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GOLTZIUS AND THE PELICAN COMPANY

Director: PETER GREENAWAY

128 minutes, U.K.-Netherlands-France-Croatia, 2012, Colour, D-Cinema


Following 2007’s portrayal of Rembrandt in Nightwatching, the second entry in director Peter Greenaway’s Dutch Masters series focuses on 16th century engraver Hendrick Goltzius. Leader of the Pelican Company, a troupe of actors and artists whose activities support both themselves and Goltzius’ printing work, he strikes a deal with the Margrave of Alsace (an imperious F. Murray Abraham) whereby funding will be received for a new press and publications in return for the company acting out six sexual taboos recounted in the Bible, including incest (Lot and his daughters) and adultery (David and Bathsheba).

These performances offer copious and explicit nudity and violence, and the episodic nature of the narrative provides scope for numerous digressions on free speech and censorship, morality, art history, and philosophy in a film as ravishingly beautiful and visually textured as one would expect from Greenaway. (Notes by Kevin Coyne.)

Don’t forget we now schedule weekly.

★★★★ Entertainment.ie

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