The Voyeur of Venice

Remember Peter Greenaway? No? Back in the eighties, he was heralded as the savior of international art-house cinema – dense in his themes, gloriously scatological in his plots, and possessing a keen sense of pictorial beauty. Starting today, the IFC Center will be reviving two of his classics, The Draughtsman’s Contract and A Zed and Two Noughts — films that are not to be missed, especially on the big screen. We decided to go back even further and dig up one of Greenaway’s strange, early shorts: 1969’s Intervals, which is a fascinating experimental piece that cuts between a series of static shots of Venice, as the soundtrack progresses from clicks to voices to Vivaldi. The director has said that he “was curious to know whether it was possible to make an entertaining, abstract film.” Take a look at this bewitching experiment and judge for yourself. —Bilge Ebiri