My Films: Day 11

The 10 Movies in 10 Days meme on Facebook proved to be a lot of fun, not least in sourcing just the right still image to feature. I wish to carry on with the meme but will do it here.

The original FB meme required an absence of comment. Here, I have tried to explain my choices. Currently I am ambivalent. I see the attraction of being enigmatic. Perhaps sometimes I shall be so, at others I will wish to explain my choice. Shall we see how matters progress?

The Draughtsman’s Contract, 1982

Today’s film is chosen very deliberately to head this ongoing part of the project. It was my first Peter Greenaway film and he remains to this day my original and eternal Director crush. Previously I had little or no Director awareness. Today, I will watch each and every Greenaway film that presents itself.

First seen on Channel 4, where it was originally released as a joint BFI/Channel 4 production. It is in fact Greenaway’s first full length feature film.

What can I say about this film that betters, or even equals the comments by Roger Ebert:

“What we have here is a tantalizing puzzle, wrapped in eroticism and presented with the utmost elegance. […] All of the characters speak in complete, elegant, literary sentences. All of the camera strategies are formal and mannered. The movie advances with the grace and precision of a well-behaved novel.”


Ebert, Roger (29 September 1983). “The Draughtsman’s Contract Movie Review (1983)”

If I fail to understand my own reactions to the film, Ebert explains it very succinctly: elegant dialogue; beautiful, stunning, painterly cinematography; and precision story-telling.

In truth, it is the cinematography that grabs me, and the lighting. It is a very beautiful fim. It also has a fabulous score by Michael Nyman. that is based on themes by Henry Purcell.

Of appeal also is that it is a slow film and one that requires intellectual involvement. At 1 hr 48 mins, it does feel quite long but remains engaging throughout and requires no fidgeting.

I cannot recommend this film sufficiently. Try to catch it if you have not already viewed.

Wikipedia | IMDB

Directed byPeter Greenaway
Produced byDavid Payne
Written byPeter Greenaway
StarringAnthony Higgins
Janet Suzman
Anne-Louise Lambert
Hugh Fraser
Music byMichael Nyman
CinematographyCurtis Clark

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