13-24 nov 2024
InstituteFestivalProfessionals
EN/NL
Donate
Loading...
MyIDFA
The Cook, the Thief, His Wife & Her Lover

The Cook, the Thief, His Wife & Her Lover

Peter Greenaway
Netherlands, France, United Kingdom
1989
124 min
n.a.
Retrospective: Peter Greenaway
Synopsis

The opening is already deeply sinister. In a ghostly mist, meat trucks arrive at the magnificent restaurant Le Hollandais. Barking dogs wolf down the leftovers. Rhythmic chords by Greenaway’s regular composer Michael Nyman heighten the atmosphere of menace.

The Thief (an overpowering Michael Gambon) is a vulgar underworld king who dines here every day to bolster his status—he’s a coarse bigmouth who isn’t satisfied until he’s humiliated everyone. Only his wife (Helen Mirren, as an ironic contrast) and a simple bookseller dare to defy his dictatorship.

Cinematic sorcerer Peter Greenaway, inspired by English Renaissance theater, impresses with an allegorical satire about a society dominated by bad taste and gluttony (cannibalism included). Carnage, sex, blood and revenge prevail in this provocative tragedy, where beauty and quiet strength compete against decadence and cruelty. Ben van Os and Jan Roelofs deserve a special mention for their production design for this cinematic theater with classical touches (including a Frans Hals reproduction) and contemporary expressionism.

Read more
Credits
124 min
color
DCP
Spoken languages: English
Director
    Peter Greenaway
    Peter Greenaway
Production
    Pascale Daumanco,
    Kees Kasander,
    Daniel Toscan du Plantierco,
    Denis Wigman
    Pascale Daumanco,
    Kees Kasander,
    Daniel Toscan du Plantierco,
    Denis Wigman
Cinematography
    Sacha Vierny
    Sacha Vierny
Editing
    John Wilson
    John Wilson
Music
    Michael Nyman
    Michael Nyman
Screenplay
    Peter Greenaway
    Peter Greenaway
Screening copy
    Park Circus Limited
    Park Circus Limited

Stills

0
0
1
2
3
4
5
6
0
1
2
3
4
5
6
More from the program section Retrospective: Peter Greenaway
A Retrospective program celebrating acclaimed and rebellious filmmaker and artist Peter Greenaway. The selection of five titles from his filmography illustrates how his approach transcends genres and refuses to adhere to the standard rules of fiction or documentary film.
View program section
The Cook, the Thief, His Wife & Her Lover

The Cook, the Thief, His Wife & Her Lover

Peter Greenaway
1989
124 min