Taking sides Alan Parker vs Peter Greenaway

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The Blur vs oasis of Brit cinema. In the red corner pug faced, cockney barrow boy Alan Parker. Popular, mainstream cinema, a pick'n'mix of styles, from broad comedy (Commitments) to anguished social realism (Angelas Ashes) with more diversions into musicals than is probably wise in our cycnical times.

In the blue corner lanky, cold hearted formalist Peter Greenaway. More complex than the times crossword, more gore than Tarantino with a side order of Nyman to go.

So it's the old head vs heart, art school vs comprehensive, working class v middle/upper class. i.e That same old dynamic which blights (enriches) UK culture. Ordinarily I'd despise Parker and his sneering at 'high' culture and his celebration of ordinariness, yet Greenaways' films are just sooooo dull. So Parker wins on points for me, despite having more clunkers than hits in his career.

Billy Dods, Monday, 27 August 2001 00:00 (eighteen years ago) link

Billy - do women ever walk up to you, lift up their tops and sob, "Billy, what have they done to you?"

dave q, Monday, 27 August 2001 00:00 (eighteen years ago) link

Er actually they do dave.

Billy Dods, Monday, 27 August 2001 00:00 (eighteen years ago) link

Greenaway - He proved narrative was silly and movies could be as visual as childrens books (as opposed to story boards fashioned from comics), although his left hook misses ('81/2 women') might prove a handicap in this ring... Still, 'Pillow Book' packs a good punch to 'Evita'...

Jason, Tuesday, 28 August 2001 00:00 (eighteen years ago) link

one year passes...
Wow! Nipper, check out Thomson in today's G2!

the pinefox, Thursday, 22 May 2003 13:01 (seventeen years ago) link

Haha - I read it on the train into Waterloo this morning. Very funny.

Jerry the Nipper (Jerrynipper), Thursday, 22 May 2003 13:24 (seventeen years ago) link

two years pass...
a score draw?

terry lennox. (gareth), Friday, 6 January 2006 16:45 (fourteen years ago) link

greenaway

kyle (akmonday), Friday, 6 January 2006 16:50 (fourteen years ago) link

greenaway wins easily.

jed_ (jed), Friday, 6 January 2006 16:51 (fourteen years ago) link

Greenaway is one of the worst film directors of all time, so it has to be Parker

CLassic or Dadaismus? (Dada), Friday, 6 January 2006 16:52 (fourteen years ago) link

Parker's directed one great film, Shoot The Moon.

Alfred, Lord Sotosyn (Alfred Soto), Friday, 6 January 2006 17:13 (fourteen years ago) link

what a dismal choice to have to make.

s1ocki (slutsky), Friday, 6 January 2006 17:16 (fourteen years ago) link

Greenaway has made 3 great feature films by my count: The Draughtsman's Contract, A Zed and Two Noughts, and Cook Thief Wife Lover

jed_ (jed), Friday, 6 January 2006 17:32 (fourteen years ago) link

dead draw - greenaway gives us ewan's dick and a roasted schlong; parker gets bob geldof to razor off his nipple and madonna t o "play" a whore who fucks her way to the top whilsty making awful products for the media

Queen Greenway never danced the tango in Tupelo, Saturday, 7 January 2006 07:25 (fourteen years ago) link

i really don't find either of them interesting at all!

J.D. (Justyn Dillingham), Saturday, 7 January 2006 08:56 (fourteen years ago) link

five years pass...

is this sad little thread the only potential place to talk about the cook the thief his wife and her lover?

call all destroyer, Sunday, 30 October 2011 15:47 (eight years ago) link

and yes before anyone get smart i know about the why are british films shit thread but omg did i love this

call all destroyer, Sunday, 30 October 2011 15:47 (eight years ago) link

i started a thread inspired by michael gambons perf after seeing it -- he blew me away, otherwise i wasnt too hot on it, but it did make me put a bunch of greenaway in my queue (none of which ive gotten to)

list and talk abt some unrelenting, brutal, sadistic movie characters

johnny crunch, Sunday, 30 October 2011 15:57 (eight years ago) link

yeah gambon in that movie is something i'm still processing. it seems even more impressive because there are so few closeups and it's pretty much all voice and body language. i think it's hard to make a 100% reprehensible character that "works" tho obviously it's aided here by the overall formalism and stage-play vibe.

i saw the draughtsman's contract years ago and it is pretty confusing and tough to watch (in terms of pacing not content). greenaway is one of those dudes where i'm glad he's around and does his thing even if i don't actually like that thing, which is why i'm surprised at how much i liked this. i want to check out at least the rest of his 80s stuff but i would probably be well-advised to stretch out those viewings over a period of years.

call all destroyer, Sunday, 30 October 2011 17:18 (eight years ago) link

Parker's directed one great film, Shoot The Moon.

― Alfred, Lord Sotosyn (Alfred Soto), Friday, January 6, 2006

lumber up, limbaugh down (Alfred, Lord Sotosyn), Sunday, 30 October 2011 17:31 (eight years ago) link

eleven months pass...

do ppl still watch greenaway films

A.R.R.Y. Kane (nakhchivan), Saturday, 13 October 2012 20:38 (seven years ago) link

i suddenly thought maybe i should watch one even tho ppl seem to speak ill of him much of the time

A.R.R.Y. Kane (nakhchivan), Saturday, 13 October 2012 20:39 (seven years ago) link

think you cld prob wring a bbc 3 drama out of the meeting of jim davidson and peter greenaway on the set of a zed and two noughts

Ward Fowler, Saturday, 13 October 2012 20:44 (seven years ago) link

and do ppl still watch alan parker films?

