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16 of 18 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Men love women, women love children, children love hamsters.
Despite being hissed at Cannes this film is still well worth seeing and improves on repeated viewings.

Greenaway has his protagonist ask if all directors make films to fulfil their own sexual fantasies, and we must assume (unless he is pulling our collective leg) proceeds to do exactly that, as Emmenthal pere et fils assemble a harem of female stereotypes in...
Published on 25 Oct 2006 by Chris

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16 of 16 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars Bizarre sexual comedy
There's a kind of French farce/Marquis de Sade/Japanese porn feel to this self-indulgent romp from Brit auteur Peter Greenaway. It's kind of a "God, I'm bored and I've got so much money and what the heck let's turn the Geneva mansion into a bordello, a different woman in every room and Dad and I will have lots of fun and bond" thing. "I mean mom's gone now, Dad, and you...
Published on 8 Jan 2009 by Dennis Littrell


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16 of 16 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars Bizarre sexual comedy, 8 Jan 2009
By 
Dennis Littrell (SoCal/NorCal/Maui) - See all my reviews
(TOP 500 REVIEWER)   
This review is from: 8 1/2 Women [DVD] [1999] [Region 1] [US Import] [NTSC] (DVD)
There's a kind of French farce/Marquis de Sade/Japanese porn feel to this self-indulgent romp from Brit auteur Peter Greenaway. It's kind of a "God, I'm bored and I've got so much money and what the heck let's turn the Geneva mansion into a bordello, a different woman in every room and Dad and I will have lots of fun and bond" thing. "I mean mom's gone now, Dad, and you never really got out and now it's time to live." So father and son go naked a lot with lots of babes who are also naked a lot.

Matthew Delamere (Storey) is the son and John Standing (Philip) is the father. It's a bit creepy seeing them sharing the same bed naked. In fact it's a bit creepy seeing John Standing naked, period. But that's part of the Greenaway intent. Let's shock the bourgeoisie. It's such fun to do stuff that will make them squirm.

They hissed at Cannes when this was shown (I understand; I wasn't there). It was first released in the Czech Republic, which says something, but I'm not sure what. It was banned in Malaysia--but that's pretty standard. The women are bizarre but, to be honest, intriguing. The story isn't much of a story. The rationale for suddenly taking on the life of the libertine is slight (Philip's wife dies) and a bit late in the coming. (And no pun intended.)

The story starts in Tokyo with Storey helping Simato, a pachinko addict played by Annie Shizuka Inoh, avoid financial trouble in exchange for sexual favors. But never mind. As I said, the story doesn't matter. What matters is the outrageousness of the events (mostly sexual) and the beautiful sets. That's it.
Most interesting thing in the film is Polly Walker who has both sex appeal and charisma. Most grotesque is that pig with its pinkish white skin so very human looking--and of course that was a sight joke and a comment upon humanity. But again, never mind.

By the way, the 8 1/2 in the title is because Fellini's famous film somehow inspired Storey and Philip toward their debauchery.
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
1.0 out of 5 stars A big disappointment., 1 Feb 2010
By 
D. Bethell - See all my reviews
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This review is from: 8 1/2 Women [DVD] [1999] (DVD)
I've been a big fan of PG from way back when. But after the Baby of Macon he seemed to lose his way. 8 1/2 Women just left me stone-cold; no real humour, stodgey story-line and absolutely no sleekness of lighting and glorious music that so-much defined the beauty of Peter's work. I'm looking forward to a resurgence soon and hope he makes great films again very soon.
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16 of 18 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Men love women, women love children, children love hamsters., 25 Oct 2006
By 
This review is from: 8 1/2 Women [DVD] [1999] (DVD)
Despite being hissed at Cannes this film is still well worth seeing and improves on repeated viewings.

Greenaway has his protagonist ask if all directors make films to fulfil their own sexual fantasies, and we must assume (unless he is pulling our collective leg) proceeds to do exactly that, as Emmenthal pere et fils assemble a harem of female stereotypes in their mansion. As well as the obvious Fellini reference, the film harks back to "A Zed and Two Noughts" in a number of respects, in the sort of intertextual game-playing Greenaway fans will know and love.

