'A Walk Through H' is one of my favourite pieces of art, and worth just as much as a visit to a gallery. It's pictures and narration, so my comments will follow suit.
|The story is told in 92 maps, with occasional birds.
It's almost animation, but the pictures don't move, only the camera does.
|A red path has guided the ornithologist through these many maps,
but may not be reliable.
|The maps begin to fade, leaving only the image of a signpost,
or the skeleton of a windmill.
|The maps hail from a variety of sources, and seem to have been selected by
Tulse Luper. In reality, they're drawn and painted by Peter Greenaway,
my favourite director, and a painter at heart.
|The maps have an unusual beauty.
|An important map, reproduced from a bogus ecological textbook.
|This map was stolen from Van Hoyten, the Owl Keeper at Amsterdam Zoo.
Van Hoyten appears (in person) in 'A Zed and Two Noughts' (1985),
which I hope to tell you of some other time.
|A map on the plumage of an upside-down partridge.
|As the ornithologist nears the end of his journey, time is taken for
exultant music, and many birds.
|"Tulse Luper suggested my journey through H needed 92 maps. Anticipating my question he suggested the time to decide what H stood for was at the end of the journey and by that time it scarcely mattered."
This film is on Volume 1 of The Early Films of Peter Greenaway, along with 'Windows' (1976) and 'H is for House' (1974), which I have talked about elsewhere. Volume 2 has my favourite, 'The Falls' (1980), which I would have made you read about and watch, dear reader, were my copy not on semi-permanent loan to an actress in Leeds.