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ADG Film Society Honors Legendary Director Peter Greenway with a Double Feature/Panel of The Draughtsman’s Contract & Prospero’s Books


LR-ADG-LogoThe Art Directors Guild (ADG, IATSE Local 800) Film Society and the American Cinematheque  have announced that they will be presenting The Draughtsman’s Contract (1982) and Prospero’s Books (1991) in tribute to British director, screenwriter and cinematic auteur Peter Greenaway on Sunday, July 30 at the Egyptian Theatre. A discussion between films with The Draughtsman’s Contract’s cinematographer, Curtis Clark ASC, will explore the creative legacy of Greenaway, moderated by production designer Thomas A. Walsh ADG/USA. This double feature concludes the 2017 ADG Film Society Screening Series entitled “Production Design: Legacy, Pageantry & Artistry,” sponsored by The Hollywood Reporter.

“Greenaway is among the most ambitious and controversial filmmakers of his era. His artistic genius incorporates imaginative avant-garde cinematic visuals as he pushes the limits of production design, set design, lighting and storytelling,” said Walsh. “He turned out several impressive experimental films before springing on the post-modern art-film world and launching to the forefront of the global film community.”

word 1Greenaway is a British painter turned filmmaker. The Draughtsman’s Contract, his first conventional feature length film, was his critical breakthrough and received much acclaim as a stylish murder mystery set on a rural English country estate in 1694. In the film, an artist (Anthony Higgins) is hired to draw landscapes for a wealthy couple, and with his meticulous detail, the young man’s art unwittingly captures evidence of foul play. Greenaway creates an elegant, multi-layered puzzle that goes way beyond a simple “whodunit” to explore class and sexual politics.

Prospero’s Books is Greenaway’s highly imaginative and magical retelling of Shakespeare‘s The Tempest, starring Sir John Gielgud. In the film, an exiled magician finds an opportunity for revenge against his enemies until his daughter (Isabelle Pasco) falls in love with his chief rival’s son (Mark Rylance). Greenaway’s portrayal of the classic play is among his most dazzlingly visual films with its remarkable innovative use of choreography, animation and digitally manipulated imagery. Prospero’s Books was his most experimental feature using an “electronic paint box” which allowed Greenaway to fill the screen with elaborate progressions of double exposures and illusive overlays.

Prospero's Books
Prospero’s Books

Trained as a painter, Greenaway’s avant-garde films are noted for the influence of Renaissance, Baroque and Flemish painting. The Falls (1980), a documentary set in the future, was his feature debut. Greenaway made his American debut with The Cook, the Thief, His Wife and Her Lover (1989). He then returned to television with M is for Man, Music, Mozart and Darwin, among many others. His current projects include multimedia installations involving the original paintings of Rembrandt‘s Night Watch in Amsterdam, da Vinci‘s Last Supper in Milan, and the Veronese Marriage at Cana in Venice. Currently in production are Walking to Paris, Food for Love and the films in the Eisenstein trilogy Eisenstein Abroad. Greenaway also creates live cinema by combining different film scenes with the music of a live DJ.

Representing the Art Directors Guild are Film Society co-chairs Thomas A. Walsh, John Muto and John Iacovelli and Debbie Patton, ADG director of awards and events. Working with them are the American Cinematheque’s Gwen Deglise, Margot Gerber and Grant Moninger. General admission: $12. American Cinematheque members: $8. Students/Seniors with valid ID: $10. All screenings start at 5:30 PM; 24-hour information is available at 323-466-FILM (3456).

For information about the 2017 ADG Film Series click here.

For ticket information, go to American Cinematheque’s website.

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