1991 BBC Omnibus documentary on Peter Greenaway
June 14, 2010 12:53 PM   Subscribe

Some kind soul recently uploaded, in five parts, a 1991 BBC Omnibus television documentary about Peter Greenaway, who never ceases to inspire me in his dedication to push film into new, richly interesting places, to liberate it from its addiction to stale 19th-century psychological narrative and to open it up to accept and incorporate all manner of artistic information it's usually denied. Cleverly titled Anatomy of a Filmmaker — Greenaway is an enthusiast of the nude human figure, which he sees as the single constant of art — it covers the filmmaker's career from his earliest shorts up through Prospero's Books. There are bits about the time he spent honing his skills cutting together British propaganda, his experience with painting and his longtime collaboration with Sacha Vierny. It also presents subsections on Greenaway's own inspirational creators, including John Cage and the increasingly-intriguing-to-me R.B. Kitaj.
posted by colinmarshall (16 comments total) 32 users marked this as a favorite
I remember grabbing this off a torrent during my big ole Greenaway phase a few years back. It's great.

Now can we please get Prospero's Books on DVD for chrissakes?
posted by griphus at 1:00 PM on June 14, 2010

during my big ole Greenaway phase

I had a big one of these myself, but my interest has slackened a bit lately (seemingly in tandem with my Philip Glass obsession, make of that what you will.)

Has anybody seen Nightwatching and/or Rembrandt's J'Accuse? They've been sitting in my Nteflix queue for a while now.
posted by Horace Rumpole at 1:07 PM on June 14, 2010

Nice find. Thank you.

Seconding the call for a Prospero's Books dvd. I own several of Greenaway's other movies on dvd, including The Pillow Book, but PB is one of his very best.
posted by zarq at 1:10 PM on June 14, 2010

I just saw Nightwatching. I thought the premise was interesting so I picked it up. As soon as it rolled, I thought: "Sheesh. Another play on film. This looks just like Prospero's Book." Not my cup of tea, but I hung in there. It's pretty non-narrative and so makes a rather opaque murder mystery. Each to his own; YMMV.
posted by warbaby at 1:28 PM on June 14, 2010 [1 favorite]

The Directory has registered Coppice Fallbatteo as an Italian-speaking young male man. Though the Violent Unknown Event had taken away his teeth, made him short of breath, flattened his nose, made him allergic to cats and rats, re-arranged his sense of balance and re-structured his colon, it has left him with the language he had leant as a two-year-old child. Coppice wished it had not.
posted by Iridic at 1:31 PM on June 14, 2010

I liked Nightwatching, but felt Vierny's absence even more sorely than I'd expected to.
posted by colinmarshall at 1:39 PM on June 14, 2010

I went through a real Greenaway period also. But I find much of his work feels dated to me, and belongs to a specific era, along with Sally Potter, and Jeanette Winterson. Certainly all great artists - and this perhaps reflects more a period in my life rather than any 'school' of thought in English film and writing.

Regardless - great find.
posted by helmutdog at 2:04 PM on June 14, 2010

Now can we please get Prospero's Books on DVD for chrissakes?

Bluray release date: August 10, 2010
posted by geoff. at 2:30 PM on June 14, 2010 [2 favorites]

thanks for this. i think The Baby of Macon was the last thing I saw of Greenaway, but oddly last night i found myself watching his film about Cage. which is brilliant. and i found myself wondering what he was up to. so, thanks again.
posted by peterkins at 3:35 PM on June 14, 2010 [1 favorite]

I thought Murder By Numbers was pretty funny.
posted by KokuRyu at 6:56 PM on June 14, 2010

Greenaway gave an (8 part) lecture series in 2006. Most recently he's become a VJ.
posted by twoleftfeet at 7:16 PM on June 14, 2010 [1 favorite]

I would love to know your source for purchasing Greenaway's works on DVD. I would like to have as many as possible, thanks for the info.
posted by effluvia at 7:22 PM on June 14, 2010

I've seen Rembrandt's J'Accuse. I liked it quite a bit, but I'm a huge Greenaway fan.
This site and this one have a ton of neat trivia and stuff for Greenaway fanatics.
posted by juv3nal at 7:51 PM on June 14, 2010

I'm most grateful to Peter Greenaway's films for giving me an introduction to the music of Michael Nyman.
posted by Fiery Jack at 12:08 AM on June 15, 2010 [1 favorite]

Ooh, I must remember to watch this after work. As a young journalist living in Goole in the 1970s, my dad interviewed Greenaway. According to dumdidumdum snr, Drowning by Numbers is based on Goole by Numbers, in which Greenaway explored his love of bus numbers.
posted by dumdidumdum at 6:46 AM on June 15, 2010 [1 favorite]

Murder By Numbers != Drowning By Numbers.

Not in any way, shape or form. I've been burned more than once.
posted by hippybear at 7:59 AM on June 15, 2010 [1 favorite]

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