Peter Greenaway is one of the UK’s most prominent and internationally renowned filmmakers.  His films are noted for the distinct influence of Renaissance and Baroque painting, and in particular, Flemish painting. The common traits that recur in his films and projects are scenic composition and illumination, and the contrasts of costume and nudity, nature and architecture, furniture and people, and sexual pleasure and painful death. 

Internationally, Peter Greenaway is best known for The Draughtman’s Contract (1982), A Zed and Two Noughts (1985), The Belly of an Architect (1987), Drowning by Numbers (1988), The Cook, the Thief, His Wife and Her Lover (1988), Prospero’s Books (1991), The Baby of Macon (1993), The Pillow Book (1996), The Tulse Luper Suitcases Trilogy (2003/2004), Nightwatching (2007), and 3 x 3D (2013).  A local context: The Pillow Book, a dark modern drama which centers on body painting, was shot entirely in Hong Kong. 

In 2006, Peter Greenaway began an ambitious series of digital video installations, Nine Classical Paintings Revisited, with his exploration of Rembrandt’s Night Watch in the Rijksmuseum in Amsterdam. He exhibited his digital exploration of The Wedding at Cana by Paolo Veronese as part of the 2009 Venice Biennale. The 50-minute presentation, set to a soundtrack, incorporated close-up images of faces from the painting along with animated diagrams revealing compositional relations amongst the figures in the painting.  The soundtrack of the presentation features music and imagined dialogue scripted by Peter Greenaway for the 126 “wedding guests, servants, onlookers and wedding crashers” depicted in the painting, consisting of small talk and banal chatter that culminates in reaction to the miraculous transformation of water to wine, according to the Gospels, the first miracle performed by Jesus.

Peter Greenaway is in Hong Kong to present his latest film, Eisenstein in Guanajuato (Berlinale Competition, 2015) at the Hong Kong International Film Festival 2015 (HKIFF).  He will also participate in the HKIFF’s Master Class activities. 

The British Council, in conjunction with M+, are honoured to host Peter Greenaway for In Conversation: Peter Greenaway on 2 April 2015, at the British Council starting at 3:00pm. The In Conversation session will be moderated by two senior curators from M+, Doryun Chong & Yung Ma.

Peter Greenaway has moved in a seamless blend of art and entertainment, from being an avant-garde/experimental film maker, to making internationally renowned ‘art house’ features, to creating ambitious installations in galleries and museums -- his ideas/practice navigating these different contexts will not only be very exciting but will also surely inspire.

Peter Greenaway programmes in Hong Kong

In Conversation: Peter Greenaway
Date: Thursday 2 April
Time: 3.30 P.M.
Venue: British Council
Remarks: By-invitation only

Screening of Eisenstein in Guanajuato
Date: Sunday 5 April 
Time: 2.30 P.M.
Venue: The Grand Cinema, Elements
Remarks: Admission by ticket only

Post-screening Talk
Date: Sunday 5 April
Time: 4.15PM
Venue: The Grand Cinema, Elements
Remarks: Conducted in English. Admission by ticket only.

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