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Nightwatching [DVD]

Martin Freeman , Emily Holmes , Peter Greenaway    Suitable for 18 years and over   DVD
3.6 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (14 customer reviews)
Price: 5.79 & FREE Delivery in the UK on orders over 10. Details
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Frequently Bought Together

Nightwatching [DVD] + The Cook, The Thief, His Wife And Her Lover [DVD] [1989] + A Zed & Two Noughts [1985] [DVD]
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Product details

  • Actors: Martin Freeman, Emily Holmes, Eva Birthistle, Jodhi May, Toby Jones
  • Directors: Peter Greenaway
  • Format: PAL
  • Language: English
  • Region: Region 2 (This DVD may not be viewable outside Europe. Read more about DVD formats.)
  • Aspect Ratio: 16:9 - 2.35:1
  • Number of discs: 2
  • Classification: 18
  • Studio: Axiom Films
  • DVD Release Date: 26 April 2010
  • Run Time: 134 minutes
  • Average Customer Review: 3.6 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (14 customer reviews)
  • ASIN: B002ZQX068
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 16,657 in DVD & Blu-ray (See Top 100 in DVD & Blu-ray)


Product Description

From renowned writer/director Peter Greenaway, NIGHTWATCHING is a theatrical, ironic costume drama about Rembrandt, his women and a conspiracy of foul murder in The Night Watch , the painting that both made and ruined him. Featuring a stellar cast, which includes Martin Freeman (THE OFFICE), Eva Birthistle (THE CHILDREN), Jodhi May (EMMA), Toby Jones (FROST/NIXON) and Nathalie Press (MY SUMMER OF LOVE), this marks a return to form for Greenaway, and represents probably his most accessible film in years.

Product Description

From Peter Greenaway, one of the most inventive, ambitious and controversial film-makers of our time, comes a thrilling period drama, told in explicit detail with customary irony and wit, that explores the romantic and professional life of the great Dutch painter Rembrandt, and the mystery surrounding the creation of his 1642 masterpiece , 'The Night Watch'. Featuring impressive performances from a cast that includes Martin Freeman (The Office) in a remarkable leading role as the wry, lusty Rembrandt, Eva Birthistle (The Children) as his young wife Saskia, Jodhi May (Emma) as his seductive maid, Toby Jones (Frost/Nixon) and Natalie Press (My Summer of Love), NIGHTWATCHING unravels a fascinating conspiracy in sumptuous detail whilst displaying all Greenaway's regular fascinations with sex and death. SPECIAL EDITION 2-DISC EDITION including Peter Greenaway's feature documentary REMBRANDT'S J'ACCUSE (100 minutes). Other DVD bonus features include interviews with Peter Greenaway, Martin Freeman, Eva Birthistle and Jodhi May.

Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews
51 of 52 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Miles and miles of painted darkness 6 July 2009
One of the most famous paintings by Rembrandt Harmenszoon van Rijn is "The Night Watch," a dark-hued painting filled with richly, colourfully dressed soldiers.

Well, no matter how brilliant they are, most paintings don't end up inspiring movies -- but Peter Greenaway does a pretty brilliant job with "Nightwatching," a semi-fictionalized version of how Rembrandt came to paint it. The "hidden coded message" subplot is a bit awkward, but Greenaway's brilliance shines in how exquisite the movie is -- he wraps the movie in lush, light-soaked beauty, and Rembrandt becomes a very real person.

When his smart, independent wife Saskia (Eva Birthistle) gets pregnant, Rembrandt (Martin Freeman) is called upon to paint an Amsterdam Civil Guard -- he doesn't want to, but reluctantly agrees under the condition that he gets nine months ("(It takes that long to make a baby; it will certainly take that long to make a painting") and chooses the setup. Meanwhile, Saskia gives birth to a healthy baby but becomes ill herself (which frustrates her lusty husband).

In fact, Saskia becomes more sickly as the painting goes on -- and when she dies, Rembrandt's closeness to Titus' nursemaid Geertje (Jodhi May) and maidservant Hendrickje (Emily Holmes) becomes quite different. And his straightforward commission is complicated by the sudden death of a young officer, which reveals a seedy clot of sex, blackmail and corruption. He can't reveal these things in the open, but he can weave them into "The Night Watch."

