A Zed & Two Noughts

The boldest and arguably one of the best of Peter Greenaway’s fiction features, this extremely odd and perverse conceptual piece (1986) certainly isn’t for every taste, although Sacha Vierny’s cinematography makes it so luscious that you may be mesmerized in spite of yourself. The title refers to a European zoo; the curious plot involves two brothers who work as the zoo’s curators and who lose their wives in a freak auto accident. Only partially a narrative film, this elegant puzzle also involves amputees, painting, a menage a trois, and decomposing animalsalong with many other thingswhich are intricately interrelated thanks to Greenaway’s icy brilliance. Definitely a one-of-a-kind movie. With Andrea Ferreol, Brian and Eric Deacon, Frances Barber, and Joss Ackland. 115 min. (JR)

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