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Slideshow

Peter Greenaway's
THE DRAUGHTSMAN'S CONTRACT

Friday, December 2 – Thursday, December 8

Daily (except Sunday):
12:30   2:45   5:10   7:30

Sunday, December 4:
1:00   3:15   5:30   7:45

40th ANNIVERSARY 4K RESTORATION  

UK, 1982
Written and directed by Peter Greenaway
Starring Anthony Higgins, Janet Suzman, Anne-Louise Lambert, Hugh Fraser
Cinematography by Curtis Clark
Music by Michael Nyman
Restored in 4K by BFI Production Board, in association with Channel 4.
Approx. 108 mins.


An aristocratic wife (Suzman) commissions a young, cocksure draughtsman (Higgins) to sketch her husband’s property while he's away—in exchange for a fee, room and board, and one sexual favor for each of the twelve drawings. As the draughtsman becomes more entrenched in the devious schemings in this seemingly idyllic country home, curious details emerge in his drawings that may reveal a murder.

Adorned with intricate wordplay, extravagant costumes, opulent photography by cinematographer Curtis Clark, DRAUGHTMAN’S CONTRACT features a boisterous, period-inflected score by composer Michael Nyman, who went on to provide soundtracks for many of Greenaway’s films.

The debut feature of British iconoclast Greenaway catapulted him to the forefront of international arthouse cinema. THE DRAUGHTSMAN’S CONTRACT was an enormously successful worldwide hit, launching Greenaway’s prolific career, including A ZED & TWO NOUGHTS; DROWNING BY NUMBERS; THE COOK, THE THIEF, HIS WIFE AND HER LOVER; PROSPERO’S BOOKS; and THE PILLOW BOOK.

A ZEITGEIST FILMS RELEASE, IN ASSOCIATION WITH KINO LORBER

Reviews

“GREENAWAY’S MASTERPIECE.”
Time Out (London)
The Guardian
The Independent

"Greenaway’s breakthrough... startled and entranced British audiences and European audiences even more so, with its rich, weird mix of luscious costumes and theatricality, emotionless line-readings, austerely inert staging, opaque plotting, mad elegance and mysterious eroticism…After 40 years…it looks more brilliant, more uncompromisingly cerebral and more exasperating than ever.”
—Peter Bradshaw, The Guardian
Read the full review here.

“Proclaimed the arrival of Greenaway with a blast on the Baroque Trumpet. Few directors can have contrived so piercing an annunciation of their talent.”
The Independent (UK)

“The speeches are so arch and twitty they seem to be pitched higher than a dog whistle, and the people talking are popinjays in perukes shaped as geometrically as the shrubs at Marienbad.”
– Pauline Kael

”A TANTALIZING PUZZLE, WRAPPED IN EROTICISM AND
PRESENTED WITH THE UTMOST ELEGANCE.
The raw materials of this story could have been fashioned into a bawdy romp like
Tom Jones. But the director has made a canny choice. Instead of showing us
everything, and explaining everything, he gives us the clues and allows us to draw
our own conclusions. IT’S LIKE A CROSSWORD PUZZLE FOR THE SENSES.
I HAVE NEVER SEEN A MOVIE QUITE LIKE IT.

– Roger Ebert

Trailer

THE DRAUGHTSMAN'S CONTRACT

Opens Friday, December 2

Film Forum