Peter Greenaway

Peter Greenaway, CBE (born 5 April 1942) is a Welsh writer-director, painter, and video artist. Throughout the late 1960s and '70s, he produced several experimental documentary/mockumentary shorts while working as a film editor for the Central Office of Information. This early period culminated in "The Falls" (1980), a three-hour mockumentary indexing the strange effects of the VUE (the Violent Unknown Event) on 92 people whose names begin with the letters F-A-L-L. He made his dramatic feature film debut with "The Draughtsman's Contract" (1982), and throughout the 1980s directed a string of critically acclaimed and frequently controversial films: "A Zed & Two Noughts" (1985), "The Belly of an Architect" (1987), "Drowning by Numbers" (1988), and his best-known work, the vicious Thatcher-era satire "The Cook, the Thief, His Wife & Her Lover" (1989). In the 1990s, he directed the Shakespeare adaptation "Prospero's Books" (1991), controversial religious satire "The Baby of Mâcon" (1993), erotic drama "The Pillow Book" (1996), and "8½ Women" (1999), an homage to the films of Federico Fellini, a major influence on Greenaway. In the early 2000s, Greenaway embarked on the ambitious "Tulse Luper" project, a multimedia body of historical fiction revolving around the life of the eponymous fictional hero. In addition to novels, CD-ROMs, online material, and a touring exhibition, the project spawned a trilogy of feature films: "The Tulse Luper Suitcases, Part 1: The Moab Story" ...

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A Zed & Two Noughts (1985)

Twin zoologists lose their wives in a car accident and become obsessed with decomposing animals.  (more)

DIRECTION:  Peter Greenaway
CAST:  Frances Barber  •  Joss Ackland  •  Brian Deacon  •  Geoffrey Palmer

Twin zoologists lose their wives in a car accident and become obsessed with decomposing animals.  (more)

DIRECTION:  Peter Greenaway
CAST:  Frances Barber  •  Joss Ackland  •  Brian Deacon  •  Geoffrey Palmer

Drowning by Numbers (1988)

Three related women, all named Cissie Colpitts share a solidarity for one another which brings about three copy-cat drownings. The local coroner is in love with all three women and helps to disguise the murders.  (more)

DIRECTION:  Peter Greenaway
CAST:  Joan Plowright  •  Juliet Stevenson  •  Joely Richardson  •  Bernard Hill

Three related women, all named Cissie Colpitts share a solidarity for one another which brings about three copy-cat drownings. The local coroner is in love with all three women and helps to disguise the murders.  (more)

DIRECTION:  Peter Greenaway
CAST:  Joan Plowright  •  Juliet Stevenson  •  Joely Richardson  •  Bernard Hill

Prospero's Books (1991)

An exiled magician finds an opportunity for revenge against his enemies muted when his daughter and the son of his chief enemy fall in love in this uniquely structured retelling of the 'The Tempest'.  (more)

DIRECTION:  Peter Greenaway
CAST:  John Gielgud  •  Michael Clark  •  Michel Blanc  •  Erland Josephson

An exiled magician finds an opportunity for revenge against his enemies muted when his daughter and the son of his chief enemy fall in love in this uniquely structured retelling of the 'The Tempest'.  (more)

DIRECTION:  Peter Greenaway
CAST:  John Gielgud  •  Michael Clark  •  Michel Blanc  •  Erland Josephson

The Sea in Their Blood (1983)

A film made for the Central Office of Information concerning Britain's coastline, with music by Michael Nyman.  (more)

DIRECTION:  Peter Greenaway
CAST: 

A film made for the Central Office of Information concerning Britain's coastline, with music by Michael Nyman.  (more)

DIRECTION:  Peter Greenaway
CAST: 

The Falls (1980)

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The exploration of the effects of an unexpected catastrophe, known as VUE (violent unknown event) through the bios of 92 survivors.  (more)

DIRECTION:  Peter Greenaway
CAST:  Peter Westley  •  Aad Wirtz  •  Michael Murray  •  Lorna Poulter

The exploration of the effects of an unexpected catastrophe, known as VUE (violent unknown event) through the bios of 92 survivors.  (more)

DIRECTION:  Peter Greenaway
CAST:  Peter Westley  •  Aad Wirtz  •  Michael Murray  •  Lorna Poulter

The Pillow Book (1996)

A woman with a body writing fetish seeks to find a combined lover and calligrapher.  (more)

DIRECTION:  Peter Greenaway
CAST:  Vivian Wu  •  Yoshi Oida  •  Ken Ogata  •  Hideko Yoshida

A woman with a body writing fetish seeks to find a combined lover and calligrapher.  (more)

DIRECTION:  Peter Greenaway
CAST:  Vivian Wu  •  Yoshi Oida  •  Ken Ogata  •  Hideko Yoshida

