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The Cook, the Thief, his Wife and her Lover(on today on Film 4 at 22:50 btw.)


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Old 05-03-2013, 21:47
stripedcat
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I am about to watch it in an hour's time. I have heard a lot about. Peter Greenaway is an interesting director. His films are very uncompromising.

I'd like people's thoughts on the film. I'll read them afterwards as I then I won't get any spoilers.

As a sidenote, in the US this film got a NC-17 rating, so it didn't get widely shown.
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Old 05-03-2013, 21:58
Grabid Rannies
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My favourite Peter Greenaway, in fact one of my all-time favourite films, is Drowning By Numbers, his 1988 film. Unfortunately it's been far more overshadowed these days by CTWL, partly I think because DBN turned a lot more people than previously on to the Greenaway ethic and style, and so CTWL subsequently came to greater notice on the world media stage; backed financially as it was, and hence promoted more widely, by bigger entities (and thusly still in more immediately accessible circulation today).

The 'action' of CTWL seems much more 'confined' to its unabashed edificial setting and, from what I recall of my viewing many years ago, this became rather tedious once the obligatory 'shock factor' elements were established and bedded in. Drowning is a much more visually dynamic, changeable and thusly (IMHO) consistently engaging work on the whole.

I seem to recall also that CTWL opens with someone being supposedly force-fed shit, but being handed by the politely brusque Gambon what are obviously in reality sandwich beef slices. Although Mirren's climactic line 'Try the cock, Albert - it's a delicacy' will probably be positively imprinted on my mind, for decidedly non-cannibalistic reasons as a burgeoning gayster, forevermore
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Old 05-03-2013, 22:01
roger_50
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It's quite an interesting film, but I never really liked it that much.

Although Helen Mirren in the nuddy makes it better.
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Old 05-03-2013, 22:33
embryo
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Great film, love the atmosphere and use of colour. Also, the soundtrack is absolutely fantastic, Michael Nyman's best work in my opinion.
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Old 06-03-2013, 01:36
stripedcat
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I have just finished watching. WOW! That's what I can say! The imagery is dazzling in it, and likewise as mentioned above Michael Nyman's score was amazingly atmospheric.

I can see that it is a film which you are either going to love or hate. No saying it is average.

Mirren and Gambon gave very strong performances.

I suppose there is the anti-Thatcherism and rallying against the "greed is good" of the 1980s in the film's subtext as well.

I seem to remember that this film did quite well in the UK on the video rentals, it seemed to be in the Top 10 for quite a while.

I haven't seen any of Greenaway's other work(e.g. Drowning By Numbers, Baby of Mācon, Prospero's Books, Pillow Book, etc.). I'll be sure to check them out.
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Old 06-03-2013, 08:01
shirlt9
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havent seen this film in years..recorded it last night and as I am off today am watching this mroning with my cup of coffee..am recognising faces that have gone onto greater things..I didnt know who they were early 90s..
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Old 06-03-2013, 09:13
lil lexie
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forgot that this was on last night. Haven't seen a Peter Greenaway film in years.

Always preferred A Zed & Two Noughts and The Belly of an Architect to The Cook, The Thief... , think I'll have to invest in some of his films, the only one I own on dvd is The Pillow Book.
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Old 06-03-2013, 10:27
Pob-Bundy
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Made me want to puke, actors eating or playing with food in films is usually repulsive. Daniel craig in Casino Royale springs to mind, chomps like a pig. Actors need to address their table manners.
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Old 06-03-2013, 10:30
stud u like
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Made me want to puke, actors eating or playing with food in films is usually repulsive. Daniel craig in Casino Royale springs to mind, chomps like a pig. Actors need to address their table manners.
Films are not meant to reflect real life.
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Old 06-03-2013, 11:12
mr muggles
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His films are always visual treats and 'Cook' is possibly is easiest to digest and a gr8 'starter' before delving into his other works. Drowning By Numbers was my fav too.

The scene that really made my skin crawl was the poor k.p/choirboy getting his belly button cut off! Gross!

I'm behind the times as I havent seen anything post Baby Of Macon. The scene where the woman was degraded put me off a bit.

I've had the pleasure of opening the main door to the BFI and Greenaway (+ 4 lackies/friends)walking right thru me, literally pushing me aside! It was at an exhibition/installation (featuring Greenaway & Ridley Scott). They were all dressed head to toe in black, with long black coats and all wearing sunglasses, it all looked very 'highbrow European art'! Needless to say, I didn't ask for an autograph!
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Old 06-03-2013, 11:41
Pob-Bundy
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Films are not meant to reflect real life.
Well I never!
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Old 06-03-2013, 13:48
stripedcat
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It appears that Peter Greenaway has a new film out this year, it is called 'Goltzius and the Pelican Company'.

I remember that he did a couple of interviews where he said that : "cinema was dead.". He was more into multimedia and so on.

On another note, Barry Norman made 'The Cook, The Thief, His Wife and Her Lover' his film of the year in 1989. He also put it on to his Top 10 films of the 1980s.

I seem to recall that it did cause a little of controversy back in its day, what with the violence, sex and the final scene.
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Old 06-03-2013, 17:57
Damzel
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I remember watching a couple of Peter Greenaway films as a child when channel 4 used to premier them. Hope to catch this when it's next shown as it'd be interesting to see if it appeals to me now i'm an adult.
I watched The Draughtsman's Contract last year and although it is beautifully filmed and has a fantastic score , it left me cold.
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Old 06-03-2013, 19:53
stripedcat
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It is shown again on Film 4 on Thursday 14th of March at 23:45 till 02:10, if you want to see it.

The Pillow Book turns up on Film 4 every now and again. I'll check that out some time.
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Old 06-03-2013, 20:23
shirlt9
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forgot that this was on last night. Haven't seen a Peter Greenaway film in years.

Always preferred A Zed & Two Noughts and The Belly of an Architect to The Cook, The Thief... , think I'll have to invest in some of his films, the only one I own on dvd is The Pillow Book.
A Zed and Two Noughts.. never knew this was from the same person..havent seen that film for years but remember it well.
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Old 06-03-2013, 22:11
CLL Dodge
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Great film, love the atmosphere and use of colour. Also, the soundtrack is absolutely fantastic, Michael Nyman's best work in my opinion.
Great work from Nyman and cinematographer Sacha Vierny (a Greenaway regular).
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Old 07-03-2013, 14:35
stripedcat
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Great work from Nyman and cinematographer Sacha Vierny (a Greenaway regular).

Greenaway fell out with Nyman over 'Prospero's Books'. I think he took an instrument track off of one of his song settings. I think they haven't spoken to one another since then.
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Old 07-03-2013, 21:44
brangdon
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I'd like people's thoughts on the film. I'll read them afterwards as I then I won't get any spoilers.
I like it, and watched it many times back in the day. I think Michael Gambon's performance is one of the all-time great unpleasant characters, partly because he's so small and petty. Is it weird that for me one of the highlights was the scene where he thumps Helen Mirren in the stomach?
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Old 07-03-2013, 22:37
Fio Montoya
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I preferred Drowning By Numbers, which almost never gets an airing.
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