Peter Greenaway

Windows (1975, Peter Greenaway)

Windows is exquisite.

The short is a number of shots in a house, always out a window (hence the title), while pleasant harpsichord music plays. The music fits in later; Greenaway makes an exceptional amount of moves in just three and a half minutes with this one.

Throughout the short, the narrator (also Greenaway) recounts the statistics on how many people have died in this house’s parish in the last year… from falling out of windows. There are children, there are adults, there are teenagers. The narration is rather detailed, with occasional facts representing themselves visually.

Greenaway’s tone, both as the narrator and the director, is whimsical. He’s talking about these terrible, terrible things, yet with a great deal of levity. And it works. Paired with the beautiful photography, Windows mesmerizes.

The way Greenaway’s narration engages the viewer’s imagination, it reminds of Borges and potential literature. It’s breathtaking, accomplished work.

3/3Highly Recommended


Edited, photographed, written and directed by Peter Greenaway.

Narrated by Peter Greenaway.

Intervals (1969, Peter Greenaway)

Intervals is a series of profile shots of Venice buildings. It’s unclear it’s Venice until the boats start passing. It’s impossible to tell when director Greenaway shot the film, but the light never changes much so one might assume he either did it every day at the same time.

The sequence, with almost imperceptible changes, repeats three times. The first time, Greenaway sets it to something like a metronome. He forces the viewer to think about the cuts and how they relate to the sound. Once he lulls the viewer into expecting what’s next, he disrupts the experience.

The second time through Greenaway sets the sequence to a narrator going through the alphabet. Greenaway now forces the viewer to reconsider the sequence, including ambient sounds.

The final run-through is the most cinematic, with an unexpected gag as the narrator goes through a list of words.

Intervals is excellent work.

3/3Highly Recommended


Written and directed by Peter Greenaway.

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