Truly excruciating in the most positive sense...
Rachel Palleschi | Salem, MA USA | 11/18/1999
(5 out of 5 stars)
"this is easily one of my favorite films. NO ONE I show it to seems to understand why. It is stunningly photographed, flawlessly executed, mind-numbingly cerebral. Symmetry freaks, watch this one closely! Peter Greenaway is not for those who just want to "take in a flick"...but everyone should watch at least one of his masterpieces."
A must see
Ome Leo | Ze Netherlands | 03/02/2000
(5 out of 5 stars)
"The very first time I watched this film was not in a theatre but on a small black and white TV (at the time I was about 17 and still living with my parents, so what do you expect :-). It made a tremendous impression on me then and it's still my favorite film ever. The plot is rich and weird, the music addictive and the dialogues are both odd and witty. As you might expect of one of the early films by Greenaway, the alphabet plays a big part in this film. A film about the beginnings of life, birth, life itself, death and decay. Excellent usage of clips of natural history films with the distinctive voice of David Attenborough. There are many storylines in this film and there's a kind of character development you don't see to often in these modern times. Greenaway created an atmosphere I had never seen before in films and very few films are even coming close to it.All in all, as you might have noticed, I'm a sucker for this film. I can recommend it to anyone. And hey, if you don't like the pictures, you can still play the DVD and not watch it, but enjoy the soundtrack."
Origins of Life, Vermeer, symmetry. ZOO.... and OOZe
N. Chodoba | Torrington, CT USA | 11/30/2003
(5 out of 5 stars)
"Everytime I see A Zed and Two Noughts I catch a phrase that I missed the double meaning on the previous time I watched it. Perhaps the fascination of watching bodies decay clouds my perceptions. Perhaps the beauty of the photographic images by Sacha Vierny, The arresting music by Michael Nyman, or the insistent guiding hand of Director Peter Greenaway (who is creating his own cinematic alphabet here, later to be explored in his subsequent films, and drawing upon his wonderful short films and early opus The Falls) is too much for one viewing to contain! Or perhaps it is getting wrapped up in the same mystery that consumes the twin zoologists. Why death, and why a car accident involving a pregnant Swan on Swann's way, no less??!! Speaking of doubles, you have the twin brothers, their two dead wives, the two legless lovers, the doctor who is a descendant of the master forger (a great faker must be praised I guess!) Van Meegeren, himself a double (dubious) of the painter Vermeer,or the fact that there are Vermeers in the film, and they are doubled on camera in certain shots, and more and more...
Is this a waste of film? DEFINITELY NOT. You go into a film with the knowledge you have up to that point, and sometimes a film challenges you to rise to the occasion as opposed to talking down to an audience. This is not for people who think watching a movie means some quiet time and maybe a laugh or two. This is a film where you are constantly challenged to make observations and opinions based on what you are shown. There is a thesis here, and I am not sure whether it is an artistic thesis, a scientific thesis, a moral and ethical thesis, or all or none of the above, but what I do know is that this is one of the most challenging pieces of moving image I have ever seen (I have only seen about 1,600 films in my life, so I admit I have not seen that much), and it is easier to walk away from it then to stay and appreciate the rich complexities of knowledge this film draws from. The choice is yours but I highly recommend it for knowledge seekers.
The DVD is of great quality, and except for the lack of extras (I would have LOVED to have seen the trailer for this film), it is a worthy purchase."
Gorgeously filmed and elaborately constructed conceptual tou
Nathan Andersen | Florida | 01/31/2008
(5 out of 5 stars)
"I am very excited that Zeitgeist is putting out this new dvd transfer of this exceptional film. This is Peter Greenaway at his finest, his obsession with ordering lives and things and with the discovery of symmetries between the obsessions that drive both science and sexuality is perfectly meshed by the story of two twin zoologists who grieve the passing of their wives in a bizarre car accident by simultaneously embarking upon a quixotic research project into the nature of decomposition and an affair with the amputee who had been driving the car. Thrown into the mix are a storytelling prostitute and aspiring writer named Venus de Milo, a murderer of black and white animals, a man who lost his legs for loving horses a little too much, a surgeon who is overly fond of amputation and obsessed by Vermeer. The best cinematic comparison is probably Alain Resnais' My American Uncle -- both films raise questions about the pretense that we are above the animals, that we are rational creatures and are not driven by instinct and drive. This film argues, I think, that we are unique and interesting animals and at our most unique and distinctive when we show our obsession with and drive to establish our distinction from the other animals. The music throughout is perfect and matches the style and tone of the film superbly; the story, while utterly unique is nevertheless comprehensible and never less than fascinating. It is the kind of film that rewards repeated viewings, and is a must-see film for those who delight in the possibilities of cinema, and are willing to suspend their expectations and be caught up by the delightful imagination and insight of one of the most distinctive and compelling filmmakers."