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The art of filmmaking - Masterclass Peter Greenaway- EFEBO D'ORO

  • Cantieri Cultyrali alla Zisa 3 Via Paolo Gili Palermo, Sicilia, 90138 Italy (map)


The art of filmmaking: Masterclass con Greenaway Un viaggio nell’arte di uno dei maestri del cinema mondiale, attraverso l’analisi dello sguardo della macchina da presa, degli elementi di montaggio e di composizione filmica. I partecipanti avranno la possibilità di interagire con il regista gallese, e conoscere con lui i fondamenti teorici, pratici e le componenti tecniche che caratterizzano il suo cinema.



 It is an Old Testament belief that “in the beginning was the word”. This cannot be true. According to Genesis, God sent Adam out into “the brave new world” to name everything. How could Adam name everything if there was not first an image or its representation to name? Written language is a very recent thing – not around until five thousand years ago. Compared to cave painting now regarded, by the most recent dating techniques, as being forty-five thousand years old, there is obviously a historical mismatch in text and image. Historically, there were man-made representative images in the world, forty thousand years before text. We can all easily agree that in the beginning was the image, not the word. Text is an after-thought in God’s world.

We have a text-based cinema though cinema claims to be “moving pictures”. Every film you have ever seen starts most assuredly as a text – however simple, however economic – even if written on the back of an envelope in pencil. Film producers demand a text before they can start to finance. As a film-director I cannot give a film producer five paintings, ten prints and a book of drawings and say, “Here’s the evidence for the film we could make together – now you can go and find the money”. The chances are that the film producer will be bewildered.

Text has so many ways to proselytize itself – some three thousand years of lyric poetry from Homer onwards, some four hundred years of the novel since at least the early 1700s and the theatre in its three thousand years of existence always hands down its meaning as text. Why can’t we have a medium that exclusively and with great sophistication is devoted to expressing the meaning of ourselves and the world in image?  That medium is surely the cinema. And yet the cinema is slave to text. We could say that cinema is only some one hundred and twenty years of illustrated text and has refused to break the umbilical cord between the screen and the bookshop.

I began my career as a painter and I am unapologetically an enthusiast for the image. Painting broke free of being illustrated text in the 1860s, introducing in the twentieth century, the greatest century that painting has ever known - now we must free cinema from being illustrated text in the twenty-first century to liberate it to become the true seventh art that so many cinema apologists say it is. 


Earlier Event: October 21
Masters of modern art from the Hermitage
Later Event: November 10
The Greenaway Alphabet - DOC NYC