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Nightwatching * Peter Greenaway (2007)

NightwatchingWhen this film premiered I was excited by the fact that I would finally be able to see a Greenaway on the big screen. It played in only a few cinemas in the country, but I would happily drive a bit. When two weeks later I had the time, the film was already not shown anywhere anymore… Now that I finally did see it, I must say that I am slightly disappointed. “Nightwatching” is better than “The Tulse Luper Suitcases” and has a lot of Greenaway elements, but it is nothing compared to the older works. “Nightwatching” begins with the typical repetative violins, but there is not too much music in it. Also I miss the long moving camera shots and absurdity. There is even not much nudity this time, quite a lot of ‘bad language’, though. There is some magnificent camera work and use of colour, grandiose stages, etc., but “Nightwatching” is much more of a film with a story than the better works of Greenaway. Naturally the film is all about Rembrandt’s famous painting “De Nachtwacht“. Greenaway has written a story around and about the film in which Rembrandt himself is the main character. All kinds of plots and theories are supposedly put in the painting, but I think people who compare this film with the overly popular “Da Vinci Code” vastly overrate that part of “Nightwatching”. In any case, surely not a bad film, but also surely not one of Greenaway’s better.

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