A symmetrical world

Lois 2022-07-07 20:14:19

Writing a review of a Greenaway film is a matter of trepidation. The first time I heard about Greenaway was in 2007. I saw in the newspaper that a guy made a movie with Rembrandt's paintings, and he did an installation on Rembrandt's 400th birthday. The whole article The article is full of praise. At the time, I was reading Van Loon's "Rembrandt's Difficulty in Life," and after seeing a few of Rembrandt's paintings, I called myself a Rembrandt fan. I've been looking for Greenaway's movies ever since, and only found two of his bootlegs in the video store: The Pillow Book and The Chef, The Thief, His Wife and Her Lover. The full frontal nudity of men in the movie made me terrified, and I just thought the British director had a bad taste. Recently, I accidentally discovered a collection of Greenaway, which made up for the dream of my youth. Among the recent Greenaways, my favorite is "The One Plus Two Story".

The story itself is extremely simple, a sudden flying swan creates a car accident in which the wives of a pair of zoologist brothers (who were later revealed to be conjoined twins) are killed, and the female driver is caused by it. Lost a leg. Two brothers become obsessed with a woman with a broken leg as they investigate the cause of a car accident. After the female driver died after giving birth to twins, the brothers, obsessed with the decay of animal carcasses, decided to observe their own corpses and inject the poison. I think it's a story of loyalty. In the process of watching the movie, I kept thinking of the draftsman in his previous work, The Draftsman's Contract, a painter who was completely faithful to his sixteen-frame frame. He only painted what he actually saw in his frame, and the clues to the murder that might be hidden in his twelve paintings cost him his life. In this film, the brothers are loyal to their cameras. They have a fascination with the decay of organisms, from a chipped apple, to shrimp, to buying animal carcasses (crocodiles, zebras, etc.) from zookeepers just to record their decaying process in front of a camera. Under Greenaway's lens, it's astonishing to see how similar the demise of each organism is: blackening, dehydration, maggots, and decay. Could it be the same with human corpses? Out of this loyalty, the two brothers decided to dedicate their bodies. They set up the equipment, injected poison into each other naked, and the cameras recorded their bodies frame by frame. But Greenaway still didn't lose his bad taste. He let a group of snails stop the huge shooting. Their sacrifice did not seem to get the desired result.

In addition to the loyalty to the framing, the film also reflects an almost paranoid adherence to symmetry and balance. After a woman was cut off from one leg, the other leg lost her life because she was too lonely, and was finally cut off; in the numerous close-up shots of animals interspersed in the film, animals appeared in pairs; the composition of the film also Most of them show amazing symmetry, especially in several sets of shots in the ward. The ceiling is extremely high, and the white yarn hangs down from the ceiling. The woman with the broken leg is lying on the hospital bed, occupying the center of the picture. The two brothers often appear together. Symmetrical postures appear on both sides of the woman, and even the sculptures outside the floor-to-ceiling windows are symmetrical with the woman as the axis of symmetry. This is probably the worldview of Greenaway, who studied fine arts in his early years. The world is symmetrical, and only symmetry can be balanced. This paranoid adherence to the symmetrical world can be thought of as a homage to nature. Humans are a part of nature, human emotions are also an organic part of nature, and human morality is only a natural extension of the laws of nature. This is in line with the idea conveyed by one of my favorite films at this year's Sundance Film Festival, Colors Against the Current. There is a much criticized scene in "Colors of Reverse Current", which is a mixed editing of the activities of people and pigs, each pig corresponds to a person, but it is a scene that I quite like. All kinds of animal shots in the movie are nothing more than a metaphor for people. Humans are essentially the same as animals. There is no essential difference between performing operations on humans and performing operations on animals.

Interestingly, in the movie, women ask men why they like snails. The man replied that the snail is a hermaphrodite and can complete the reproductive process on its own. It reminds me of the one-half woman in Eight and One-Half Women - the disabled shemale. I've been wondering, on what basis does Greenaway think this disabled ladyboy is a half woman? Is it because she lost her leg? Or is she a leprechaun?

Even after typing so many words, he was still apprehensive, afraid to say that he really knew what Greenaway wanted to express. But I am sure that no director has been so obsessed with numbers and alphabets, no other director has been so obsessed with the reproduction of medieval paintings, and no other director has made such a gorgeous and grotesque film.

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Extended Reading

A Zed & Two Noughts quotes

  • Alba Bewick: In the land of the legless the one-legged woman is queen.

  • Alba Bewick: Imagine that, the body - in all its delicious detail - fading away leaving a skeleton with iron legs.