Goltzius And The Pelican Company, film review: Peter Greenaway's work remains as original and as exasperating as ever
(18) Peter Greenaway, 128 mins Starring: Ramsey Nasr, F Murray Abraham
It's strange how far Peter Greenaway, one of the towering figures in contemporary British cinema, has fallen out of fashion. His Tulse Luper project alienated even some of his most devoted followers and British public funders have, shamefully, ignored him for years. Greenaway's work remains as original and as exasperating as ever.
His new feature starts from the premise that "every new visual technology, sooner or later, gets into bed with lechery."
The main character, Goltzius (engagingly played in sub-Monty Python fashion by the Dutch author and actor Ramsey Nasr), is a printer and engraver who stages erotic versions of six biblical tales in a bid to win backing from a wealthy patron, Margrave of Alsace (F Murray Abraham).
In its lesser moments, Goltzius plays like a slightly more cerebral version of Tinto Brass's Caligula with art- historical references thrown in to the mix for good measure to accompany frequent scenes of characters copulating.
Greenaway's visual ingenuity is undiminished. His tableau-like set-pieces pay meticulous attention to costume and production design. Much of the writing is witty and erudite, and as flamboyant as the visuals. It's just a pity that the film droops markedly as it goes on.
film Sex scene trailer sees a shirtless Jamie Dornan turn up the heat
Maisie Williams single-handedly rises to the challengeTV
Arts & Ents blogs
- 1 Woman falls to her death as she celebrates marriage proposal at the edge of Ibiza cliff
- 2 Venezuela Expo Tattoo 2015: Extreme body art from 'Vampire Woman' to 109mm earlobes
- 3 Saudi preacher who 'raped and tortured' his five -year-old daughter to death is released after paying 'blood money'
- 4 Dad attempts revenge on teenage daughter, plan backfires spectacularly
- 5 Ball pool for adults opens in London
Game of Thrones, season 5: Grey Worm actor Jacob Anderson is all for more male nudity – as long as he can keep his clothes on
Venezuela Expo Tattoo 2015: Extreme body art from 'Vampire Woman' to 109mm earlobes
Game of Thrones really doesn't want Danny Dyer - EastEnders star rejected three times
Martin Scorsese 'in shock' after death on set of new film Silence
Game of Thrones season 5 trailer: The first full-length look is here
9 reasons Greece's experiment with the radical left is doomed to failure
Have we reached 'peak food'? Shortages loom as global production rates slow
Greece elections: Syriza and EU on collision course after election win for left-wing party
British grandmother Lindsay Sandiford faces execution by firing squad in Indonesia
Liberal Democrat minister defends comments suggesting immigration causes pub closures
King Abdullah dead: We can't afford not to hold Saudi Arabia's royals to account