The Pillow Book DVD
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Directed by Peter Greenaway
Produced in 1995
Main Language - English
Countries & Regions - British Film
Vivian Wu and Ewan McGregor star in this ravishing, ceaselessly inventive exploration of passion and writing on skin. It's provocative, playful and erotic, says Graeme Hobbs.
Inspired with a love of the written word by her father’s yearly blessing painted on her face and nape, Nagiko’s attempts to marry the delights of love with the delights of literature come to a head when she meets translator Jerome (Ewan McGregor), who challenges Nagiko to write on him instead. ‘Treat me like the pages of a book’ are his words – though he could not have expected to be taken quite so literally.
Provocative, playful, erotic, The Pillow Book saw Greenaway attempting to move beyond a cinema that merely illustrated a story to one in which text and image complemented each other. It’s a ravishing transitional work, in love with beauty and itching to break the conventional frame in all sorts of experimental ways.
As in the lists of Sei Shonagon, whose original pillow book inspires Nagiko’s own writing, The Pillow Book contains elegant things, splendid things, things that make the heart beat faster, and plenty of anatomical detail too. It’s also a film about the mystery and wonder inherent in the act of writing – on skin, in condensation, on paper and even in light.
Graeme Hobbs on 28th April 2011
Author of 276 reviews
A brilliantly filmed, ceaselessly creative exploration of one woman's passion for having calligraphers write on her skin like the pages of a book, The Pillow Book stars Vivian Wu and Ewan McGregor.
In Japan in the 1970s, a calligrapher delicately writes a birthday greeting on his daughter's face. When the little girl grows up, she remembers the event with such fondness that she begins a search for a calligrapher-lover who will use her whole body as his personal paper. Eventually, she comes across an English translator (Ewan McGregor) who convinces her to be the pen and not the paper. He takes her writing, on his body, to publishers in what seems to be an ideal situation. However, the plan is too successful, and petty jealousies begin to tear apart their passionate relationship.
Publisher: Park Circus
Length: 121 mins
Cat No: PC0025
Format: DVD Colour
- Theatrical Trailer
- Stills Gallery.
by Anon on 1st September 2001
Greenaway excels himself in this amalgam of word and image. Flawlessly interweaving colour, text and time in this captivating story of love, obsession, jealousy and r... Read on
Greenaway excels himself in this amalgam of word and image. Flawlessly interweaving colour, text and time in this captivating story of love, obsession, jealousy and revenge. Hide