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Peter Greenaway: Nightwatching
Description: Nightwatching is the screenplay for a new film written and directed by Peter Greenaway, to be completed for the Cannes Film Festival in May 2006. Its release will coincide with the 400th anniversary of Rembrandt's birth, and with an installation of Greenaway's work presented at the Rijksmuseum in Amsterdam alongside the film's subject,...
Description: Nightwatching is the screenplay for a new film written and directed by Peter Greenaway, to be completed for the Cannes Film Festival in May 2006. Its release will coincide with the 400th anniversary of Rembrandt's birth, and with an installation of Greenaway's work presented at the Rijksmuseum in Amsterdam alongside the film's subject, Rembrandt's The Night Watch. Nightwatching proposes that Rembrandt's most famous painting eventually became the central focus of his existence, and that it broke him even as it made him: The Night Watch, an enormous, groundbreaking group portrait, marks the fulcrum of his life, dividing it into two halves. Greenaway follows the story of the painting's manufacture from start to finish, twining a plot around the reasons Rembrandt might have been ruined, a social and financial vendetta springing from the era's high-minded Calvinism and from envy that he, a lowly out-of-town craftsman, could play the markets like a merchant. Greenaway looks at the ways a tightly knit society, through a concerted effort, was able to punish a man who broke its rules. Rembrandt exhibited overt success, lived openly in sin with a servant, and was not prepared to kneel before patrons. They in turn were mortified that--in paintings commissioned for all to see--he could mock and scorn their self-righteousness and taint them with insinuations of moral and legal lapse.
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