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IDFA 2023 A Zed Two Noughts 1

A Zed & Two Noughts

Peter Greenaway / GB, NL, 1985 / 115 min.

Rich in symbolism, this ironic and bizarre drama follows Siamese twin brothers grieving the deaths of their wives in a car accident. Seeking to explain this apparently random event, they conduct a study of the decay of black-and-white zoo animals.

poster IDFA 2023

Brothers Oswald and Oliver, born as Siamese twins, are zoologists working in a zoo. They both lose their wives in the same bizarre car accident where the driver of the car loses both her legs but survives. The brothers, seeking to be rejoined physically, are obsessed with symmetry, list-making and the zoo as a living, evolution-inspired encyclopedia, and seek understanding by filming the decay of black-and-white zoo animals in symmetrical tableaux.

Greenaway’s bizarre drama was shot at Rotterdam’s Blijdorp Zoo and references compositions by Vermeer and his forger Van Meegeren throughout. Ben van Os and Jan Roelfs were the production designers for this blackly comic British-Dutch drama, and the distinctive haunting music is by Michael Nyman with Sacha Vierny as cameraman. All four were regular collaborators with Greenaway.

As in the director’s other work, many of the shots are static and wide-framed, with all objects and the characters in them positioned with the utmost precision to stress the origins of cinema in painting and to signify that every film frame is a still.

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Peter Greenaway

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115 min.







Part of

IDFA 2023

Documentary lovers, keep 9 through 19 November free in your calendar. The International Documentary Film Festival Amsterdam presents its 36th edition in cinemas throughout Amsterdam, including several special programmes in Eye.

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IDFA 2023 A Zed Two Noughts 2
IDFA 2023 A Zed Two Noughts 3
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