The Belly of an Architect (1987)

The American architect Kracklite arrives in Italy, supervising an exhibiton for a French architect, Boullée, famous for his oval structures. Tirelessly dedicated to the project, Kracklite's marriage quickly dissolves along with his health.  (more)

DIRECTION:  Peter Greenaway
CAST:  Brian Dennehy  •  Chloe Webb  •  Lambert Wilson  •  Sergio Fantoni

The American architect Kracklite arrives in Italy, supervising an exhibiton for a French architect, Boullée, famous for his oval structures. Tirelessly dedicated to the project, Kracklite's marriage quickly dissolves along with his health.  (more)

DIRECTION:  Peter Greenaway
CAST:  Brian Dennehy  •  Chloe Webb  •  Lambert Wilson  •  Sergio Fantoni

The Draughtsman's Contract (1983)

A young artist is commissioned by the wife of a wealthy landowner to make a series of drawings of the estate while her husband is away.  (more)

DIRECTION:  Peter Greenaway
CAST:  Anthony Higgins  •  Janet Suzman  •  Anne-Louise Lambert  •  Dave Hill

A young artist is commissioned by the wife of a wealthy landowner to make a series of drawings of the estate while her husband is away.  (more)

DIRECTION:  Peter Greenaway
CAST:  Anthony Higgins  •  Janet Suzman  •  Anne-Louise Lambert  •  Dave Hill

The Tulse Luper Suitcases, Part 1: The Moab Story (2003)

The Tulse Luper Suitcases reconstructs the life of Tulse Luper, a professional writer and project-maker, caught up in a life of prisons. He was born in 1911 in Newport, South Wales and presumably last heard of in 1989. His life is reconstructed from the evidence of ...  (more)

DIRECTION:  Peter Greenaway
CAST:  JJ Feild  •  Caroline Dhavernas  •  Jordi Mollà  •  Steven Mackintosh

The Tulse Luper Suitcases reconstructs the life of Tulse Luper, a professional writer and project-maker, caught up in a life of prisons. He was born in 1911 in Newport, South Wales and presumably last heard of in 1989. His life is reconstructed from the evidence of ...  (more)

DIRECTION:  Peter Greenaway
CAST:  JJ Feild  •  Caroline Dhavernas  •  Jordi Mollà  •  Steven Mackintosh

The Cook, the Thief, His Wife & Her Lover (1989)

The wife of an abusive criminal finds solace in the arms of a kind regular guest in her husband's restaurant.  (more)

DIRECTION:  Peter Greenaway
CAST:  Michael Gambon  •  Helen Mirren  •  Tim Roth  •  Richard Bohringer

The wife of an abusive criminal finds solace in the arms of a kind regular guest in her husband's restaurant.  (more)

DIRECTION:  Peter Greenaway
CAST:  Michael Gambon  •  Helen Mirren  •  Tim Roth  •  Richard Bohringer

Lumière and Company (1995)

40 international directors were asked to make a short film using the original Cinematographe invented by the Lumière Brothers, working under conditions similar to those of 1895. There were three rules: (1) The film could be no longer than 52 seconds, (2) no ...  (more)

DIRECTION:  David Lynch  •  Spike Lee  •  James Ivory  •  Andrei Konchalovsky  •  Liv Ullmann  •  Peter Greenaway  •  Lasse Hallström  •  Bigas Luna  •  Gabriel Axel  •  Merzak Allouache  •  Patrice Leconte  •  Cédric Klapisch  •  Costa-Gavras  •  Michael Haneke  •  Theo Angelopoulos  •  Wim Wenders  •  Fernando Trueba  •  John Boorman  •  Claude Miller  •  Raymond Depardon  •  Abbas Kiarostami  •  Alain Corneau  •  Zhang Yimou  •  Claude Lelouch  •  Lucian Pintilie  •  Arthur Penn  •  Vicente Aranda  •  Jacques Rivette  •  Helma Sanders-Brahms  •  Youssef Chahine  •  Régis Wargnier  •  Francis Girod  •  Idrissa Ouedraogo  •  Jerry Schatzberg  •  Hugh Hudson  •  Ismail Merchant  •  Gaston Kaboré  •  Jaco Van Dormael  •  Sarah Moon  •  Nadine Trintignant  •  Yoshishige Yoshida
CAST:  Jeffe Alperi  •  Romane Bohringer  •  Bruno Ganz  •  Ticky Holgado

40 international directors were asked to make a short film using the original Cinematographe invented by the Lumière Brothers, working under conditions similar to those of 1895. There were three rules: (1) The film could be no longer than 52 seconds, (2) no ...  (more)

