RIDICULE
1996, Park Circus/Miramax, 102 min, France, Dir: Patrice Leconte

Moved by the difficulties faced by peasants living in the mosquito-ridden swamplands near Lyon, aristocratic engineer Marquis Grégoire Ponceludon de Malavoy (Charles Berling) devises a plan to drain the boggy land. But to gain an audience with King Louis XVI (Urbain Cancelier) in Versailles, he learns he must impress the royal court with his verbal wit. Drawn into a world of ever-shifting alliances where words are used as weapons, the marquis begins to lose sight of his noble intentions.


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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