Rich draperies, misty forests, torch-waving brigades in a darkened bedroom, high windows filled with pale sunlight, vast empty rooms, smoky kitchens, and the pale angelic face of a dead young woman -- "Nightwatching" is a bit like seeing a painting in motion.
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13 of 13 people found the following review helpful
Amazon has made a mistake in the "title".
"Nighthwatching" and "Rembrandt's J'Accuse" are two different movies. The documentary "Rembrandt's J'Accuse" is NOT included on this blu ray.
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6 of 6 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars Where's the gravitas? 14 Feb 2011
Peter Greenaway - who happens to be one of my favourite film makers - has been on the slide since '8 1/2 Women' and that's a great shame; maybe his new multimedia projects will produce some stimulating works. NIGHTWATCHING has all the Greenaway hallmarks of old: lavish sets, exquisite lighting, quirky editing and camera movement, racy dialogue, but what is lacking is a strong central performance. Sadly, Martin Freeman, who is excellent at light comedy, is not up to the job of bringing all the ingredients together; what he lacks is gravitas and the Rembrandt story of rollercoaster emotions requires a powerhouse actor at the centre of events to drive things forward. The supporting cast is also lacking; gone are the days when Greenaway's films would feature top British actors of the calibre of John Gielgud, Helen Mirren, Joan Plowright, Alan Howard, Janet Suzman, etc. At times I felt I was watching little more than an innovative exercise in mise-en-scene when I should have been watching a gripping emotional story enhanced by technical innovation. As it stands, NIGHTWATCHING is overlong and ultimately boring.
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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Thoroughly impressed by Rembrandt 13 Jan 2011
Format:DVD|Verified Purchase
I have purchased Martin Freeman's back catalogue available on DVD (with the exception of the awful Hitchhiker's Guide - Sorry, Martin, definitely not YOUR fault!) and suppose I could therefore be considered somewhat biased with regards to my opinion of his work. However, with regards to Nightwatching I can only echo a previous reviewer's statement, because Martin Freeman was simply amazing as Rembrandt. Having mainly seen Martin in comedic series such as The Office and Hardware, I simply hadn't expected such a mind-blowing performance (No offence, Martin...) and was thoroughly impressed. The dialogue-heavy film with some very long scenes which don't appear to have been cut must have been a hard slog for the actors; compliments to all involved. As viewer, I, too, was pretty exhausted in the end because to fully appreciate the storyline and dialogue, and do this film the justice it deserves, I found that I had to really concentrate and allow myself become immersed in what was happening on screen.

Not a Rembrandt fan, I admit that I would never have bought this DVD if it wouldn't have had Martin Freeman in the starring role and I'm grateful to the casting crew for their little stroke of genius. As soon as I can take some time off, I will travel to Amsterdam to see the painting for myself. Since first watching the DVD, I have also loaned it to most of my friends who, too, enjoyed the film very much indeed.
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
I'm a real Peter Greenaway fan - this just as an open statement of my partiality in advance.

Now, what I personally find best about this film is 1) the visuals, which are calmer and more puristic than those in most of Greenaway's films, whilst still continuing his technique of subjecting the style to the content (in this case, this means that most of the shots look like lost Rembrandt paintings, and this, let us admit, is simply a pleasure to look at). 2) The acting, which is sometimes emotional without ever becoming melodramatic, sometimes light and entertaining (I cannot quite agree with some people's opinion that this film debases Rembrandt, I think it shows him as a rounded human being, funny, serious, kind, silly, angry, sad, and all). 3) The investigation into the aesthetics of stage and painting, respectively, which is informed by Greenaway's playful yet sharp intellect.

What I find negative about the film is 1) the fact that the characters, apart from Rembrandt himself, are all two-dimensional, especially the women in Rembrandt's household, who really strike me as mere cardboard. Greenaway can do better then this. 2) The length, which is frankly irritating. The film should have ended on that beautifully delivered speech about how "The Night Watch" does not allow the people in the painting to strike a pose and, as it were, stage themselves, but gives that power to the painter instead. This nicely rounds off the conspiracy plot on a serious note - but then we are meant to go on and follow the "Rembrandt's downfall" plot, and that just doesn't work. Throughout the film, the biographical bits are the weaker of the two plot strands, and as soon as they are required to carry the film all by themselves, the whole things more or less collapses.
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Most Recent Customer Reviews
5.0 out of 5 stars Five Stars
Arrived in good time. Good film.
Published 1 month ago by Helen
2.0 out of 5 stars What no subtitles!
The sound on the Axiom version is faint and I have had to turn the volume up to 40 on my TV to catch the dialogue. Read more
Published 21 months ago by B. Welch
4.0 out of 5 stars Sadly, Martin Freeman is a Poor Rembrandt....
This long and beautiful film from Peter Greenaway about Dutch master Rembrandt has his hallmark as-art, framed set pieces, exquisitely lit and presented, as though they were the... Read more
Published on 23 Mar 2012 by Tim Kidner
1.0 out of 5 stars Fantastic film, horrible DVD...
The film is fantastic, but the DVD has *NO* subtitles in *ANY* language, including English...
Published on 28 Oct 2010 by maufuks
3.0 out of 5 stars A basically lousy movie that will probably become the (unseen) darling...
This is a very talky, very stagy film that does its d---dest to turn the gigantic figure of Rembrandt van Rijn into a horny little dwarf. Read more
Published on 11 Aug 2010 by L. E. Cantrell
4.0 out of 5 stars Clockwatching at Nightwatching
A good film but long, and one has to be something of an aficionado of Greenaway to enjoy this one. Beautifully lit and visually composed with an insistent Nymanesque score and a... Read more
Published on 5 Aug 2010 by barbicandy
3.0 out of 5 stars The documentary extra is better than the film!
For the first twenty minutes, I was really tantalised by this movie. I loved the way the cast of 'The Nightwatch' came towards the camera and bowed on the menu, the start of the... Read more
Published on 15 Jun 2010 by Lyn Whitfield
5.0 out of 5 stars stunning
This is a Greenaway film. Lighting stunning story fantastic the whole film is just fantatstic.
Published on 6 Jun 2010 by Mr. Jonathan Hawley
5.0 out of 5 stars Peter Greenaway's best film in quite some time.
Having read E. A. Solinas' review; there is not much point in covering the same ground. I agree with everything therein. Read more
Published on 24 May 2010 by Harry F. Korbl
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