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NIGHTWATCHING

Director: PETER GREENAWAY

130 minutes| U.K.-Netherlands-Canada-France-Poland| 2007| Colour| Anamorphic| Dolby Digital Stereo| 35mm Notes by Trevor Johnston


This film was released 30th April 2010 and is no longer screening.

In creating his greatest large-scale work, the painter Rembrandt may have sown the seeds of his own fall from prosperity by taking on the powerful Amsterdam establishment. That’s the tantalising theory put forward with conviction by this absorbing blend of cultural documentary and human drama, marking an unexpected return to the cinema for Peter Greenaway after years of multimedia work and museum installations. The result is arguably the most focused and accessible film he has ever made. It has a wonderfully expressive performance from Martin Freeman as Rembrandt, inexorably drawn to using his commission for The Night Watch to point the finger at the iniquities of the city bigwigs whose egos he’s supposed to be flattering. Often inclined to a certain academic aridity, Greenaway here shows genuine investment in the lot of the women – whether wives, maids or vulnerable orphans – in a seventeenth-century society heavily weighted against them. Nightwatching is involving, sometimes shocking and, in the very best way, an education.

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