Peter Greenaway - Rotten Tomatoes

Peter Greenaway

Highest Rated:   100% Rembrandt's J'accuse (2008)
Lowest Rated:   41% 8 1/2 Women (1999)
Birthday:  
Birthplace:   Newport, Wales
An avant-gardist who earned surprising access to the mainstream, Peter Greenaway is among the most ambitious and controversial filmmakers of his era. Trained as a painter and heavily influenced by theories of structural linguistics, ethnography, and philosophy, Greenaway's films traversed often unprecedented ground, consistently exploring the boundaries of the medium by rejecting formal narrative structures in favor of awe-striking imagery, shifting meanings, and mercurial emotional tension; fascinated by formal symmetries and parallels, his material displayed an almost obsessive interest in list-making and cataloguing, earning equal notoriety for its provocative eroticism as well as its almost self-conscious pretentiousness. Born April 5, 1942, in Newport, Wales, Greenaway was raised primarily in nearby Chingford. After deciding at the age of 12 to become a painter, he entered the Walthamstow College of Art, where among his classmates was the future post-punk musician Ian Dury. By 1965, Greenaway had begun working as a film editor for the Central Office of Information, where within a year he started making his own experimental short features. Typical of his work of the period was 1966's Train, which featured footage of a steam-powered locomotive arriving at Waterloo Station recast as a mechanical ballet with a musique concrete score. The first of Greenaway's experimental short films to gain widespread distribution was 1969's seven-minute Intervals. He continued releasing work sporadically throughout the first half of the 1970s, ranging in length from 1974's four-minute Windows to 1976's 40-minute Goole by Numbers (an early hint of the fascination with numerology which would consume much of his later work). With 1978's A Walk Through H and Vertical Features Remake, Greenaway first garnered festival notice, and with 1980's The Falls, a "documentary" set in the future, he made his long-awaited feature debut. The 1982 17th century drama The Draughtsman's Contract was his critical breakthrough, and the film launched him to the forefront of the global experimental film community. In 1983, Greenaway helmed documentaries on the American composers Robert Ashley, John Cage, Philip Glass, and Meredith Monk for Britain's Channel Four television network. Over the next two years he produced only three short films (Making a Splash, Inside Rooms -- 26 Bathrooms, and A TV Dante Canto 5) and did not return to feature filmmaking prior to 1985's superb A Zed and Two Noughts. Two years later he released The Belly of an Architect, its focus on themes of obsession clearly mirroring Greenaway's own persona. Even more detailed was 1988's Drowning by Numbers, which stuffed its blackly comic tale of a murderous family with numerological references ranging in tone from broad visual puns to nods to Dante's Divine Comedy. With 1989's more accessible The Cook, the Thief, His Wife and Her Lover, Greenaway made his American breakthrough. A corrosive allegory of life in contemporary England, the film became the subject of much controversy in the U.S. when it fell subject to the MPAA's new "NC-17" rating, consequently winning the biggest audiences of the director's career. The follow-up, 1991's Prospero's Books, was his most experimental feature yet. A radical reinterpretation of Shakespeare's The Tempest, it employed a revolutionary new device called an electronic paintbox which allowed Greenaway to fill the screen with an intricate series of intertextual double exposures and transparent overlays, eliciting some of his most extreme viewer response yet. Greenaway then returned to television for the next two years, helming 1991's M Is for Man, Music, Mozart and the 1993 revisionist biopic Darwin. Also in 1993 he returned to feature films with the highly controversial The Baby of Macon, a grim, violent satire of life in the 17th century which failed to find an American distributor. Two years later Greenaway directed Stairs 1 Geneva, a documentary commissioned fo

Highest Rated Movies

Filmography

MOVIES

RATING TITLE CREDIT BOX OFFICE YEAR
60% Eisenstein In Guanajuato
  • Director
  • Screenwriter
$21.4k 2016
No Score Yet 3x3D
  • Screenwriter
  • Director
2014
75% Goltzius And The Pelican Company
  • Director
  • Screenwriter
2014
No Score Yet Le cinéma britannique aujourd'hui, la tradition des francs-tireurs
  • Actor
2012
100% Rembrandt's J'accuse
  • Director
  • Screenwriter
2008
76% Nightwatching
  • Screenwriter
  • Director
2007
No Score Yet The Tulse Luper Suitcases Part III - From Sark to Finish
  • Director
2004
No Score Yet The Tulse Luper Suitcases Part II - Vaux to the Sea
  • Director
2004
No Score Yet The Tulse Luper Suitcases Part I - The Moab Story
  • Director
2003
No Score Yet The Death of a Composer: Rosa, a Horse Drama
  • Director
  • Actor
1999
41% 8 1/2 Women
  • Screenwriter
1999
66% The Pillow Book
  • Director
  • Screenwriter
1997
100% Lumière and Company
  • Actor
1996
No Score Yet The Baby of Mâcon
  • Director
  • Screenwriter
1993
67% Prospero's Books
  • Director
  • Screenwriter
1991
No Score Yet Not Mozart
  • Director
1991
79% A Zed and Two Noughts
  • Director
  • Screenwriter
1990
89% The Cook, the Thief, His Wife & Her Lover
  • Director
  • Screenwriter
1989
91% Drowning by Numbers
  • Screenwriter
  • Director
1988
No Score Yet Death in the Seine
  • Director
1988
91% The Belly of an Architect
  • Director
  • Screenwriter
1987
No Score Yet Inside Rooms: 26 Bathrooms, London & Oxfordshire, 1985
  • Director
1985
No Score Yet Four American Composers - Robert Ashley
  • Director
1983
No Score Yet Four American Composers - Meredith Monk
  • Director
1983
No Score Yet 4 American Composers: Philip Glass
  • Director
  • Screenwriter
1983
No Score Yet Four American Composers
  • Screenwriter
  • Director
1983
No Score Yet American Composers: John Cage
  • Director
  • Screenwriter
1983
100% The Draughtsman's Contract
  • Screenwriter
1982
80% The Falls
  • Screenwriter
  • Actor
  • Director
1980
No Score Yet Act of God
  • Director
1980
No Score Yet Water Wrackets
  • Director
  • Screenwriter
1978
No Score Yet A Walk Through H: The Reincarnation of an Ornithologist
  • Director
1978
No Score Yet Dear Phone
  • Actor
  • Director
1977
No Score Yet H Is for House
  • Actor
  • Director
1973
No Score Yet Intervals
  • Director
1969

Quotes from Peter Greenaway's Characters

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