Though Peter Greenaway is best known for the films that followed his 1982 arthouse breakthrough The Draughtsman’s Contract, it was preceded by 20 years of fascinating filmmaking activity. This period of experimentation, in which the preoccupations of Greenaway’s later work are fully in evidence, is the subject of this series, which includes five of Greenaway’s playful, outlandish, and inventive shorts, and his first feature, the 1980 mock documentary The Falls.
A queasily comic meditation on sex and death, in which two zoologist widowers become obsessed with decomposition, experimenting on animals and crafting time-lapse films of decaying flesh.
A ZED & TWO NOUGHTS
Greenaway’s breakthrough, a 17th-century murder mystery in which an aristocratic wife commissions a young artist to sketch her husband’s seemingly idyllic property while he is away.
THE DRAUGHTSMAN’S CONTRACT
Greenaway’s first feature, an epic mock documentary in 92 parts that catalogs the aftermath of a mysterious “Violent Unknown Event.”
An anonymous narrator outlines a bizarre, tongue-in-cheek journey taken through a domain known only as “H,” aided by a series of 92 extraordinary maps.
A WALK THROUGH H
A parodic featurette, in which a fictional institute attempt to shape raw footage of the English landscape into a short film in accordance with structuralist film theory.