A car collides with a swan outside Rotterdam Zoo. Two women passengers die and the driver, Alma, has to have her leg amputated. Obsessed with the accident, the husbands of the dead women – twins at that – embark on a strange affair with Alma…
Visually striking, if rather too ascetic thematic exploration of death and decay. As so often with this director everything is suspended in aspic and shut-off inside glass cases, making the film resemble a Victorian Botanist sticking pins through his exhibits, labelling and classifying them and then displaying at arm's length. No heart, but a great eye.
First Greenaway film I saw. When the credits rolled, I realized I was there to stay. Wonderful score by Nyman. The art direction, sets, costumes, effects, everything is breathtaking. Amazing cinematography by Vierny, who shows here he can do well more than Last Year at Marienbad. A delight for the senses. *****
Very difficult to describe in words how haunting this film is. I found myself turning away from the screen because of how disturbing the visuals were at times, but the second it ended, I wanted to watch it again Too good.
The BFI has uploaded it to the internet (although they've curiously cut the restaurant scene where Catharina Bolnes awkwardly tries to seduce Oliver): http://www.dailymotion.com/video/xd6ncj_a-z-and-two-noughts_shortfilms