FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Date: April 16, 1997 Contact: Margot Gerber Tel.: 213/466-FILM ext. 115
DIRECTOR PETER GREENAWAY TO APPEAR IN-PERSON FOR OPENING WEEKEND OF AMERICAN CINEMATHEQUE'S RETROSPECTIVE "THE FILMS OF PETER GREENAWAY"
Greenaway to present SNEAK PREVIEW of his latest film THE PILLOW BOOK on opening night, plus the LA PREMIERE of THE BABY OF MACON.
Weekends May 2 - 17, 1997
HOLLYWOOD - British filmmaker Peter Greenaway will appear in-person on May 2nd and 3rd for the opening weekend of the American Cinematheque's, G IS FOR GAMES, GARDENS, GREENAWAY: THE FILMS OF PETER GREENAWAY (May 2 - 17), the most comprehensive retrospective of Greenaway's work ever mounted in Los Angeles. Greenaway is best known in the United States for his outrageous black comedy THE COOK ,THE THIEF, HIS WIFE AND HER LOVER. Many of the rare gems of his incredibly prolific career, including THE STAIRS I, GENEVA (1994), ROSA (1991) and M IS FOR MAN, MUSIC, MOZART (1991), will be exhibited for the first time in Los Angeles. Highlights of the film series include a Sneak Preview of Greenaway's latest film THE PILLOW BOOK (Cinepix Film Properties), a dazzling tale of intense passion and the erotic art of calligraphy set in modern Japan and the LA Premiere of the controversial THE BABY OF MACON (1993), starring Ralph Fiennes and Julia Ormond. Also featured are some of Greenaway's rarely-seen works for television, his early short films and such Greenaway classics as A ZED AND TWO NOUGHTS, THE BELLY OF AN ARCHITECT, THE FALLS and DROWNING BY NUMBERS. The Cinematheque continues its unique version of dinner theater with a May 17th THE COOK, THE THIEF, HIS WIFE AND HER LOVER inspired supper in connection with a screening of the film. All screenings are at the Raleigh Studios Charlie Chaplin Theater (5300 Melrose Avenue between Bronson & Van Ness) in Hollywood. All films are directed by Peter Greenaway. Our series is part of a 17 city tour of Greenaway's films and in-person appearances.
To sum up the extraordinary nature of Greenaway's work, The New York Times' critic Vincent Canby said, "Mr. Greenaway is a genuine wit with a grand imagination... the irrepressible anthropologist of this mad, doomed world." Kinky sex, black humor, outrageous coincidence, people with unusual names, list-making, capturing landscape architecture and poking fun at all things British make up the often elaborate alternate universe where Peter Greenaway's art exists. His unclassifiable brand of filmmaking grew out of his two great early passions, literature and painting. Says Greenaway, "For me the cinema is but a trunk where I put writing, light, aesthetics and language." In 1965 Greenaway began an 11-year career as an editor for the British Central Office of Information while simultaneously beginning to write, direct and produce his own short films. In 1982, with THE DRAUGHTSMAN'S CONTRACT, he received enormous critical attention which established him internationally as a filmmaker to watch. Greenaway maintains the distinction of being perhaps the only modern visual artist who moves so freely between mediums: film, television, live theatre, opera, painting, photography and writing.
WEEKEND 1: May 2nd & 3rd
The series kicks off on Friday, May 2nd at 7:15 PM with a special Sneak Preview of Greenaway's latest film THE PILLOW BOOK (Cinepix Film Properties, 126 min.), an exquisite story about a modern Japanese woman (Vivian Wu) who becomes obsessed with the pleasure of having calligraphy drawn on her body and on the flesh of her many lovers. Inspired by the 10th-century Pillow Book of Sei Shonagon, a diary of life at the Japanese Imperial Court, Greenaway's film takes the form of 13 "living books:" human paintings, designed by Greenaway himself and executed in ink and gold-leaf. The film stars Vivian Wu, Ken Ogata, Ewan McGregor (TRAINSPOTTING) and Yoshi Oida. Cinepix Film Properties releases the film in Los Angeles on June 6, 1997. Please hold reviews until this date. Discussion following with Peter Greenaway. Following at 10:00 PM is the Los Angeles Premiere of THE BABY OF MACON (1993, UGC Images, 120 min.), Greenaway's most controversial film. MACON is the story of the exploitation of a child for gain during the time of a plague of infertility in the Cathedral City of Macon. Julia Ormond stars as a young maid hired to play the mother of a miracle child in 17th-century France, with Ralph Fiennes as the object of her desire. Greenaway pushes the magnificent savagery of THE COOK, THE THIEF to its wildest limits here, in an unforgettable orgy of dismemberment, rape and religious hypocrisy. With music by longtime collaborator Michael Nyman and page 3 - Peter Greenaway photography by Sacha Vierny. There will be a repeat screening of THE BABY OF MACON on Saturday, May 3rd at 7:15 PM. Discussion with Peter Greenaway following Saturday, May 3rd show only. Pillow Book is sold-out!