Ward Fowler, Saturday, 13 October 2012 20:44 (seven years ago) link

hmmn looking at wiki filmography it seems i have seen mississippi burning only

iirc we watched it at school where its message that the lynching of black ppl is morally wrong was probably thought to have propadeutic value

A.R.R.Y. Kane (nakhchivan), Saturday, 13 October 2012 20:51 (seven years ago) link

draughtsman's contract is on BBC iplayer at the moment fwiw. (I'm not sure wiw)

Fizzles, Saturday, 13 October 2012 20:53 (seven years ago) link

iw quite a bit. it's really good.

but Fame is pretty good too and I'd rather watch that again.

jed_, Saturday, 13 October 2012 20:57 (seven years ago) link

yeah i saw it had been on bbc2 xp

what about derek jarman? one or two of his are on bluray now i think

A.R.R.Y. Kane (nakhchivan), Saturday, 13 October 2012 21:03 (seven years ago) link

hmmn looking at wiki filmography it seems i have seen mississippi burning only

wow youve never seen 'midnight express'? not that its a good movie or anything, but its the kind of movie youd see on video when you were 13 and think its the best movie ever.

Michael B Higgins (Michael B), Saturday, 13 October 2012 21:05 (seven years ago) link

no....as i understand it, it's mostly about how turkish ppl are savages, but it probably doesn't express it as well as byron did

A.R.R.Y. Kane (nakhchivan), Saturday, 13 October 2012 21:15 (seven years ago) link

i still love Greenaway in all his glossy inhuman glory tbh

thread lock holiday (Noodle Vague), Saturday, 13 October 2012 22:44 (seven years ago) link

on the other hand Bugsy Malone was good apart from the crepey bits

thread lock holiday (Noodle Vague), Saturday, 13 October 2012 22:45 (seven years ago) link

two months pass...

just watched the cook, the thief, his wife, and her lover tonight - i can't get over how brilliant it was. just looked amazing, perfect music, and great performances by mirren and gambon. such a rich experience.

Heterocyclic ring ring (LocalGarda), Tuesday, 1 January 2013 23:10 (seven years ago) link

I havent seen that film in years. I remember being quite drawn in by the amazing visuals and costumes/sets, but also appalled by the gory bits - esp where the bookseller is killed with his own books, urgh. I said to myself I didnt thnk I could ever watch it again on that basis, though I'm sure ive seen it since.

I used to love popping on Nyman soundtracks from his films all the time just as daytime background music.

Una Stubbs' Tears (Trayce), Tuesday, 1 January 2013 23:18 (seven years ago) link

Cook, Thief... still one of my all time favorite movies and also gets the special 'has made me weep' star. I owe Greenaway forever for making it, Drowning By #s, and especially The Falls.

~farben~ (Jon Lewis), Wednesday, 2 January 2013 15:53 (seven years ago) link

also super cheap in HMV sale

Master of Treacle, Thursday, 3 January 2013 01:21 (seven years ago) link

two years pass...

do ppl still watch greenaway films

― A.R.R.Y. Kane (nakhchivan), Saturday, 13 October 2012 20:38 (2 years ago) Bookmark Flag Post Permalink

Ha! I came to this thread to ask if anyone remembered Peter Greenaway and his (mostly) shit films but distracted by nakh's user name of Oct 2013!

A trumpet growing in a garden (Tom D.), Tuesday, 3 February 2015 17:11 (five years ago) link

i still fuck w/ his structural films e.g. the falls

I dunno. (amateurist), Tuesday, 3 February 2015 20:57 (five years ago) link

the pretentious british filmmaker who hasn't made a film worth a damn is mike figgis

I dunno. (amateurist), Tuesday, 3 February 2015 20:57 (five years ago) link

Parker made Bugsy Malone ergo he wins

Οὖτις, Tuesday, 3 February 2015 20:58 (five years ago) link

i still love Greenaway in all his glossy inhuman glory tbh

― thread lock holiday (Noodle Vague), Saturday, October 13, 2012 3:44 PM (2 years ago)

A Severus of Snapes (contenderizer), Tuesday, 3 February 2015 21:06 (five years ago) link

Berlin reactions to PG's Eisenstein in Guanajuato

https://www.fandor.com/keyframe/daily-berlinale-2015-diary-7

touch of a love-starved cobra (Dr Morbius), Wednesday, 11 February 2015 20:21 (five years ago) link

Greenaway at his best is exhilarating, even tear-inducing if not in the usual way.

a drug by the name of WORLD WITHOUT END (Jon Lewis), Thursday, 12 February 2015 01:12 (five years ago) link

vertical features remake might be my favourite but all the early shorts I've seen are good

ogmor, Thursday, 12 February 2015 01:20 (five years ago) link

five years pass...

I watched The Draughstman’s Contract on criterion w basically no information other than the description and uh, what????

Liked it all right though.

silby, Monday, 20 April 2020 05:42 (three months ago) link

three months pass...

Somehow, according to imdb, Peter Greenaway has two films in post-production and three in pre-production. Sometimes I wonder if his late career is funded by a high-end money laundering operation, but I guess he had the last laugh over Parker.

Alba, Friday, 31 July 2020 18:13 (one week ago) link

RIP and all but I cannot fathom choosing Parker over Greenaway (as the OP does) in a million years

the quar on drugs (Simon H.), Friday, 31 July 2020 18:19 (one week ago) link

Greenaway risks more, so he fails and succeeds more spectacularly.

brooklyn suicide cult (Dr Morbius), Friday, 31 July 2020 18:26 (one week ago) link

(not that i have seen much of his recent work besides that Eisenstein feature, which i was meh on)

brooklyn suicide cult (Dr Morbius), Friday, 31 July 2020 18:28 (one week ago) link


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