Trailer for Goltzius and the Pelican Company.

Now 70, iconoclast Peter Greenaway has lost none of his contrarian spirit. “Whether you’re Godard or Almodovar or Scorsese, it’s text, text, text,” he recently lamented to the Guardian. “Everything begins with the text and this is a source of great anguish to me. So please let cinema get on with doing what it does best, which is expressing ideas in visual terms.” No surprise then that his latest work is profoundly, stunningly visual. Awash in sexually provocative imagery, this 16th-century tale of duplicity focuses on Goltzius (Ramsey Nasr), a Dutch engraver who runs afoul of the authorities when his reenactments of lustful scenes from the Old Testament—staged under the auspices of F. Murray Abraham’s local nobleman—are deemed to have gone beyond the pale in their carnality.

Greenaway again stakes his claim as one of cinema’s pre-eminent stylists, lending each scene a painterly quality that dazzles the eye. Ever the provocateur, his penchant for various forms of erotic play—threesomes and incest are but two on display—make Goltzius an unforgettable journey into Greenaway’s singular psyche.

4 min 30 sec


Posted On
January 12, 2013
Peter Greenaway

Peter Greenaway


January 4, 2013
F. Murray Abraham
Ramsey Nasr
Kate Moran
Giulio Berruti
Anne Louise Hassing
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