The Saturday, May 3rd program begins at 4:15 PM with A WALK THROUGH G(reenaway) - The Early Films 1973 - 78 (Zeitgeist Films, 133 min. total). Included in this program is "Dear Phone," a study of phone boxes; "Water Wrackets," a Tolkienesque fantasy; "Windows," a piece on falling objects; "Intervals" and "H is for House," plus "A Walk Through H" and "Vertical Features Remake" - two films starring the legendary Tulse Luper - ornithologist, filmmaker and Greenaway's alter ego. Following at 7:15 PM is a repeat screening of the Los Angeles Premiere of THE BABY OF MACON (1993, UGC Images, 120 min.). (See May 2nd at 10:00 PM for details). Following at 10:00 PM are 2 Los Angeles Premieres, THE STAIRS I, GENEVA (1994, 100 min.) and ROSA (1991, Argos, 15 min.). STAIRS documents an enormous open-air art project that Greenaway installed in Geneva: 100 white staircases that offer 100 different views of the city, 100 different ways of seeing (and all in 100 minutes!). ROSA is a stunning black & white, Cinemascope dance film with Fumiyo Ikeda performing to the music of Bela Bartok.
WEEKEND 2: May 9th & 10th
The Friday, May 9th program begins at 7:15 PM with the LA Premiere of DEATH IN THE SEINE (1988, Ideale Audience, 44 min.), a macabre visit to the Paris Mortuary at the time of the French Revolution. Here, two coroners are forced to deal with the flood of bodies coming out of the Seine river. The methodical lists of the victim's bodies - scars, haircuts and even the number of buttons on their coats - become a kind of mesmerizing tone-poem and melancholy reminder of what we leave behind. Plus, "26 Bathrooms" (1985, Channel 4 Television, 30 min.), a playful, witty, alphabetical tour (A is for "A Bathroom") of British plumbing and a special unannounced screening of Greenaway's 1992 television film DARWIN (52 min.). This program repeats on Saturday, May 10th at 5:15 PM. Following at 9:00 PM is THE FALLS (1980, Zeitgeist, 185 min.), a chronicle of the aftermath of a Violent Unknown Event (abbreviated VUE) that hits England, leaving its victims with a variety of strange symptoms: immortality, the ability to speak one of several new languages (Capistan, Hartileas B and so on), and a suspicious resemblance to birds. Filmmakers The Brothers Quay appear in this filmed encyclopedia of staggering complexity and curiosity.
The Saturday, May 10th program begins at 5:15 PM with a repeat screening of DEATH IN THE SEINE & "26 Bathrooms" - plus a special unannounced screening of Greenaway's 1992 television film DARWIN. Following at 7:15 PM is an extremely rare opportunity to see THE DRAUGHTSMAN'S CONTRACT (1992, BFI, 108 min.), (prints of this film are said to be "rarer than hen's teeth" at press time), the tale of a cocky young draughtsman (Anthony Higgins) who is hired to sketch a dozen different views of a 17th-century British estate. What he sees and who he sleeps with become intertwined in a ravishing intellectual murder mystery: part Agatha Christie, part Alain Resnais. Following at 9:30 PM is DROWNING BY NUMBERS (1988, Miramax, 118 min.), a murderous comedy of sorts, where three women, all named Cissie Colpitts, (Joan Plowright, Juliet Stevenson and Joely Richardson) conspire to drown their husbands with the help of a sex-starved coroner. Greenaway constructs a delightful, imaginary England out of tethered sheep and hidden numbers. Plus, "Fear of Drowning" (1988, Channel Four Television, 26 min.), Greenaway's made-for-TV companion piece to the feature.
