THE COOK, THE THIEF, HIS WIFE & HER LOVER
1989, Park Circus/Miramax, 124 min, Netherlands/UK/France, Dir: Peter Greenaway

Michael Gambon stars as a gangster who gorges himself at the restaurant he owns while his disaffected wife (Helen Mirren) plays gourmet food games in the kitchen with her lover (Alan Howard). This disturbing, visually audacious black comedy is Greenaway's unholiest masterpiece.


PROSPERO’S BOOKS
1991, Park Circus/Miramax, 124 min, UK/Netherlands/France, Dir: Peter Greenaway

This highly imaginative retelling of Shakespeare’s The Tempest stars John Gielgud, here realizing a lifelong ambition to portray Prospero on screen. A magician in exile, he is eager to exact revenge against his enemies until his daughter (Isabelle Pasco) falls in love with his chief rival’s son (Mark Rylance). With its remarkably innovative use of choreography (to a Michael Nyman score), animation and digitally manipulated imagery, Greenaway’s riff on the classic play is among his most dazzlingly visual films.


MURIEL
MURIEL OU LE TEMPS D’UN RETOUR
1963, Argos Films, 116 min, France, Italy, Dir: Alain Resnais

Arguably his greatest masterpiece (and one of the most unjustly neglected films of the past 40 years), director Alain Resnais’ third feature could be described as an expressionist cityscape of Boulogne in 1962, within the context of the Algerian war. It's also the story of Hélène (Delphine Seyrig) attempting to seduce her old lover, Alphonse, while her stepson is driven to murder in memory of "Muriel" whom we never see. For his first color film, "Resnais uses a color scheme reminiscent of Flash Gordon, with lush greens and reds throughout." - John Kreidl, Alain Resnais. In French with English subtitles.


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