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Drowning by Numbers (rewatch)

Posted by martinteller on July 7, 2008

It’s been about 20 years since I last saw this, and I really wanted to watch it again.  In the absence of a DVD release, I had to resort to a murky pan & scan version.  Part of the fun of this movie is spotting all the numbers, and I’d bet that some of the ones I missed were simply out of frame.  It also makes it harder to appreciate Sacha Vierny’s cinematography, which is always impressive.  Even having to make do with a subpar presentation, I still adore this movie.  Greenaway indulges his usual fetishes regarding counting, categorizing and cataloging, and the labyrinthine rules for the various “games” in the film is evidence of his love for complicated bits of information.  But beyond this is a very involving story, memorable characters and performances, some terrific black comedy, and some heart-rending emotional moments.  Not as difficult as The Falls, nor as grotesque as Cook Thief Wife Lover, I believe this is Greenaway’s finest film, or at least the easiest to enjoy.  Rating: 10


One Response to “Drowning by Numbers (rewatch)”

  1. […] 59. Drowning By Numbers (1988, Peter Greenaway) […]

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