is played to the hilt for maximum naughtiness and nudity, yet interspersed with this performance (and all of the others) we get an extra-narrative digression by the older Goltzius taking us through various depictions of the scene in the history of art that have emphasised certain elements or focused on specific details to fit their period of time or their particular patron's tastes. Then we return back to the events of the film themselves and see the way that this young troupe of players, despite having been requested to, end up scandalising the Margrave and his court. Each of the performances ends with a theological debate on the thorny issues that the performance has raised (for instance the theologians get scandalised by the Adam and Eve peformance actually depicting genitalia! And the way that the same actor plays both God and the Snake, taking it as a subversive commentary), and rather than taking this plunge into theological debate as a bracing explorations of the issues surrounding religion, sexuality and the fusing together of eroticism and sexuality within religious traditions, everyone ends up being incensed by the performances.

There is the contradiction that the religious material was the only material that would have gotten commercial backing, yet at the same time anything done with it was going to end up being inflammatory and causing upset and troubled minds! That is the problem with art though - that even the safest and most sanitised work is going to end up upsetting someone, if only because it has been sanitised! There is a push and pull going on here - the superficial upset and discord covering over a deep fascination with the ideas presented. The scholars seem more alive when they are debating the issues than when they were just espousing certainties. The Margrave himself asks for the plays that upset him so much, and the film even gets into issues of 'audience interactivity' with the actors performing around their audience, and even the Margrave himself eventually demanding to take a part in the performance. The authority figures are trying to pretend they represent a morality that is beyond the human functions and foibles, yet they are perhaps the most human figures in the play, driven by primitive urges all the more powerful for being repressed, and finding the performances the chance to allow their troublesome libidos full expression. Then following this punishment of the writer in particular for creating the material that troubled them so much. It is the dangerous power of art that it opens up avenues of thought that otherwise may have gone unexplored by the unambitious.

It is a beautifully complex film about frustrated desires inspiring both the best and worst actions, patronage, ambition (to the sacrifice of others), and particularly in the section of the Rabbi being forced to re-enact Samson, the problems that arise when metaphorical stories and artistic representations of the same are taken as exact depictions of real events. There is the constant theme in the film of the way that the performers-publishers (and even the theologians to some extent) are fascinated by the Old Testament stories for their intellectual, moral, even sociological (given that pictures, books, even films say as much about the time and culture that they are produced in and who is producing them as about the story being told itself) content, but then come up against the crass moneymen, or powerful patrons, who don't understand or care about that kind of approach to art but just want the nudity, want the production of an Old Testament story the way they 'understand' it, want a production that is untroubling, want the production that satisfies them (and to possess the actress that 'satisfies' them, not taking disinterest as an answer!). And most importantly want a production that demonstrates their enlightenment and culture to the rest of the world, which often comes across as bland self-aggrandisement!

In that sense the film has a Cook, The Thief, His Wife and Her Lover sense about it, in the way that it is about a vulgar bully who thinks himself cultured simply because he's bought off and appropriated 'high art'. The art is sullied but there is still a subversive power and core of uncompromised beauty there that can never be destroyed, even in the worst circumstances. The bullied and tortured writers seem similar in both films too, and in Goltzius the final irony is that the atheist writer ends up embodying John The Baptist in the (forced - the New Testament 'overwriting' the primitive Old one?) single production of a New Testament story that climaxes the film.

Yet there are other parallels too - the performance taken to horrifically unnecessary extremes of The Baby of Macon, the use of text to highlight and comment on performance from Prospero's Books, the painting critique aspect of the Rembrandt films, the relentless performances moving towards death of A Zed and Two Noughts. Even the structure of the film with performance, art history and then criticism of the performance bundled together in repeated sections feels like a nod to Greenaway's 'encyclopaedic' films such as The Falls or Dear Phone.

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bearcuborg
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Re: Peter Greenaway

#193 Post by bearcuborg » Fri Apr 03, 2015 10:09 am



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senseabove
Joined: Wed Dec 02, 2015 3:07 am

Re: Peter Greenaway

#195 Post by senseabove » Mon May 23, 2016 1:50 pm

Has anyone seen the Japanese Draughtsman's Contract blu? There are some favorable reviews of the other Japanese blus, but I haven't been able to track down any info on the DC blu, and it looks like it can be had for about $25 shipped.

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DeprongMori
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Re: Peter Greenaway

#196 Post by DeprongMori » Mon May 23, 2016 4:33 pm

I've been curious about the Japanese Blu of The Draughtsman's Contract as well. Since the film was only shot on 16mm, I'm guessing the BFI is about the best it's going to look, but I'd love to see a comparison.

The Japanese Blu of Prospero's Books is unfortunately only available in the very expensive box, so I've given in and ordered the German DVD as the next best bet. It should be arriving soon. I haven't seen the film since it's initial release so my memories of "how it should look" are non-existent.

Rumor has it that The Cook, the Thief, His Wife, and Her Lover is coming out on Blu in the UK soon, but I haven't had time to check from what company. Curious whether it will be from a different source than the Mexican BluRay, which aside from some speckling, isn't too bad. (Certainly better than any of the existing DVDs.)


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Tommaso
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Re: Peter Greenaway

#198 Post by Tommaso » Mon May 23, 2016 5:57 pm

DeprongMori wrote:
The Japanese Blu of Prospero's Books is unfortunately only available in the very expensive box, so I've given in and ordered the German DVD as the next best bet. It should be arriving soon. I haven't seen the film since it's initial release so my memories of "how it should look" are non-existent.
I would be interested to learn about the German dvd release. I fear very much that it's the same as the Scandinavian release - judging from the cover design -, which looked good but was framed far too tightly, thus making a travesty of Greenaway's very careful compositions. So far the best dvd release of "Prospero" is an old Dutch disc released in a 16(?)-dvd-box-set of films containing films that once got one of those Dutch "Kalverliefde" awards. Completely unavailable nowadays, of course. But if you can track it down in the backchannels, go for it. It's much superior to the Scandinavian release framingwise and doesn't look too bad, either (the colours are better on the Scandinavian version, though). But I still wonder why on earth this marvellous film, which I personally regard as Greenaway's best, hasn't seen a properly restored blu version from the BFI or any other of the usual suspects already.

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John Cope
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Re: Peter Greenaway

#199 Post by John Cope » Mon May 23, 2016 7:17 pm

I have the Australian release of Prospero which is apparently also now unavailable. From what I remember of this debate before I think this edition is framed less tightly than the one Tommaso refers to but I could be wrong as I don't have that available for comparison. FWIW at least I don't recall there being any obvious issues plaguing the Australian disc and it looks fine if not exactly great. Anyway, I'd recommend it if you can get it. I'd love to have a Blu too as it's among my own favorite Greenaways but I'm not going to buy a whole box to get it.

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DeprongMori
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Re: Peter Greenaway

#200 Post by DeprongMori » Tue May 24, 2016 12:30 am

Here's the Dutch box (which Chrome helpfully translates as Puppy Love Box 1) which contains Prospero's Books if anyone is interested. It seems to be still available. 25 DVDs for only 69,99 euro!

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