Tuesday, June 20, 2006

Ambitious Greenaway


I, being at work and having responsibilities, have only visited the above site for a brief period but I will fully investigate later. I doubt I am sharing this prematurely, as it is a link that has something to do with a Peter Greenaway project (therefore, worth my time and yours) that I will most likely never see. His films are largely unavailable on American friendly DVD and I am still waiting for another chance to see Prospero’s Books on the big screen (ahem… loca).

The Tulse Luper Suitcases is, as far as I can tell from IMDB and other unreliable sources, a ridiculously mammoth undertaking involving the evolution of filmmaking, mostly by incorporating it with other forms of technology, new and old. To properly see the thing one must experience the film, the printed/written passages and some CD Rom and internet related ho-ha all at once. Or in pieces. Or something. I’m not sure, but it sounds ambitious and I always applaud this kind of ambition.

Greenaway is one of my favorite filmmakers simply because he made The Cook, The Thief, His Wife and Her Lover but also because he is daring and different and his films take chances. Cinema is too often dull. At least when Greenaway fails, he fails magnificently. Tulse Luper might fail. It certainly has the potential to implode under the weight of such a gigantic vision. But still, the results are bound to be interesting. Greenaway, I know, made three parts of the thing and many feel it could only be complete after 92 installments. Meanwhile, Nightwatching is in pre-production and I’ll be happy if that makes it to these shores. I guess I ought to move to the Netherlands if I want to keep abreast of Greenaway’s output, however bizarre. He was quoted as saying that cinema is an archaic art form and so this project, I guess, is supposed to help it evolve. Doubtful, but again, I have to applaud the guy.

Oh, here’s a list of people Greenaway envisioned as appearing in The Tulse Luper Suitcases:

Victoria Abril, Ernesto Alterio, Imanol Arias, Pilar López de Ayala, Fairuza Balk, Antonio Banderas, Javier Bardem, Kathy Bates, Toni Bertorelli, Lothaire Blutheau, Barbora Bobulova, Mark Boone Jr, Hugh Bonneville, Miguel Bosé, Jeff Bridges, Rosalinda Celentano, Christy Chung, Roberto Citran, Penelope Cruz, Gabino Diego, Juan Echanove, Umberto Eco, Carmen Elías, Sabrina Ferelli, JJ Field, Morgan Freeman, Dawn French. Anna Galiena, Vincent Gallo, Bruno Ganz, Claudia Gerini, Remo Girone, Richard Griffiths, Francesco Guzzo, Debbie Harry, William Hurt, Sabrina Impacciatore, Celia Imrie, Joel Joan, Don Johnson, Charo López, Sergi López, Madonna, Keram Malicki-Sánchez, Laia Marull, Ewen McGregor, Tanya Moodie, Nick Moran, Anson Mount, Ornella Muti, Nick Nolte, Gary Oldman, Lena Olin, Mercedes Ortega, Rossy de Palma, Marisa Paredes, Amanda Plummer, Franka Potente, Josep Maria Pou, Juanjo Puigcorbé, Miranda Richardson, Molly Ringwald, Vincent de Rooster, Isabella Rossellini, Andre Schneider, Maria Schrader, David Selvas, Assumpta Serna, Sting, David Thewlis, Naim Thomas, Kristin Scott Thomas, Goya Toledo, Ana Torrent, Zoe Wanamaker, Leslie Woodhall, Guillermo Yeso.

All these names were considered by Greenaway to be a part of the project at one time. Of course, the great director made this list public before he had signed contracts, so most of them may never appear in his multimedia magnum opus. Thankfully, Madonna remains among the unsigned.