The Cook, the Thief, His Wife & Her Lover (1989)

When: Tuesday 18th June | 21:30
Where: Pireos 260 | Free Entry

Director: Peter Greenaway
Cast: Helen Mirren, Richard Bohringer, Michael Gambon, Tim Roth, Alan Howard
Duration: 124’

Even if a person has only once seen what is possibly Peter Greenaway’s most famous film, the film stays with them for a variety of reasons. One of those reasons is the evocative musical score by Michael Nyman, long before he became famous for his sheet music in “The Piano”. Another reason is the stunning visual perception in regards to the set design which acts as the ideal and alluring counterpoint to the ugliness that unfolds somewhat sarcastically throughout the film. Naturally, the actors remain unforgettable be it the multifaceted Helen Mirren, the despotic and brutish Michael Gambon or the conniving Richard Bohringer who is the silent puppeteer commanding the action in the foreground and background.

But if there’s one reason why a person will remember the film it’s for the multitude of extremes which the British director wields with the aid of black humour and even darker irony in a  plot reminiscent of a shakespearean play featuring the trials and tribulations of a group of sinners with a hint of primitive revenge, a plot with the aim of mocking long-standing cinematic taboos (such as cannibalism, sex or defecation), taking them down shot by shot. Visually dizzying, unconditionally provocative, and deviantly playful, Peter Greenaway’s pre-eminent film is a desperate look at the human condition, disguised as a political allegory and a commentary on the innumerable wrongdoings of the civilised world. The outcome leaves one at a loss for words. Loukas Katsikas

“British 80” Tribute. In collaboration with the Athens & Epidaurus Festival



    Publication date: 2019-05-04 18:26:47

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