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08 Jul 09
Peter Greenaway at the ERA NEW HORIZONS IFF in Wrocław

Peter Greenaway, one of the most important contemporary film directors will be a guest of the ERA NEW HORIZONS International Film Festival in Wrocław, held on 23rd July - 2nd August 2009.

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The director will attend the Polish premiere of his latest film Rembrandt's J'accuse!..., presented within the FILMS ABOUT ART International Competition. At the festival, Greenaway will also attend the special screening of his previous film, Nightwatching, shot in Wrocław.

Both films present various aspects of The Night Watch, the most famous work by Rembrandt, painted in 1642, providing the audience with both aesthetical and intellectual pleasures, explaining the complex symbols and offering bold theses about the actual subject of the painting. Rembrandt's J'accuse!... is a documentary essay of a crime mystery, it offers a deepened analysis of Rembrandt's painting and accuses the contemporary art of visual illiteracy.

Greenaway has pronounced his iconoclastic theories about the death of cinema for several years and during the festival (27th July) he will hold an original multi-media lecture about connections between painting and cinema, entitled "Visual literacy - painting and cinema"

In his lecture "Visual literacy - painting and cinema", Greenaway interprets not only The Night Watch, but also the canon of modern and contemporary painting: from The Last Supper by Leonardo Da Vinci to Las Meninas by Velázquez, Guernica by Picasso and Water Lilies by Monet to the abstract expressionism by Jackson Pollock. He compares them to fragments of his own films and examples from the history of cinema and television over the past decades. Greenaway asserts that European painting, which has existed for more than 5000 years and cinematography of only 113 years are two domains of art which have shaped the vocabulary and grammar of our visual language. It is the language one has to know to move fluently within the historical and contemporary civilisation of images, because "we have eyes, but it doesn't necessarily mean that we understand what we see." In order to dive beneath the substance encoded on the surface, on canvas or the screen, one has to compare the two media. Peter Greenaway does so in his lectures in a refined and unorthodox way.

Peter Greenaway (born 1942) - an educated painter, he started his career with experimental conceptual films in the 1970s; he became famous for his historic and culinary reconstructions of the 1980s, such as The Draughtsman's Contract and The Cook the Thief His Wife & Her Lover. Then, in the 1990s, came his controversial interpretations of great European and Japanese literature in Prospero's Books and The Pillow Book. Among the best-known films by Greenaway are: Drowning by Numbers, The Belly of an Architect and A Zed & Two Noughts. His works are characteristic with their visual momentum, distance from reality and peculiarly theatrical style of imaging. With multiple cultural references and experimental combinations of styles they are recognised as the crowning of film postmodernism. Recently, Greenaway has been fascinated with new media, creating video-installations, short experimental films, directing theatre and opera performances and working as a VJ, too.

Schedule of screenings and Peter Greenaway's stay at the festival:

26th July, 2009 (Sunday), 4:15 p.m.; Helios cinema, hall no. 7

Nightwatching screening attended by the director

26th July, 2009 (Sunday), 7:15 p.m.; Helios cinema, hall no. 9

Rembrandt's J'accuse!... premiere attended by the director

27th July (Monday), 10:15 a.m.; Helios cinema, hall no. 9

a lecture by Peter Greenaway: Visual literacy - painting and cinema

the lecture can be attended for free, it will be simultaneously translated into Polish

27th July (Monday) 1:15 p.m.; Helios cinema, hall no. 9

Rembrandt's J'accuse!... screening attended by the director

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On Monday, 27th July, at 10:15 a.m., in hall no. 9 of the Helios cinema, a lecture entitled "Visual literacy - painting and cinema" will be held by Peter Greenaway himself! Entry for free.

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