→ 02 Sep 12 at 11 pm
A car accident happens where two brothers lose their wives. They begin asking themselves why this happened to them. It becomes an obsession. They try to understand through an experiment of animal rotting bodies and evolution documentaries why natural selection selected their wives out.
After the success of his first feature film (The Draughtsman’s Contract), Peter Greenaway knew that his second film would be a difficult task to handle. It’s been said that because of the great ambition of A Zed and Two Naughts, there are really 3 films under this title. The first one about notions of twinship, which may fascinate us since it’s the closest way to get to know ourselves, learn how we act and relate to people through someone that looks just like us. The second film would be about Natural History, which Greenaway has always liked filming and photographing it. Greenaway considers this second film an examination of the world as a zoo, how plants, animals, and humans relate to each other. The third film would be what Greenaway considers to be the most academic from the three films: the manipulation of light. He came across a quotation of Godard that suggests that the dutch painter Johannes Vermeer was the first cinematographer. Vermeer made an extraordinary manipulation of light that is seen in his paintings. Greenaway was fascinated with this, something that shared with french cinematographer Sacha Vierny. A Zed and Two Noughts was the first collaboration between them. Vierny worked with Agnés Varda on her short film L’opéra-mouffe, with Alain Resnais on L’Année Dernière à Marienbad, and with Luis Buñuel on his film Belle de Jour. Greenaway and Vierny listed 26 different ways that they could light the set, some of them are: morning light, afternoon light, moon light, sun light, stars light, artificial light by bonfires, by candles, by lamps, and also contemporary ways of lighting like car headlamps, cathode tubes, and even it was suggested metaphorically to try lighting with rainbow light. Greenaway considers that this film prepared him for his later work.
- from the Video Introduction by Peter Greenaway (BFI, 2004)
(Source: wunderbarkino, via )