13-24 nov 2024
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A Zed & Two Noughts

A Zed & Two Noughts

Peter Greenaway
United Kingdom, Netherlands
1985
115 min
n.a.
Retrospective: Peter Greenaway
Synopsis

Brothers Oswald and Oliver, born as Siamese twins, are zoologists working in a zoo. They both lose their wives in the same bizarre car accident where the driver of the car loses both her legs but survives. The brothers, seeking to be rejoined physically, are obsessed with symmetry, list-making and the zoo as a living, evolution-inspired encyclopedia, and seek understanding by filming the decay of black-and-white zoo animals in symmetrical tableaux.

Greenaway’s bizarre drama was shot at Rotterdam’s Blijdorp Zoo and references compositions by Vermeer and his forger Van Meegeren throughout. Ben van Os and Jan Roelfs were the production designers for this blackly comic British-Dutch drama, and the distinctive haunting music is by Michael Nyman with Sacha Vierny as cameraman. All four were regular collaborators with Greenaway.

As in the director’s other work, many of the shots are static and wide-framed, with all objects and characters positioned with the utmost precision to stress the origins of cinema in painting and to signify that every film frame is a still.

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Credits
115 min
color
35mm
Spoken languages: English
Director
    Peter Greenaway
    Peter Greenaway
Production
    Kees Kasander,
    Peter Sainsbury
    Kees Kasander,
    Peter Sainsbury
Cinematography
    Sacha Vierny
    Sacha Vierny
Editing
    John Wilson
    John Wilson
Music
    Michael Nyman
    Michael Nyman
Screenplay
    Peter Greenaway
    Peter Greenaway
Narrator
    Sir David Attenborough
    Sir David Attenborough
Distribution for the Netherlands
    Denis Wigman
    Denis Wigman

Stills

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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