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  Cycle index  
Rembrandt's J'Accuse... !
dir. Peter Greenaway / Finland, Netherlands, Germany 2008 / 86’
subtitles: Polish and English
Movies on Art International Competition

Cast

Eva Brithistle, Jodki May, Emily Holmes, Jonathan Holmes, Michael Teigen, Natalie Press, Peter Greenaway

Film description

After the famous 2007 declaration that cinema is dead, Peter Greenaway returns elegantly, proving that cinema is alive and very well. In Rembrandt's J'Accuse! the director returns to the well-known The Night Watch by Rembrandt, but this time not with a feature film, but with a film essay on a criminal mystery. The director plays the triple role of investigator, prosecutor and judge, revealing the time, place and motives of the painted crime in a game so typical of his work. But above all, Greenaway accuses contemporary art of visual illiteracy which makes it incapable of noticing and understanding symbols, signs and messages shown in old paintings.

We have eyes, but it doesn't mean we can see anything - roars Peter Greenaway from a small window in the middle of the screen. As the modern Émile Zola he expresses a passionate accusation, charging us with missing Rembrandt's main message.

Among unclear symbols, elusive conjectures and interpretations based-on-nothing, Greenaway feels just perfect. Rembrandt's J'Accuse! is a postmodernist apocrypha in which you cannot distinguish the painter's fantasies from the director's fantasies.

Ewa Szabłowska

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