The Early Films of Peter Greenaway: Volume 2 DVD
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Directed by Peter Greenaway
Produced in 1978-80
Main Language - ENGLISH
Countries & Regions - British Film
These films made prior to The Draughtsman’s Contract give a welcome base on which to appraise the work of this incessantly inventive filmmaker. Provocative, perverse and sometimes infuriating, the aesthetic of these films is drawn from the realms of the painted image instead of cinema. Greenaway’s early ambitions were ‘to make every film-image as self-sufficient as a painting’. Add to this his desire to make films that foreground the artifice of cinema instead of ignoring it, and that are structured around lists and cataloguing devices and you have the ingredients for a body of work that seeks to extend the range of cinema from its own sometimes hidebound constrictions.
Vertical Features Remake is a mocking comment on academic in-fighting as a number of theoreticians attempt to reconstruct an uncompleted film by Tulse Luper (an early appearance). It is also a celebration along with the previous two films of the countryside of England and Wales. All are in the tradition of landscape painting as much as anything else.
The Falls, the longest film of the period, is ‘a total travesty of the documentary tradition’. It portrays the biographies of 92 people whose surnames all begin with ‘Fall’ after a Violent Unknown Event has left them speaking in invented languages, pretending they are birds and dreaming of flight and water. It is a packed catalogue of techniques, ideas and subversion. A number of the films are aided by Colin Cantlie’s wryly authorative commentaries and fittingly matched by music from Michael Nyman. Greenaway’s films have since flowered into more baroque and extravagant examinations of his interests, but all the subjects associated with his later cinema are here present.
Graeme Hobbs on 21st October 2003
Author of 276 reviews
Features Vertical Features Remake and The Falls, the first a playful parody of avant-garde theorising, the second 'a total travesty of the documentary tradition' (Greenaway) that is divided into 92 biographies of people affected by the VUE or 'Violent Unknown Event'. As a cataloguer of the deadpan bizarre, Greenaway is without equal.
Length: 224 mins
Aspect ratio: 4:3
Cat No: BFIVD565
Format: DVD Colour
- Galleries of artworks and archives
- introductions to films by Greenaway
- hidden features.