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The Draughtsman's Contract
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Bolstered by a majestic score by then-newcomer Michael Nyman and stunning cinematography by Curtis Clark that suggests Greenaway has the elements at his beck and call, The Draughtsman's Contract is a luscious cinematic banquet for eye, ear and mind.
- Restored anamorphic transfer, created from Hi-Def elements
- Peter Greenaway commentary and video introduction
- Four deleted scenes
- Behind-the-scenes footage and on-set interviews
- Interview with composer Michael Nyman
- Restoration demonstration
- Production photo and Draughtsman's sketch galleries
- English subtitles for the deaf and hearing impaired
- Original theatrical trailer
- Essays by Greenaway and cinematographer Curtis Clark
"The film is mannered and idiosyncratic; the speeches are so arch and twitty they seem to be pitched higher than a dog whistle, and the people talking are popinjays in perukes shaped as geometrically as the shrubs at Marienbad." --Pauline Kael
"Astonishingly elegant... extraordinarily detailed... mind-bendingly rich. The Draughtsman's Contract is fun." --Vincent Canby, The New York Times
Top Customer Reviews
The real reason to get this though is for the extras. We get a commentary track by director Peter Greenaway as well as an introduction that's almost long enough to be a featurette on the making of the film. We also get deleted scenes, an interview with composer Michael Nyman ("The Piano"--this was one of Nyman's first scores), a restoration demonstration, behind-the-scenes footage and on set interviews and the original theatrical trailer for the film. There is also a booklet with an essay by Greenaway (don't read it until AFTER you have seen the film if this is your first time viewing it)and an interview with Cinematographer Curtis Clark discussing how he and Greenaway decided to use Super 16mm and the challenge of shooting only by candlelight.
"The Draughtman's Contract" won't be for everyone. Director Peter Greenaway deliberately sought to subvert the way a traditional period piece was portrayed in film with this unusual and elliptic mystery. Part social commentary and avant garde period piece. Greenaway has his actors behave in a stiff, formal way often posing as often as performing.Read more ›
Greenaway is just about the only well-known filmmaker with an interest in the art and film theory of the past thirty-five years. His is a "meta-cinema," at least as much about the act of making and watching movies as about particular situations. Summarizing the story of "The Draughtsman's Contract," for example, gives only a limited sense of what watching the movie is like. As some of the reviews here have pointed out, you cannot watch "Contract" without noticing the perspective tools used by Mr. Neville. These technologies anticipate the optics used in photography and cinematography. As we are aware of how they contribute to 17th century draftsmanship we (in theory at least) recognize the construction of the very images we are viewing. In short, through these and other techniques, you are too aware of experiencing the film to become engrossed in it.
If you are not comfortable with such distancing, "The Draughtsman's Contract" may not be your cup of tea. On the other hand, there is certainly "much to be applauded" in "The Draughtsman's Contract." As in virtually all of Greenaway's work, the visual design and cinematography are exquisite and all the more remarkable given the film was shot in 16mm.Read more ›
Most Recent Customer Reviews
The Draughtsman's Contract has everybody clever in an odd way. I cannot make out what it is about. This is neither irritating enough to make me dislike the film nor intriguing... Read morePublished 4 months ago by rbrogan3
I was disappointed in the quality of the cinematography and the film was a bit of a disappointment overall.Published 7 months ago by Dean al
This may be the most perfect movie ever made. While it may seem difficult to follow and requires a lot of knowledge about the historical context, every shot is a work of art. Read morePublished 13 months ago by Ken Baskin
This is a great example of Greeaway's early work. The Sound track is by Michael Nyman. Video is of mixed quality because Greenaway shot much of it on 16mm film but that only adds... Read morePublished 18 months ago by R. V. Clayton
Bad sound on this copy. Spoiled our enjoyment
The movie does not age well, although it still has its moments.
If you'd like to watch a guy have sex with a mother and daughter, and eventually knock one of them up- subsequentially causing his own murder, then this movie is for you!Published on January 7, 2014 by Mandolynn_30
Best for the Scenery.
Some parts were too long or somewhat repeated. Music was interesting. Scenery was great and trues to story.
Peter Greenaway's maddening puzzle of a film, The Draughtman's Contract, involves us in a multi-layered, multi-themed murder mystery involving an artist and an entire cast of... Read morePublished on May 8, 2011 by Tristan