It has been some time since any of Peter Greenaway's films have troubled the UK multiplexes, not that he was ever much liked in these shores, having to find some financing in France and Netherland. Even on the continent, he seems to have faded from the arthouse limelight recently, concentrating on film installations and exhibitions.
He did benefit from a certain notoriety and had a dedicated following in the 90's, enjoying his biggest success in 96 with one of his most accessible film, the visual feast that was The pillow book. In it, the body a young Ewan McGregor was used as a blank page by calligraphy obsessed Vivian Wu, who dragged him in her sensual games and her quest for revenge against the man that ruined her father.
For some however, Peter Greenaway remains the ultimate triumph of style over substance, with his films sumptuous visuals, more akin to those of a painting, barely masking a vacuous pretension and lack of emotional involvement. As one of his most ardent fan, even I cannot deny that some of his experimentations and his somehow irritating willingness to shock led him to commit some complete misfires, especially his totally misguided adaptation of Shakespeare's The tempest, Prospero's book, drowned with ugly cgi.
So it is with some surprise and trepidation that we have heard he is currently working on a rom-com, tentatively named Four storms and two babies, a title you would more associate with Richard Curtis latest crowd-pleaser than the master of experimentation. Knowing him however, and with that title, it will be anything but straight forward!
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