THE GREENAWAY ALPHABET
DCP/HD • COLOR • 2017 • THE NETHERLANDS • 70' & 58'
A film by Saskia Boddeke
Peter Greenaway constructs an alphabet for and with his daughter Zoë as a blueprint of his life. The fascinations of filmmaker Peter Greenaway, whose motto is "art is life and life is art", are captured like butterflies and arranged in an alphabet, a form suiting him perfectly as an encyclopedist. In intimate conversations with his perceptive 16-year-old daughter Zoë, we discover the ‘whos, whats and whys’ about Greenaway. They begin with A, which stands for Amsterdam, but could also stand for autism, Zoë suggests. Greenaway’s boundless creativity and unconstrained flow of words brings this to mind indeed, and he admits to wearing the label with pride. The playful conversations don’t shy away from painful topics; we hear that Greenaway hasn’t seen two other children of his for years. Later, heartbroken and in tears, Zoë asks him if for once to stop talking like a commentator. Zoë’s spontaneous questions penetrate Greenaway to the core, enabling his wife, multimedia artist Saskia Boddeke, to make a deeply personal portrait not only of the artist, but also of Greenaway the father in his battle against time.
Produced by Beeld TV
Co-produced by NTR
Original languages: Dutch, English
Saskia Boddeke, born in Castricum, is an innovative Dutch multimedia artist and director. From 1986, after finishing her education as director in Amsterdam, Saskia Boddeke worked at the Netherlands Opera on many opera productions with artists like Dario Fo, Peter Stein and Pierre Audi. She started as an assistant director and developed towards directing her own operas like Rosa, a horse opera and the very successful Writing to Vermeer.
Over the last 21 years she developed a language embracing the use of multiple screen projections, sophisticated computer programming and visual phenomenon like Second Life. Saskia Boddeke connects animated audio-visual avatars with live actors within a stage presence which combines the physical with the electronic. Her multimedia installations and performances are shown around the world, from New York to Adelaide. Saskia’s installations are immersive experiences, she surrounds the visitors with projections, sounds, light, smells and art objects, like Obedience in 2015 an installation in 15 rooms at the Jewish Museum of Berlin and the opera Giovanna d'Arco at the Teatro Farnese at the Verdi Festival of Parma. This opera was nominated as best new production by the International Opera Award.For the Spoleto festival 2017, Saskia created H is for Horse, a site specific immersive installation.
Saskia - alias Rose Borchovski - is also a well-known artist at Second Life where she creates multiple art installations. The Second Life installations can be visited online at The Second Life Grid and at the Aire Mille Flux art-grid.
Distributors: I Wonder (Italy) • Joint Entertainment (Taiwan) • Movie Matters (Thailand) • Njutafilms (Sweden) • Rialto (New Zealand) • TVP Kultura (Poland) • YLE (Finland)
Festivals: IDFA • Thessaloniki Doc FF • Istanbul IFF • Bafici • Jeonju IFF • Espoo Ciné IFF • Seattle FF • Biografilm • Taipei IFF • T-Mobile New Horizons IFF • Haifa IFF