As with all Greenaway's work since The Falls, the photography is ravishing. No-one makes films which look better. It's unfortunate that he's not found a musical collaborator to equal Michael Nyman, but you can't have everything. He may not be sweeping the art-house scene before him these days (in fact there's not much of a UK art-house scene left these days), but in the end, slightly below-par Greenaway is better than 99% of directors can even aspire to.
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5.0 out of 5 stars perfect arthouse film from Greenaway. AND funny shock.., 18 Aug 2012
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This review is from: 8 1/2 Women [DVD] [1999] (DVD)
people's perceptions of great art always amuses me + how it varies so widely with truly intelligent + innovative artforms + so it is with "8 1/2 Women" by Peter Greenaway..

with so many other reviews on amazon already - i will keep mine brief. if you're a fan of Fellini's rich film legacy (over rich visual language perhaps), a fan of witty dialogue, arresting cinematography, decadent allusion, bathing pigs, horses, pachinko parlours, geisha's with odd male/female gender preferences, wayword nuns, pervy sons + slightly less pervy fathers ,shimmering chiascuro scenes , grand chateau scenes, males as well as female nudity and endlessly inventive imagery ? if thats a yes to any, or most of this list - then Peter Greenaway's late 1990's loose homage to Fellini's 8 1/2 is for YOU. the dialogue in particular betwen the father + son as they "procure" their 8 1/2 women - bristles with intelligence + humour . a joy.

its been a long time since a film ticked (+tickled) so many boxes in what i seek in arthouse film. Greenaway + his beautifully judged cast of wayward characters here - never fail to entertain, amuse, provoke and surprise. an absolute joy of a film and for me - so much more better realised than his stodgy "The Cook,Lover,Thief".

Frederico F would have approved i'm sure..
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4.0 out of 5 stars Last classic Greenaway, 27 July 2011
By 
J. King - See all my reviews
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This review is from: 8 1/2 Women [DVD] [1999] (DVD)
Exactly as my title says... Greenaway's last conventional narrative-type film to date(to my knowledge). Great stuff.. No plot to speak of but still(who needs plots anyway).. great photography, as can be expected from a Peter Greenaway film; the colours, the compositions, the Greenaway dialogue, etc. etc. The mastering's a bit poor, not as good as the Greenaway films released by the BFI... a shame but still certainly watchable.. No special features whatsoever.. bit irritating, again the BFI releases have commentaries, documentaries, behind the scenes footage and other such things... but never mind...
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62 of 85 people found the following review helpful
1.0 out of 5 stars Greenaway descends, 24 Jun 2004
This review is from: 8 1/2 Women [DVD] [1999] (DVD)
Peter Greenaway is a remarkably pure artist, unconfined by the conventions that define most modern art even in the negative sense of ironic comment. His women are beautiful wraiths animated by improbable and alien desires, his men a rogues gallery of peacocks, rogues, and victims. Witty words and dense visual beauty substitute for plot and recognizable human character.
8 1/2 Women is the first of Greenaway's films that fails for visual and verbal invention. Lacking the bedrock of solid cliche that makes mediocre films bearable as familiar comforting stories this film reveals the sterility of Greenaway's sympathetic instinct and the irrelevance of his intellectual impulses.
His last effort, The Pillow Book, was more beautiful but less interesting than earlier works. Comparing the vivacious clarity of The Draughtsman's Contract with 8 1/2 Women's turbid vacuity suggests that Greenaway's powers peaked early, and that the arc of his descent grows steeper with age.
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11 of 16 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Greenaway's homage to Fellini's 8 1/2, 21 Aug 2000
By A Customer
A simple tale, told in a simple fashion. The usual visual trickery used by greenaway are at a minimum as he emotively traces the outlines of a father and son embracing the figure and sexuality of the 8 1/2 women who live in their home as their concubines. Again Greenaway has shown his unpredictability, creating a film that on first viewing could be marked as sexist or masoginistic, yet with time the beauty of the characters and their hummble desires leaves haunting images in your mind.
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30 of 62 people found the following review helpful
1.0 out of 5 stars Only for masochists, 21 July 2004
This review is from: 8 1/2 Women [DVD] [1999] (DVD)
This was one of those films that occasionally appear in your list of Amazon recommendations. Unfortunately, this time I actually decided to buy the film. This film makes no sense and is definitely one for those with masochistic tendencies. Avoid like the plague and then some. Unfortunately it's not possible to give this minus 50 stars.
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8 1/2 Women [DVD] [1999] [Region 1] [US Import] [NTSC]
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