I would say that this is Greenaway's masterpiece. If you want to know who elevated Vermeer into the top tier of artists, look no further. This film has a lot of different levels, which makes it something you can watch again. There's a plot against the black and white animals in the zoo, and someone is trying to create fake Vermeers. When I saw it, it was the most beautiful motion picture I had ever seen.
4.5. The warmest of chilly Greenaway, I reckon. The interplay of colours upon flat surfaces is equal to the best of abstract expressionism, though almost pre-modern in sensibility, modern in thematics, and post-modern in aesthetic game-playing [while all the time adhering to the rules of Renaissance art]. Offers, by its end, a surprisingly convincing portrait of grief. The only thing Jim Davidson has been good for.
One Greenaway composition feels like it took a career's worth of effort. A whole movie of them always feels like an overload, is supposed to feel like an overload. Here he's earned a place in Deleuze's books by virtue of the rushed ideational connection. It's one thing to overdetermine your characters, it's another to draw characters who desire their images to be swallowed by history (natural or otherwise). Punny.
Un foisonnement d'idées, totalement maîtrisées, où se télescopent et se complètent la dualité de l'être humain, l'évolution selon Darwin et les femmes peintes par Vermeer, le pourrissement des corps, dans une oeuvre d'une richesse évidente, débordante... www.cinefiches.com
So brilliantly cheeky in only a way that Greenway can achieve. By the time you've digested the absurdity of a situation, you're already in the middle of something even more laughable or cringe-worthy than before. I always appreciate the questions Greenway proposes with his films w/o taking himself too seriously, or- seriously at all. Easily one of the most gorgeously composed works of art you'll ever see.
Uwielbiam ten film! Wielowątkowa historia, której wspólnym elementem jest ZOO. Produkcja nie daje nam zbyt dużo odpowiedzi na pytania, które zadajemy sobie podczas oglądania tego barwnego obrazu a nanosi kolejne np. o życiu, jego sens lub też gdzie są jego początki.
It is interesting how far out of popular cinephilic esteem Mr. Greenaway has fallen over the past few decades. Once highly revered, now a figure of scorn. It would seem the diminishing quality of his work speaks to this. Were we all wrong in the 90s? As a teenager during that time, Greenaway was unspeakably huge to me, and Zoo was my favorite Greenaway. Does it stand up? Unquestionably. Though I see it w/ new eyes.
A perfect example for Greenaway's obsession with numbers, alphabetical orders, Renaissance and (early) Baroque painting - in this case especially Vermeer, but you can also find many references to Brueghel (e.g. in the composition of the flower bouquets) as well as visual reflexions on still lifes, birth, death and decay (the vanitas motif). And the film is the second of six cooperations with composer Michael Nyman.
Painterly mise-en-scene and breathtaking meditations on decay save this from being a bit of a dud. Greenaway's exuberant, slightly pedantic use of as many symbols and concepts as he can lay hands on, in addition to some disappointing misogyny, makes the middle of this film somewhat tedious and bloated. Fortunately, he manages a neat conclusion that does actually deliver some of the conceptual payoff he promises