blogging by Andrew Wickliffe

Intervals (1969, Peter Greenaway)

A shot from INTERVALS, directed by Peter Greenaway.

Intervals is a series of profile shots of Venice buildings. It’s unclear it’s Venice until the boats start passing. It’s impossible to tell when director Greenaway shot the film, but the light never changes much so one might assume he either did it every day at the same time.

The sequence, with almost imperceptible changes, repeats three times. The first time, Greenaway sets it to something like a metronome. He forces the viewer to think about the cuts and how they relate to the sound. Once he lulls the viewer into expecting what’s next, he disrupts the experience.

The second time through Greenaway sets the sequence to a narrator going through the alphabet. Greenaway now forces the viewer to reconsider the sequence, including ambient sounds.

The final run-through is the most cinematic, with an unexpected gag as the narrator goes through a list of words.

Intervals is excellent work.

3/3Highly Recommended


Written and directed by Peter Greenaway.


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