DIRECTION:  David Lynch  •  Spike Lee  •  James Ivory  •  Andrei Konchalovsky  •  Liv Ullmann  •  Peter Greenaway  •  Lasse Hallström  •  Bigas Luna  •  Gabriel Axel  •  Merzak Allouache  •  Patrice Leconte  •  Cédric Klapisch  •  Costa-Gavras  •  Michael Haneke  •  Theo Angelopoulos  •  Wim Wenders  •  Fernando Trueba  •  John Boorman  •  Claude Miller  •  Raymond Depardon  •  Abbas Kiarostami  •  Alain Corneau  •  Zhang Yimou  •  Claude Lelouch  •  Lucian Pintilie  •  Arthur Penn  •  Vicente Aranda  •  Jacques Rivette  •  Helma Sanders-Brahms  •  Youssef Chahine  •  Régis Wargnier  •  Francis Girod  •  Idrissa Ouedraogo  •  Jerry Schatzberg  •  Hugh Hudson  •  Ismail Merchant  •  Gaston Kaboré  •  Jaco Van Dormael  •  Sarah Moon  •  Nadine Trintignant  •  Yoshishige Yoshida
CAST:  Jeffe Alperi  •  Romane Bohringer  •  Bruno Ganz  •  Ticky Holgado

Nightwatching (2007)

An extravagant, exotic and moving look at Rembrandt's romantic and professional life, and the controversy he created by the identification of a murderer in the painting The Night Watch.  (more)

DIRECTION:  Peter Greenaway
CAST:  Martin Freeman  •  Emily Holmes  •  Michael Teigen  •  Christopher Britton

An extravagant, exotic and moving look at Rembrandt's romantic and professional life, and the controversy he created by the identification of a murderer in the painting The Night Watch.  (more)

DIRECTION:  Peter Greenaway
CAST:  Martin Freeman  •  Emily Holmes  •  Michael Teigen  •  Christopher Britton

8 ½ Women (1999)

After the death of his wife, wealthy businessman Philip Emmenthal and his son Storey open their own private harem in their family residence in Geneva (they get the idea while watching Federico Fellini's 8½ and after Storey is "given" a woman, Simato (Inoh), to ...  (more)

DIRECTION:  Peter Greenaway
CAST:  John Standing  •  Matthew Delamere  •  Vivian Wu  •  Toni Collette

After the death of his wife, wealthy businessman Philip Emmenthal and his son Storey open their own private harem in their family residence in Geneva (they get the idea while watching Federico Fellini's 8½ and after Storey is "given" a woman, Simato (Inoh), to ...  (more)

DIRECTION:  Peter Greenaway
CAST:  John Standing  •  Matthew Delamere  •  Vivian Wu  •  Toni Collette

The Baby of Mâcon (1993)

Set halfway through the 17th century, a church play is performed for the benefit of the young aristocrat Cosimo. In the play, a grotesque old woman gives birth to a beautiful baby boy. The child's older sister is quick to exploit the situation, selling blessings ...  (more)

DIRECTION:  Peter Greenaway
CAST:  Julia Ormond  •  Ralph Fiennes  •  Philip Stone  •  Jonathan Lacey

Set halfway through the 17th century, a church play is performed for the benefit of the young aristocrat Cosimo. In the play, a grotesque old woman gives birth to a beautiful baby boy. The child's older sister is quick to exploit the situation, selling blessings ...  (more)

DIRECTION:  Peter Greenaway
CAST:  Julia Ormond  •  Ralph Fiennes  •  Philip Stone  •  Jonathan Lacey

Death in the Seine (1991)

Between 1795 and 1801, 306 drowned people were recovered from the Seine river, near Paris. Peter Greenaway propouns a historical approach were 25 significant cases of drownings are catalogued, dissected and elaborated, with multilayered visuals and 'documentary' asides.  (more)

DIRECTION:  Peter Greenaway
CAST:  William Sonnemans  •  Adrian Van der Elzen

Between 1795 and 1801, 306 drowned people were recovered from the Seine river, near Paris. Peter Greenaway propouns a historical approach were 25 significant cases of drownings are catalogued, dissected and elaborated, with multilayered visuals and 'documentary' asides.  (more)

DIRECTION:  Peter Greenaway
CAST:  William Sonnemans  •  Adrian Van der Elzen

A Walk Through H: The Reincarnation of an Ornithologist (1979)

An anonymous narrator outlines a bizarre journey taken through "H", aided by a series of extraordinary maps, and his previous dealings with the mysterious Tulse Luper and the keeper of the bird house at the Amsterdam Zoo.  (more)

