The world premiere of “Nightwatching,” the latest film of the famed English director Peter Greenaway, was Saturday at the Kijow theater.
Why Krakow? To start with, the story about the Dutch painter Rembrandt was filmed in Wroclaw and elsewhere in Poland because it’s cheaper to film here than in other European countries.Another reason for a Krakow premiere was that the film includes Polish stars Agata Buzek, Andrzej Seweryn, Krzysztof Pieczynski and Maciej Zakoscielny. They joined Greenaway at the event.A third reason for a local premiere was that Gremi Film Production of Krakow was co-producer of “Nightwatching.””This is our third film,” Gremi Film Chairman Grzegorz Hajdarowicz said at the premiere. “I hope every year we will have one international production and the premieres will be here in Krakow.”He added that he wants Krakow to become “the Polish capital of the cinema.”At the premiere he gave Greenaway the award that “Nightwatching” won at the Venice Film Festival in September. Hajdarowicz had accepted the Open Award award for Greenaway at the festival.
“Nightwatching” deals with a shocking secret that Rembrandt alluded to in his famous painting “Night Watch” and the women in the master’s life. A policeman in Rembrandt’s home town of Amsterdam apparently committed a murder that he was never prosecuted for. The outraged painter put clues in the painting – which shows police officers at work – that indicated who the murderer was. He also added clues that revealed other dirty little secrets of the police.Martin Freeman is both the star of the film, playing Rembrandt, and the script writer. Critics said he did a superb job in the lead role.
In conjunction with the premiere, Greenaway showed snippets of five films blended together. He said the five are the future of cinema. There were no voices in the 50-minute blending of the films, which are collectively known as “The Tulse Luper Suitcases” project. Instead, a disc jockey from Amsterdam played music as the scenes flashed on the screen.The Tulse Luper Suitcases is a multimedia project with innovative film techniques.Greenaway made his first experiment with a film shown to music during an art-club evening in Amsterdam in 2005. The disc jockey Serge Dodwell – more popularly known as Radar – played the music that accompanied the scenes.The Tulse Luper stories have also spawned television shows, books, video games and web sites. Greenaway thinks that because we live in a digital age, we will no longer be satisfied with just one media product – like a film. We need many that are linked to each other, he said.