- 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: 3.8 out of 5 stars See all reviews (34 customer reviews)
- ASIN: B002ZQX068
- Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 35,801 in DVD & Blu-ray (See Top 100 in DVD & Blu-ray)
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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.
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Top Customer Reviews
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.Read more ›
Peter Greenaway's Nightwatching is as much a work of art as the painting that inspired it. The film is a moving canvas; the composition of each scene is brilliant. I haven't enjoyed a film on Art as much as this in quite a while. (I can recommend Milos Forman's 2006 film; Goya's Ghosts; beautifully shot with sumptuous sets, a little melodramatic but I enjoyed it equally).
My only complaint about this DVD release is that there are no subtitles; this is a very wordy film (nearly 2,500 lines of dialogue). For ageing ears it is not easy to catch everything that is being said.
One warning for those not familiar with Peter Greenaway's work; he has an unorthodox approach to what you could consider to be a historical film. Rembrant Van Rijn , the son of a miller, who through his paintbrush has risen above his working class status to associate with wealthy and powerful members of society. Greenaway's Rembrant maintains his earthy working class manner of speaking; "F..k this painting! F..k it! F..k! F..k! Bloody hell!." Which, in the context of the film's plot I did not find offensive. (Just don't expect him to talk like Charles Laughton in the 1936 film). I expect most of you will have seen some of Peter Greenaway's other works, so the coarse language should not come as a surprise.
This 2-DISC set includes the feature documentary "Rembrandt's J'accuse" (100 minutes); in which Director Peter Greenaway explores the theories and conspiracies behind Rembrandt's "The Night Watch". The Documentary in itself is as strong, if not stronger, as the film itself.Read more ›
"Nighthwatching" and "Rembrandt's J'Accuse" are two different movies. The documentary "Rembrandt's J'Accuse" is NOT included on this blu ray.
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.
Most Recent Customer Reviews
An unusual film.Like watching a stage play.Very enjoyable.....Martin Freeman looks like Rembrandt .....Published 1 month ago by alan kay
Very boring. Hard to follow story line and not very interesting. Don't waste you money buying this film .... very disappointing.Published 3 months ago by Alida Sunderland
This film will either absorb your attention fully for its two-hour-plus length, or it will soon bore you, or even disgust you. Read morePublished 5 months ago by Nicholas Casley
Bought as a gift, but seem to get a lot for your cash. Interesting and perhaps a bit too artsy, but then
it is an art picture.
Greenaway never disappoints me. Beautiful cinematography- earthy characters and actors well chosen. If you love Hollywood blockbusters- you'll hate this!Published 18 months ago by K. Simmons