Reviewed byGalinaVote: 9/10/10
The first Peter Greenaway's feature "The Draughtsman's Contract" (1982)- is absolutely delightful, devilishly clever (just imagine the bestAgatha Christy's mystery with all sorts of clues and suspects butwithout Poirot or Ms. Maple to explain in the end whodunit and why. Youare on your own to try to figure out - everything you need to know isright there), and funny (Yes, Greenaway can be funny!) art film - theperfect example of an art film. It combines the elements of socialsatire with murder mystery, meditates on the power of art and role ofan artist, studies family drama and mothers daughters love andunderstanding, perfectly wraps it in sensual pleasure - and what thepleasure it is. I know I will watch it again because it is a feast foreyes (I've seen big budget movies that looked plain comparing to thisone shot on the limited funds), ears (Michael Nyman wrote one of thebest score ever for this film) and for brain - there are mysteries andpuzzles in every frame and in every dialog.
There is couple of Greenaway's thoughts on his first film and on thefilms that influenced him from the interview that was published inL'Avant-Scene Cinema", No 333, October 1984:
"Majority of my films may be viewed on several levels. Thus, in "TheDraughtsman's Contract" there was the desire to open the symbolism ofplants and fruits, to study the connections between the aristocrats andthe common people, the conflicts between the worlds of gentlemen and ofservants. With my films, I hope to generate interest, to stimulateimagination, to wake feelings...
I consider that 90% of my films one way or another refers to paintings."Contract" quite openly refers to Caravaggio, Georges de la Tour andother French and Italian artists...
Before the work on the film began, I did not explain to film crew whatI wanted, but I showed them five European films: "Fellini's Casanova","The Last Tango in Paris" by Bertolucci, "The Marquise of O" by EricRohmer, "Chronicle of Anna Magdalena Bach" by Jean-Marie Straub and,most importantly, "Last Year at Marienbad" by Alain Resnais which hasbeen the most influential film for me."
Reviewed byTerrell-4Vote: 9/10/10
Reviewed byFilmtributeVote: 10/10/10
Mr. Neville, a cocksure young artist is contracted by Mrs. Herbert, the wife of a wealthy landowner, to produce a set of twelve drawings of her husband's estate, a contract which extends much further than either the purse or the sketchpad. The sketches themselves prove of an even greater significance than supposed upon the discovery of the body of Mr. Herbert.