1989

No Essentials

——JEFF’S PICKS——

index

THE COOK, THE THIEF, HIS WIFE AND HER LOVER (Peter Greenaway)

  For a relatively brief time in the history of cinema, British film-maker Peter Greenaway ruled among the avant-garde intelligentsia. With films like THE DRAUGHTSMAN”S CONTRACT (1982) and THE BELLY OF AN ARCHITECT (1987), he teased, challenged and entertained us in art houses and indie cinema venues. With this one, he almost broke into the mainstream. Opulent, visually dazzling and almost operatic, Greenaway pulled out all the stops. As in all of Greenaway’s films, actors flourish. Even if they (and we) can’t always be sure exactly what’s going on. Greenaway seized cinema by the throat at a time when it seemed like it might be drifting out to sea.

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