Monday, January 14, 2013

Tusle Luper Suit Cases Moab Story (2003)

A move back to the form and style after crashing and burning with Eight and a Half Women and the misstep of Pillow Book this is the first of three films (a promised, but probably never to materialize miniseries, like wise DVD/computer program, books and other thing) by Peter Green away about Tulse Luper. Luper has been haunting everyone of Greenaway's films since the start and it could be argued that Luper is in fact Greenaway. Here he begins his 6 hours in the spot light and its a mind bending trip.

The Suitcases are Lupers 99 suitcases that contain all his possessions. The Moab story is Moab region of Utah in which part of the story is set. I don't know how to explain it beyond that. It a pseudo-documentary and a drama film at the same time. Its full of everything you'd expect from Greenaway, basically visual and information overload. Here we have images with in images, repeated images, multiple images, everything you can think of to do with a computer and then some. It refers to a good many of Greenaways earlier films and echoes and expands on their themes. While I wasn't twitching ten minutes in as I was with Prospero's Books, this film is a trying experience for anyone to sit through in one sitting since there is just too much to take in. Worse unless you see this on a big movie screen a good deal of the imagery will be lost blurred into the picture on/in picture, granted its not really required to understand whats going on, but it helps, and the odd stuff often has some fun stuff hidden in it.

I liked this movie but I didn't love it. Its the set up for a tale on a vast canvas and its hard to know whats what when the film seems like its just getting to head of steam as it ends. Its also a difficult film to process with the overload numbing one to a good deal of the material (I would think Greenaway would be a favorite of hyperactive tv and video game addicts, but thats not the case.)

If you're a fan of his films you may want to try it but be warned, there are two more movies in the series, which appear to be near impossible to find or get a hold of (indeed the only place I've ever seen the second and third parts playing was at Lincoln Center as part of Greenaway retrospective and on Sundance Channel), which is a shame since the story is suppose to get better the deeper you go into it.

(Amazingly Greenaway recut the six hour story down to two hours removing over four hours of material and inserting a good deal of new material to reportedly poor effect)

(Reviews of the two films that follow, will appear as soon as I rewatch them)

1 comment:

  1. Thanks for the review. All 3 movies played (over 3 days) at a festival here in Melbourne (Australia) a number of years ago. Being a Greenaway fan, l went to all of them.I can't see much point in just showing one, not all three. Rather annoyingly his films seem not to get commercial releases here in Australia any more. Nightwatching only had screenings at a film festival.