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A Zed & Two Noughts (2008)

Andréa Ferréol , Brian Deacon , Peter Greenaway  |  Unrated |  DVD
4.2 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (41 customer reviews)

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Product Details

  • Actors: Andréa Ferréol, Brian Deacon, Eric Deacon, Frances Barber, Joss Ackland
  • Directors: Peter Greenaway
  • Format: Multiple Formats, Anamorphic, Color, NTSC, Subtitled, Widescreen
  • Language: English
  • Subtitles: English
  • Region: Region 1 (U.S. and Canada only. Read more about DVD formats.)
  • Aspect Ratio: 1.85:1
  • Number of discs: 1
  • Rated: Unrated
  • Studio: Zeitgeist Films
  • DVD Release Date: February 12, 2008
  • Run Time: 116 minutes
  • Average Customer Review: 4.2 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (41 customer reviews)
  • ASIN: B000Y14U6A
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #52,240 in Movies & TV (See Top 100 in Movies & TV)
  • Learn more about "A Zed & Two Noughts" on IMDb

Special Features

  • Special Features:
  • Restored anamorphic transfer, created from Hi-Def elements
  • Peter Greenaway commentary and video introduction
  • Behind-the-scenes footage from ?O, Zoo!, by Philip Hoffman
  • The complete "Decay" sequences
  • Snail sketches by Peter Greenaway

Editorial Reviews


"The boldest and arguably the best of Peter Greenaway's fiction features.... This elegant puzzle also involves amputees, painting, a menage a trois, and decomposing animals--along with many other things which are intricately interrelated thanks to Greenaway's icy brilliance. Definitely a one-of-a-kind movie." --Jonathan Rosenbaum, Chicago Reader

"Exquisitely directed and photographed.... Well worthwhile for those willing to be challenged." --Leonard Maltin, Cinemania

"As usual with Greenaway, the ideas are large, endless and perverse; and they are teased out with the exquisite formal perfection of a court minuet. Moreover he frames, colors and shoots with a top dollar precision. A film with all the cool, intellectual thrill of the Kasparov-Karpov game." --Time Out (London)

Product Description

"Two legs look so good together, don't you think?" A masterpiece of modern cinema, A Zed and Two Noughts is Peter Greenaway's beautifully disturbing and darkly humorous take on erotic obsession and death. The film opens with an automobile-swan accident in front of the Rotterdam Zoo; two women die and a third, Alba (Andrea Ferreol), loses her leg. The two widowers, twin zoologists Oliver and Oswald (Eric and Brian Deacon, in roles originally offered to the Quay Brothers), fixate on their wives' bodies, and slowly become obsessed with evolution and decomposition even going as far as meticulously crafting exquisitely morbid time-lapsed films of decaying corpses and creatures. Meanwhile, a mad surgeon plots to use Alba as a subject in his experiments with animal symmetry and Vermeer homage.

With this follow-up to his acclaimed The Draughtsman's Contract, Greenaway intensifies his already striking visual style by collaborating with legendary French cinematographer Sacha Vierny to create a masterpiece of motivated light. Full of surprises and magnificent conundrums, A Zed and Two Noughts is a perversely comic and teasing treat for the mind and senses.

- Restored anamorphic transfer, created from Hi-Def elements
- Peter Greenaway commentary and video introduction
- Behind-the-scenes footage from ?O, Zoo!, by Philip Hoffman
- The complete "Decay" sequences
- Snail sketches by Peter Greenaway
- English subtitles for the deaf and hearing impaired
- Original theatrical trailer

Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews
30 of 35 people found the following review helpful
If you're looking for a movie to leave you with a warm, fuzzy feeling at the end...then this is not for you! It is a visual essay as much as it is an anthology of scientific and philosophical musings. The film is about two brothers - Oliver & Oswald Deuce (played by Eric & Brian Deacon), zoologists by profession, whose wives die in a car accident. The driver, Alba Bewick (played by Andrea Ferreol) ends up with an amputated leg. Oliver & Oswald in their quest for details about the accident end up in a three-way love affair with Alba. The brothers become obsessed with decay, while Alba becomes obsessed with her one leg and eventually has her doctor amputate it as well. After the accident, the brothers engage in philosophical and scientific conversations about the beginnings of life on earth, evolution and the mechanics of decomposition. Soon after the accident Oswald says "I can't bear the thought of her (his wife) just rotting away." Then the Deuce brothers begin a conversation about how the decomposition of a body begins, the intestinal bacteria that set off the process and how in one lick of the human tongue the are 100,000 of these bacteria. And how Adam might have passed 200,000 of them onto Eve in a French Kiss. Then one of them says "What if Eve kissed Adam?" - "Unlikely! She would have used the first 100,000 (bacteria) on the apple" This is absolutely hilarious... they are having a hypothetical conversation about Genesis as if Adam & Eve were the true origin of mankind, when in reality, as scientists they cannot take such religious concepts seriously. Read more ›
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22 of 25 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars truly excruciating in the most positive sense... November 18, 1999
Format:VHS Tape
this is easily one of my favorite films. NO ONE I show it to seems to understand why. It is stunningly photographed, flawlessly executed, mind-numbingly cerebral. Symmetry freaks, watch this one closely! Peter Greenaway is not for those who just want to "take in a flick"...but everyone should watch at least one of his masterpieces.
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12 of 13 people found the following review helpful
I am very excited that Zeitgeist is putting out this new dvd transfer of this exceptional film. This is Peter Greenaway at his finest, his obsession with ordering lives and things and with the discovery of symmetries between the obsessions that drive both science and sexuality is perfectly meshed by the story of two twin zoologists who grieve the passing of their wives in a bizarre car accident by simultaneously embarking upon a quixotic research project into the nature of decomposition and an affair with the amputee who had been driving the car. Thrown into the mix are a storytelling prostitute and aspiring writer named Venus de Milo, a murderer of black and white animals, a man who lost his legs for loving horses a little too much, a surgeon who is overly fond of amputation and obsessed by Vermeer. The best cinematic comparison is probably Alain Resnais' My American Uncle -- both films raise questions about the pretense that we are above the animals, that we are rational creatures and are not driven by instinct and drive. This film argues, I think, that we are unique and interesting animals and at our most unique and distinctive when we show our obsession with and drive to establish our distinction from the other animals. The music throughout is perfect and matches the style and tone of the film superbly; the story, while utterly unique is nevertheless comprehensible and never less than fascinating. It is the kind of film that rewards repeated viewings, and is a must-see film for those who delight in the possibilities of cinema, and are willing to suspend their expectations and be caught up by the delightful imagination and insight of one of the most distinctive and compelling filmmakers.
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15 of 18 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A must see March 1, 2000
By Ome Leo
The very first time I watched this film was not in a theatre but on a small black and white TV (at the time I was about 17 and still living with my parents, so what do you expect :-). It made a tremendous impression on me then and it's still my favorite film ever. The plot is rich and weird, the music addictive and the dialogues are both odd and witty. As you might expect of one of the early films by Greenaway, the alphabet plays a big part in this film. A film about the beginnings of life, birth, life itself, death and decay. Excellent usage of clips of natural history films with the distinctive voice of David Attenborough. There are many storylines in this film and there's a kind of character development you don't see to often in these modern times. Greenaway created an atmosphere I had never seen before in films and very few films are even coming close to it.
All in all, as you might have noticed, I'm a sucker for this film. I can recommend it to anyone. And hey, if you don't like the pictures, you can still play the DVD and not watch it, but enjoy the soundtrack.
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14 of 17 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Origins of Life, Vermeer, symmetry. ZOO.... and OOZe November 30, 2003
Format:DVD|Verified Purchase
Everytime I see A Zed and Two Noughts I catch a phrase that I missed the double meaning on the previous time I watched it. Perhaps the fascination of watching bodies decay clouds my perceptions. Perhaps the beauty of the photographic images by Sacha Vierny, The arresting music by Michael Nyman, or the insistent guiding hand of Director Peter Greenaway (who is creating his own cinematic alphabet here, later to be explored in his subsequent films, and drawing upon his wonderful short films and early opus The Falls) is too much for one viewing to contain! Or perhaps it is getting wrapped up in the same mystery that consumes the twin zoologists. Why death, and why a car accident involving a pregnant Swan on Swann's way, no less??!! Speaking of doubles, you have the twin brothers, their two dead wives, the two legless lovers, the doctor who is a descendant of the master forger (a great faker must be praised I guess!) Van Meegeren, himself a double (dubious) of the painter Vermeer,or the fact that there are Vermeers in the film, and they are doubled on camera in certain shots, and more and more...
Is this a waste of film? DEFINITELY NOT. You go into a film with the knowledge you have up to that point, and sometimes a film challenges you to rise to the occasion as opposed to talking down to an audience. This is not for people who think watching a movie means some quiet time and maybe a laugh or two. This is a film where you are constantly challenged to make observations and opinions based on what you are shown.
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Most Recent Customer Reviews
5.0 out of 5 stars Very Good movie!
Wonderfully filmed, full of symbolism that will keep you contemplating for weeks after the last scene ends. Read more
Published 5 months ago by regan rosburg
5.0 out of 5 stars masterpiece
am i to review the product or the art? i've loved this film for decades. the art and extras with the product are lovely. this film was my introduction to all things Greenaway. Read more
Published 6 months ago by Mark Stewart Ceries
1.0 out of 5 stars Just Plain Awful
It was painful to have to sit through this movie. I would have put myself out of such misery, except it was required for a film class. Read more
Published 10 months ago by Veronica
5.0 out of 5 stars A Truly Emblematic Greenaway Vision
Many will find this Greenaway film more a pedantic examination of the solvent effect that contretemps human tragedy has upon identity and persona, for me, it exemplifies why I love... Read more
Published 15 months ago by Reshma Vyas
5.0 out of 5 stars Buy it, All Region
The film plays fine despite the other review. The best I have seen on a transfer from anything I have seen from anyone that has released Peter Greenaway. Read more
Published on June 17, 2012 by C. Knudsen
5.0 out of 5 stars Great Job
Great service, got the product before I even placed the order. Great movie for those who want more from a movie than mere entertainment.
Published on May 26, 2012 by Sheriff
1.0 out of 5 stars Don't Buy This - Region 2
It's one of the BEST movies ever, but this Blu-Ray is made for UK & Netherlands. Beware which format you purchase. This shouldn't be for sale here in the Americas. Read more
Published on February 22, 2012 by T. E. Hermance
2.0 out of 5 stars WHAT?!?!?!?!
I didnt like it. And I usually like movies that are psychological. It was just disturbing seeing animals decapitate. Read more
Published on November 22, 2011 by MovieGuy
5.0 out of 5 stars My favorite movie of all time
The scope of this movie is overwhelming. It is a treatise on polar opposites and mirror images. Life and death, black and white, light and dark. Read more
Published on July 24, 2011 by Otkon
4.0 out of 5 stars The Primordial Ooz
I cannot recall now who said the following 'proverb', but I do remember that it was: 'Peter Greenaway's films tend to be more admired than enjoyed'--which is primarily true of my... Read more
Published on July 16, 2011 by Thivanka Rukshan Perera
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