|Do excuse my wonky screen-caps - I'm photographing my TV again|
Like most Peter Greenaway films, this is full of wit, conspiracies, nudity and astoundingly attractive cinematography. So much symmetry, such colour. Greenaway's introduction to the film points out the myriad myriads of light-sources used, from sunlight and starlight to different kinds of bulbs, flames, sparks and rainbows, and with this in mind the uses of light and colour in the film are really quite remarkable. Some images anticipate my favourite Greenaway film, 'The Cook, The Thief, His Wife and Her Lover' (1989): a woman in flamboyant, ancient reds in a pink-lit lavatory, or the fascinating or horrible treatment of food that is no longer food.
|Venus de Milo (Frances Barber) and a zebra.|
The cast includes credible actor Geoffrey Palmer, arrestable comedian Jim Davidson, David Attenborough as narrator of a nature documentary, and a piquant part for Frances Barber, who I know better as Doctor Who's intensely villainous Madame Kovarian, here playing Venus de Milo, a writer of erotic animal stories. It's a curious and exciting cast, and a film that lingers long in the memory.
I haven't found a film that looks and sounds better. Magnificent light, colour and framing, and a pulsing, obsessive, urgent score by Michael Nyman. This was the first film I looked at on blu-ray, and is the only film I would recommend to you in that handsome, unnecessary format.