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.


TIE ME UP! TIE ME DOWN!
ATAME!
1989, Janus Films, 102 min, Spain, Dir: Pedro Almodóvar

Paroled mental patient Antonio Banderas kidnaps former porn star-turned-junkie Victoria Abril to save her from herself, in Almodóvar’s violently sexy take on male-female relations – and his most controversial film in the U.S., where it earned a hotly contested X-rating. “In a country like Spain I don’t have to explain that TIE ME UP! is a love story, or defend myself against accusations that it could turn you into a psychopath!” – Almodóvar.


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.


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