Saturday, 5 April 2014

Britain is still a country for and says "Happy Birthday" to an old artist-inspired film director called Peter Greenaway

Peter Greenaway, whose films are noted for the distinct influence of Renaissance, Baroque and Flemish painting and references to the past as a way to talk about the present and to draw comparisons with our current 'civilization', is 72 years old today.

What you possibly didn't know about Peter, that he :

*  was born in Newport, South Wales, during The Second World War where his mother was a teacher and father, a builder's merchant had moved from London to avoid the Blitz bombing and moved to Essex with the family at the end of the War when he was 3 years old.
* attended Forest School in North-East London and at the age of 12 decided to become a painter and became interested in European cinema and the films of Bergman, Jean-Luc-Godard and Resnais.

* began studies at Walthamstow College of Art at the age of 20 in 1962, trained as a 'muralist' and made his first film, 'Death of Sentiment', a churchyard furniture essay with crosses, flying angels, typography on grave stones in four large London cemeteries.

* at the age of twenty-two, bought his first 16mm Bolex camera and decided to focus his future within the film industry and having been rejected by the Royal College of Art Film School, started his career as a film editor and director at the Government's Central Office of Information, responsible for making public information films.

* complementary to his daily job, started making his first experimental short films : in 1966 directed 'Train', about the last steam trains at Waterloo Station and 'Tree', a homage to the embattled tree growing in concrete outside the Royal Festival Hall and in the 70's 'Verticle Features Remake', an examination of  arithmetical editing structures and a journey through the maps of a fictitious country called 'A Walk Through H'.

* made ' The Draughtman's Contract' in 1982,
'A Zed and Two Noughts' in '85,
'The Belly of an Architect' in '87,
'Drowning by Numbers' in '88 and his most successful and controversial film, 'The Cook, the Thief, His Wife and Her Lover' in '89 with a role for an old fellow student and musician Ian Dury :

* in 1989, collaborated with artist Tom Phillips on a tv serial, 'A TV Dante' :
and made 'Prosperos Books' in '91 :

* in the early 1990's, added ten opera libretti his 'Death of a Composer' series dealing with the commonalities of the deaths of 10 composers, some fictitious, but including Anton Webern and John Lennon and said :

* made 'Rembrant's J'Accuse' in 2008 :

* said in 1987 :
' If my films didn't entertain they would have failed right from the beginning. I make the greatest effort to be entertaining in every area : in the discovery of images, in the composition of the picture, in the fleshing out the character in form and content, in the utilizing of music, in the work on the sound track.'

No comments:

Post a Comment