CINEMA: PILLOW TALK

HUMAN GRAFFITI IN PETER GREENAWAY'S SEXY FILM

At the end of the last millennium, the Japanese courtesan Sei Shonagon wrote The Pillow Book, which survives as a masterpiece of erotic and political intrigue. A thousand years later, the English filmmaker Peter Greenaway (Drowning by Numbers, The Cook The Thief His Wife & Her Lover) has created a severe, rhapsodic fable about body painting--about a woman's desire to make of herself a living work of erotic art.

As a birthday present each year, little Nagiko's father would write a sensuous sentiment, in elegant Japanese calligraphy, on the child's face. Twenty years later, Nagiko (Vivian Wu) tries to duplicate, erotically,...

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