Film Series: The Cook, the Thief, His Wife & Her Lover

October 14, 2014
Steinberg Auditorium

The Cook, the Thief, His Wife & Her Lover (1989), introduced by Stephen Mueller, visiting assistant professor of architecture in the Sam Fox School.

This visceral film, often read as a critique of the policies of Margaret Thatcher, centers on the four main titular characters, whose nightly encounters in a London restaurant involve decadence, gluttony, violence, and infidelity.

Like the iconic architectural drawings from the colletion of Alvin Boyarsky featured in the exhibition Drawing Ambience, Peter Greenaway's films also engage the postmodern cultural shift of the 1980s. Using the language of painting, drawing, and architecture—including highly elaborate costume designs and recreations of noted historical buildings and paintings— Greenaway's films expose underlying tensions between past and present, body and garment, passion and reason.