2005. ‘The secret passion of the Cinephile’

Gerwin van der Pol

During the 1986 International Rotterdam Film Festival I attended the Dutch premiere of A Zed and two Noughts (UK/Netherlands: Peter Greenaway, 1985). As history records it, the film left behind an amazed audience. The opening credit scene gives so much visual and auditory information that the spectator is unable to “enter” the film. That may explain why many spectators talk about the film in spatial metaphors: the film was “beyond” them, or they felt “left out.” Often mentioned in reviews of the film – and something Peter Greenaway seems to be proud of – is that watching the film is like seeing three films at once. But that is not the only peculiarity of the film I noticed upon seeing the work. What really struck me was that the film resembled the Dutch film De Witte Waan / The White Madness / The White Delusion (Netherlands: Adriaan Ditvoorst, 1984). Noticing this resemblance kept my attention focused on the screen.

Pol, Gerwin van der. ‘The Secret Passion of the Cinephile’, in Marijke de Valck, Malte Hagener (eds.) Cinephilia: movies, love and memory. Amsterdam, Amsterdam University Press, 2005. blz. 211-222.