THE PILLOW BOOK

ENGLAND 1996

Directed by Peter Greenaway

 

This is written and directed by Peter Greenaway, and its story is probably linked to a Japanese well known diary  and its contents, however, the director has turned this into a modern story, and updated its contents to the story of a model looking for pleasure and a variety of experiences with different lovers.

The film, uses body painting as a tool for all this, and this is what Nagiko is trying to find ... someone that can match the art of the writing and its poetry to the words being done on her body, thereby giving her some physical pleasure along the way.

So far, nothing in this film is strange ... Peter Greenaway has nudity in films ... check ... Peter Greenaway has color in his films ... check ... Peter Greenaway, has stories that have weird moments, and yet they are strangely well fit in to the whole of the story and film ... check ... so, after all that ... what's in this film ... that makes it difficult and a really tough watch all the way through it?

The PIP ... what television calls the picture within a picture, that is showing what appears to be something else that might not at all relate to the story, but we can not make sense of it all, since none of it is really clear. My idea is that the "Pip" is actually the thinking part of the character, but even then, this will become a massive effort and must be watched more than once to get a proper answer. And then the film takes turns with a story, by turning the Nagiko's idea backwards, and then the publisher makes comments about the publishing world and its trees ... and somewhere in the middle is a story ... that leaves you totally numb, wondering what is going on.

But, watching it, and its concept and the speed with which it moves, makes you wonder ... what am I missing here? And sometimes this is the part of the Peter Greenaway films that drives you and I crazy ... you do not have an answer for it all, and I'm not convinced that the director is even trying to tell us anything ... I thin he just sticks to his visuals and how he see it, and does not ask questions, like we do.

A very interesting and different film, and if anything, the music all through out the film is fantastic and very well used.


MUSIC:                            Brian Eno
CINEMATOGRAPHY:    Sacha Vierny
WITH:                               Vivian Wu, Ewan Mcgregor, Ken Ogata, Yoshi Oida, Hideko Yoshida, Judy Ongg
SUPER:                             Probably the whole concept will leave you going nuts ... it's almost too much visual intake!

 

   

      

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