Prospero's Books (1991), written and directed by Peter Greenaway, is a cinematic adaptation of The Tempest, by William Shakespeare. John Gielgud is Prospero, the protagonist who provides the off-screen narration and the voices to the other story characters. Stylistically, Prospero's Books is narratively and cinematically innovative in its techniques, combining mime, dance, opera, and animation. Edited in Japan, the film makes extensive (and pioneering) use of digital image manipulation (using Hi-Vision video inserts and the Paintbox system), often overlaying multiple moving and still pictures with animations. Michael Nyman composed the musical score and Karine Saporta choreographed the dance. The film is also notable for its extensive use of nudity, reminiscent of Manierist paintings depiciting mythological characters. The nude actors and extras represent a realistic cross-section of male and female humanity.
Famous quotes containing the words prospero and/or books:
“The Prospero of poisons, the Faustus of the front,
bringing mental magic to modern armament.”
—Tony Harrison (b. 1953)
“Translate a book a dozen times from one language to another, and what becomes of its style? Most books would be worn out and disappear in this ordeal. The pen which wrote it is soon destroyed, but the poem survives.”
—Henry David Thoreau (18171862)