DIRECTION:  Peter Greenaway
CAST:  Colin Cantlie

An anonymous narrator outlines a bizarre journey taken through "H", aided by a series of extraordinary maps, and his previous dealings with the mysterious Tulse Luper and the keeper of the bird house at the Amsterdam Zoo.  (more)

DIRECTION:  Peter Greenaway
CAST:  Colin Cantlie

Visions of Europe (2004)

Twenty-five films from twenty-five European countries by twenty-five European directors.  (more)

DIRECTION:  Peter Greenaway  •  Małgorzata Szumowska  •  Stijn Coninx  •  Christoffer Boe  •  Šarūnas Bartas  •  Laila Pakalnina  •  Jan Troell  •  Aki Kaurismäki  •  Francesca Comencini  •  Fatih Akın  •  Tony Gatlif  •  Martin Šulík  •  Béla Tarr  •  Aisling Walsh  •  Damjan Kozole  •  Christos Georgiou  •  Miguel Hermoso  •  Teresa Villaverde  •  Constantine Giannaris  •  Theo van Gogh  •  Barbara Albert  •  Andy Bausch  •  Saša Gedeon  •  Arvo Iho  •  Kenneth Scicluna
CAST:  Safia Aggoune  •  Abel Alves  •  Benzirar Baroudi  •  Ina Marija Bartaitė

Twenty-five films from twenty-five European countries by twenty-five European directors.  (more)

DIRECTION:  Peter Greenaway  •  Małgorzata Szumowska  •  Stijn Coninx  •  Christoffer Boe  •  Šarūnas Bartas  •  Laila Pakalnina  •  Jan Troell  •  Aki Kaurismäki  •  Francesca Comencini  •  Fatih Akın  •  Tony Gatlif  •  Martin Šulík  •  Béla Tarr  •  Aisling Walsh  •  Damjan Kozole  •  Christos Georgiou  •  Miguel Hermoso  •  Teresa Villaverde  •  Constantine Giannaris  •  Theo van Gogh  •  Barbara Albert  •  Andy Bausch  •  Saša Gedeon  •  Arvo Iho  •  Kenneth Scicluna
CAST:  Safia Aggoune  •  Abel Alves  •  Benzirar Baroudi  •  Ina Marija Bartaitė

3x3D (2013)

A triptych of short stereoscopic films by Peter Greenaway, Jean-Luc Godard and Edgar Pêra. Includes "The Three Disasters" by Godard, "Cinesapiens" by Pêra and "Just in Time" by Greenaway.  (more)

DIRECTION:  Peter Greenaway  •  Jean-Luc Godard  •  Edgar Pêra
CAST:  Carolina Amaral  •  Keith Davis  •  Leonor Keil  •  Ângela Marques

A triptych of short stereoscopic films by Peter Greenaway, Jean-Luc Godard and Edgar Pêra. Includes "The Three Disasters" by Godard, "Cinesapiens" by Pêra and "Just in Time" by Greenaway.  (more)

DIRECTION:  Peter Greenaway  •  Jean-Luc Godard  •  Edgar Pêra
CAST:  Carolina Amaral  •  Keith Davis  •  Leonor Keil  •  Ângela Marques

Darwin (1992)

A revisionist biopic on Charles Darwin, illustrated via 18 tableaux covering details from Darwin's birth, his defining voyage on the HMS Beagle, the publication of his seminal Theory of Evolution and his ultimate death and consequent burial at Westminster Abbey.  (more)

DIRECTION:  Peter Greenaway
CAST:  Bert Sevenhuijsen

A revisionist biopic on Charles Darwin, illustrated via 18 tableaux covering details from Darwin's birth, his defining voyage on the HMS Beagle, the publication of his seminal Theory of Evolution and his ultimate death and consequent burial at Westminster Abbey.  (more)

DIRECTION:  Peter Greenaway
CAST:  Bert Sevenhuijsen

Eisenstein in Guanajuato (2015)

In 1931, following the success of the film Battleship Potemkin, Soviet filmmaker Sergei Eisenstein travels to the city of Guanajuato, Mexico, to shoot a new film. Freshly rejected by Hollywood, Eisenstein soon falls under Mexico’s spell. Chaperoned by his guide ...  (more)

DIRECTION:  Peter Greenaway
CAST:  Elmer Bäck  •  Luis Alberti  •  Rasmus Slätis  •  Jakob Öhrman

In 1931, following the success of the film Battleship Potemkin, Soviet filmmaker Sergei Eisenstein travels to the city of Guanajuato, Mexico, to shoot a new film. Freshly rejected by Hollywood, Eisenstein soon falls under Mexico’s spell. Chaperoned by his guide ...  (more)

DIRECTION:  Peter Greenaway
CAST:  Elmer Bäck  •  Luis Alberti  •  Rasmus Slätis  •  Jakob Öhrman
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