“But underneath I think we are now in a very exciting melting pot.” Peter Greenaway’s Re-invention of Mannerist Style and the Historicity of Cinema
Keywords:Peter Greenaway, historicity of cinema, mannerist aesthetic, The Falls, The Tulse Luper Suitcases
Within his cinematic works, British filmmaker, painter, curator, and multi-media artist Peter Greenaway proves techniques of discontinuous narration and playfully tries to retrieve forms of representation and perception that already seemed to be marginalised in the modern era. Those techniques are argued to have the potential to examine recent representations of cultural order and the historicity of the present.
The paper is focusing on two peculiarities in Greenaway’s work that make the historicity of cinema evident: first, his commitment to a mannerist aesthetic, which he disjunctively connects to epistemological questions of the present, and, second, the examination of the cinema situation itself, which he calls a dying dinosaur – a relic of modernity that needs a revolutionary reconditioning. In giving insights into two major works that are closely linked over a period of almost 25 years, Greenaway’s strategies of historicising cinema will be addressed. They are to be characterised as key examples of Greenaway’s techniques of establishing a space of encyclopaedic history-telling and discontinuous perception that outreaches the capacities of classic filmic representation.
Barthes, Roland. “Diderot, Brecht, Eisenstein” (orig. 1973). In Image, Music, Text, translated by Stephen Heath, 69–78. London: Fontana, 1979.
Benjamin, Walter. “On the Concept of History” (orig. 1940). In Walter Benjamin. Selected Writings, Vol. 4: 1938–1940, edited by Eiland Howard, and Michael W. Jennings, 389–400. Harvard: Belknap Press, 2003.
Braun, Micha. “Tantum umbrae ad parietem. Zur Aneignung frühneuzeitlicher Mediendiskurse in Peter Greenaways The Baby of Mâcon.“ In Globalizing Areas, Kulturelle Flexionen und die Herausforderung der Geisteswissenschaften, edited by Günther Heeg, and Markus A. Denzel, 111–33, Stuttgart: Steiner, 2011.
Braun, Micha. In Figuren erzählen. Zu Geschichte und Erzählung bei Peter Greenaway. Bielefeld, transcript, 2012. DOI: https://doi.org/10.1515/transcript.9783839421239
Brecht, Bertolt. “The Modern Theatre is the Epic Theatre: Notes to the opera Aufstieg und Fall der Stadt Mahagonny” (orig. 1930). In Brecht on Theatre: The Development of an Aesthetic, edited and trans. by John Willet, 33–42. London: Methuen, 1964.
Bredekamp, Horst. The Lure of Antiquity and the Cult of the Machine. The Kunstkammer and the Evolution of Nature, Art, and Technology. Princeton: Wiener, 1995.
de Certeau, Michel. The Writing of History (orig. 1975), trans. by Tom Conley. New York: Columbia Univ. Press, 1988.
Deleuze, Gilles. The Fold. Leibniz and the Baroque (orig. 1988), foreword and trans. by Tom Conley. Minneapolis: Univ. of Minnesota Press, 1993.
Derrida, Jaques. Of Grammatology (orig. 1967), trans. by Gayatri C. Spivak. Baltimore, London: Johns Hopkins Univ. Press, 1997.
Frommer, Kerstin. Inszenierte Anthropologie. Ästhetische Wirkungsstrukturen im Filmwerk Peter Greenaways. Cologne: Univ. Diss., 1996.
Greenaway, Peter. “Cinema is Dead, Long Live Cinema?.” Lecture held at the Nederlands Film Festival, Utrecht (Variety Cinema Militans Lecture), 2003. http://www.filmfestival.nl/Assets/Uploads/Documents/VCML_2003_ Peter_Greenaway.pdf
Miedema, Hessel. “On Mannerism and maniera.” Simiolus. Netherlands Quarterly for the History of Art 10, 1 (1978): 19–45. DOI: https://doi.org/10.2307/3780561
Pally, Marcia. “Cinema as the Total Art Form” (orig. 1991). In Peter Greenaway. Interviews, edited by Vernon Gras, and Marguerite Gras, 106–119. Jackson: Univ. Press of Mississippi, 2000.
Runia, Eelco H. “Presence”, History and Theory 45, 1 (2006): 1−29, (cf. also the follow-up “Forum: On Presence.” History and Theory 45, 3 (2006): 305–74). DOI: https://doi.org/10.1111/j.1468-2303.2006.00346.x
Rüsen, Jörn. “Historical Narration: Foundation, Types, Reason.” History and Theory 26, 4 (1987): 87–97. DOI: https://doi.org/10.2307/2505047
Woods, Alan. Being Naked Playing Dead. The Art of Peter Greenaway. Manchester: Manchester Univ. Press, 1996.
How to Cite
Copyright (c) 2023 AM Journal of Art and Media Studies
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License.
The content on this site is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License.
AM Journal of Art and Media Studies ISSN 2217-9666 - printed, ISSN 2406-1654 - online, UDK 7.01:316.774
Publisher: Faculty of Media and Communications, Singidunum University, Belgrade, Serbia
Indexed in: ERIH PLUS, EBSCO, DOAJ, and in The List of Scientific Journals Categorization of Ministry of Education, Science and Technological Development of Republic of Serbia (M24-2021). Beginning with No. 12 2017, AM is indexed, abstracted and covered in Clarivate Analytics service ESCI.