WEEKEND 3: May 16th & 17th
The Friday, May 16th program begins with a 7:15 PM screening of TV DANTE - Cantos 1 - 8 (1988, RM Associates, 84 min.), one of Greenaway's most stunningly ambitious works. This re-imagining of the Inferno is a psychedelic collage of sound and image, where the poet Dante wanders through the accumulated wreckage of two millenia of Western culture. With the voice of Sir John Gielgud as Virgil and Joanne Whalley-Kilmer as Beatrice. This program repeats on Saturday, May 17th at 5:15 PM. Following at 9:30 PM is A ZED AND TWO NOUGHTS (1986, Film Four, 115 min.), a demented speculation on death, decay, zoology, amputations and pornography. Twin zookeepers (Brian & Eric Deacon) lose their wives in a car crash and become increasingly obsessed with capturing images of putrefacations. The film is shot in unearthly stop-motion photography. "Once you overcome the first frisson of horror, death becomes beautiful, like the atom bomb cloud or the fog over San Francisco," said Greenaway. With Andrea Ferréol. Plus, ACT OF GOD (1981, BFI, 28 min.), Greenaway's hilariously surreal study of people who have been struck by lightning. The
Saturday, May 17th program begins with a 5:15 PM screening of TV DANTE. (See Friday, May 16th 7:15 PM screening for details). Following at 7:15 PM is an Ultra-Rare Screening of THE BELLY OF AN ARCHITECT (1987, 105 min.), a film supposedly inspired by a strange stomachache Greenaway suffered in Italy in 1984. BELLY follows the disastrous Roman holiday of an American architect named Stourley Kracklite, who is organizing a tribute to a visionary French architect of two centuries earlier. Brian Dennehy is the raging, paranoid, hypochondriac Kracklite and Chloe Webb (SID & NANCY) is his faithless wife. Long unavailable due to legal problems, BELLY makes a once-in-a- decade appearance here. Beginning at 7:30 PM the Cinematheque presents its version of dinner theater with a THE COOK, THE THIEF inspired SUMPTUOUS BANQUET SUPPER catered by Classic Cuisine. Dinner is $6 per person and can be purchased in addition to the price of admission to either the 7:15 pm or 9:30 pm screenings. Following at 9:30 PM is THE COOK, THE THIEF, HIS WIFE & HER LOVER (1989, Miramax, 125 min.) starring Michael Gambon as a gangster who gorges himself at the dinner table while his wife (Helen Mirren) plays gourmet food-games in the kitchen with her lover. Greenaway's unholiest masterpiece and director Joel Schumacher's favorite film! Plus the LA Premiere of M IS FOR MAN, MUSIC, MOZART (1991, RM Associates, 29 min.), a fest of naked dancers/anatomy students slinking across a bloody amphitheater and jazz singers crooning apocryphal texts to the music of avant-garde Dutch composer Louis Andriessen. Admission for the general public is $7 and $4 for American Cinematheque Members. The Saturday, May 17th Sumptuous Banquet Supper is $6 in addition to the admission price for the screening. Separate admission for each screening. A complete calendar/flyer listing of these films has been mailed to you.
PRESS SCREENINGS: * DATES FOR ADVANCE THEATRICAL PRESS SCREENINGS ARE NOT CURRENTLY AVAILABLE. PLEASE CALL IF YOU WOULD LIKE TO BE NOTIFIED OF DATES & TIMES.
* THE PILLOW BOOK WILL SCREEN FOR THE PRESS ON APRIL 29th at 7:30 PM AT THE SONY IMAGEWORKS THEATER (9050 W. Washington Blvd.). RSVP to 213.891.3748. FOR FURTHER INFORMATION OR TO ARRANGE INTERVIEWS WITH GREENAWAY PLEASE CALL LAURA KIM AT THE POGACHEFSKY COMPANY: 213.933.3399 or e-mail firstname.lastname@example.org. REVIEWS SHOULD APPEAR FOR JUNE 6th RELEASE.
S PRESS PASSES ARE NOT LIKELY TO BE AVAILABLE DURING THE FESTIVAL AS MOST SCREENINGS WILL BE SOLD OUT. IT IS RECOMMENDED THAT YOU TAKE ADVANTAGE OF THE ADVANCE PRESS SCREENINGS.
BLACK & WHITE PHOTOS AND PRESS KITS AVAILABLE UPON REQUEST
* ADVANCE PRESS SCREENINGS ARE AVAILABLE ON VIDEO TAPE AT THE OFFICES OF THE AMERICAN CINEMATHEQUE. CALL 213.466.3456 ext. 115 or 116 TO SCHEDULE SCREENINGS. ATTACHED IS A LIST OF FILMS AVAILABLE: (*these titles may not be available)
THE STAIRS I, GENEVA DEATH ON THE SIENE 26 BATHROOMS FEAR OF DROWNING TV DANTE M IS FOR MAN, MUSIC, MOZART *THE BABY OF MACON "Dear Phone," "Water Wrackets," "A Walk Through H" (all on one tape) THE FALLS THE DRAUGHTSMAN'S CONTRACT DROWNING BY NUMBERS A ZED AND TWO NOUGHTS THE BELLY OF AN ARCHITECT THE COOK, THE THIEF...
v Please note that tickets to our programs can be purchased through THEATIX (213) 466-1767. Our number (213) 466-FILM should be listed for further information only!
Established in 1984, the American Cinematheque, is a non-profit, viewer-supported film exhibition and cultural organization dedicated to the celebration of the Moving Picture in all its forms. The Cinematheque presents weekly film and video programming which ranges from the classics and world cinemas to the outer frontiers of the art form at the Raleigh Studios Charlie Chaplin Theater and other Los Angeles venues. Exhibition of rare works, special prints within our series, etc., combined with fascinating post-screening discussions with the filmmakers who created the work, are a Cinematheque tradition that keep audiences coming back for once-in-a-lifetime cinema experiences. The American Cinematheque is currently renovating the historic Egyptian Theater on Hollywood Boulevard, which, when open in 1998, will become the American Cinematheque's permanent home and offer daily, year-round programming. For information about this film program call 213/466-FILM. THE PROGRAM IS SUBJECT TO CHANGE WITHOUT NOTICE.
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