The Draughtsman's Contract (DVD)
Directed by Peter Greenaway
“Four Stars! What we have here is a tantalizing puzzle, wrapped in eroticism and presented with the utmost elegance. I have never seen a film quite like it.”
—Roger Ebert, Chicago Sun-Times
Set in a richly exaggerated 17th-century England, Peter Greenaway’s sumptuous and sensuously charged brainteaser catapulted him to the forefront of international art cinema. Adorned with intricate wordplay, extravagant costumes and opulent photography, Greenaway’s first narrative feature weaves a labyrinthine mystery around the maxim “draw what you see, not what you know.” An aristocratic wife (Janet Suzman) commissions a young, cocksure draughtsman (Anthony Higgins) to sketch her husband’s property while he is 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 implicate a murder. Bolstered by a majestic score by then-newcomer Michael Nyman and stunning cinematography by Curtis Clark that suggests Greenaway has the elements at his beck and call, The Draughtsman’s Contract is a luscious cinematic banquet for eye, ear and mind.
DVD Extras Include:
- Restored anamorphic transfer, created from Hi-Def elements
- Peter Greenaway commentary and video introduction
- Four deleted scenes
- Behind-the-scenes footage and on-set interviews
- Interview with composer Michael Nyman
- Restoration demonstration
- Production photo and Draughtsman’s sketch galleries
- English subtitles for the deaf and hearing impaired
- Original theatrical trailer
- Essays by Greenaway and cinematographer Curtis Clark
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