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History of the Avant-Garde*
THE EARLY FILMS OF PETER GREENAWAY 1
A Walk Through H | H is for House | Windows | Intervals | Dear Phone | Water Wrackets
He has other reputations as well- as an academic, as a maker of curious artefacts, as a cataloguer of the bizarre and as a librarian of the absurd.
Greenaway might as well have been describing himself in this thumbnail sketch of Canton Remodell, a character in an unmade project. Before his international arthouse hit The Draughtsman's Contract Greenaway had made a series of highly inventive and witty short films. Their content varies widely: the potted history of 37 people who have fallen to their deaths from windows (Windows), a sequence of 92 maps to guide a dead ornithologist on his way into the afterlife (A Walk Through H ), but all the films are immensely playful and take pleasure in outlandish detail, fake erudition and corkscrew narratives. Composer Michael Nyman started his career with Peter Greenaway and contributed a thrilling score to A Walk Through H.
DVD extras include a Galley of Artworks, a Gallery of Archives, filmed introductions to all six films by Peter Greenaway plus hidden features.
UK | 1969 1978 | colour and black & white | 87 minutes | Ratio 1.33:1 | Region 2 DVD
* A series of video releases featuring the best of radical and innovative filmmaking from the first hundred years of cinema
All of the films featured here are short in form, though filled with huge ideas, with many of the films, most notably Water Wrackets and Windows, really using their initial simple set up to explore deeper themes and ideas that don't necessarily become clear until the second or third viewing (much like the various layered themes at work within his best films, like A Zed and Two Noughts and The Draughtsman's Contract). Greenaway's work, even the ones that might seem fairly straightforward, are always about more than one thing, which means that many of these projects might seems infuriatingly slight upon first experiences, though certainly, perseverance and a lot of thought eventually exposes more interesting elements away from the surface pretensions.Read more ›