From Publishers Weekly
Probing the baroque visual texture and artifice of Greenaway's films, paintings and installations, Univ. of Glasgow lecturer Pascoe brings his formidable knowledge of literature and art to bear on the avant-garde artist-filmmaker's provocative surfaces. Born in 1942 in Newport, Wales, Greenaway decided to become a painter at age 12, attended Walthamstow College of Art (along with rocker Ian Dury), and in 1965 started as a film editor at the Central Office of Information, where he spent 11 years "cutting films that were designed to portray the strange intricacies of the British way of life through numbers and statistics." The experience, Pascoe argues, initiated Greenaway's career-long fascination with "the inherently chaotic and irrational ways in which society orders itself." After making experimental shorts beginning in the 1960s, and receiving attention at 1970s' film festivals, Greenaway expanded to features. In discussing Greenaway's lush, acclaimed 17th-century drama, The Draughtsman's Contract (1982), and elsewhere throughout the book, Pascoe compares carefully selected film stills with works by Francis Bacon, Brueghel, Durer, Vermeer and others, highlighting Greenaway's many art-historical homages. The 100 illustrations (45 in color) and elegant explications continue through the savage, fleshy symmetries of Greenaway's controversial The Cook, The Thief, His Wife and Her Lover (1989) and other features. After reinventing Shakespeare in Prospero's Books (1991), Greenaway sought to create an "expanded metacinema" with installations like "100 Objects to Represent the World." This is an immensely valuable and illuminating study (including comprehensive filmography and bibliographies) for those who love wicked play with high art.
Copyright 1998 Reed Business Information, Inc.
Pascoe tirelessly explicates the numerology and mytho-mania that are the film-maker's organising principles Guardian A supremely intelligent, utterly tuned-in, definitive exploration of the ultimate British auteur's back catalogue, helpfully illustrated at every opportunity... illuminating Empire