8 ˝ Women is not going to be cleared up with a viewing of Fellini’s 8 ˝, though director Peter Greenaway does claim that this strange piece of work pays it homage.An unbounded dark-black comedy, in which quirky cinema has reached new digits, 8 ˝ Women follows the tale of an aristocratic father and son attempting to capture and concrete their fantasies into reality. The bereft father and son commence their odyssey into sexual desire and conquest first beginning with each other, then by acquiring various women they meet or are given along the way. An enumeration of the eight-and-a-half by label are as follows: the negotiator (Polly Walker), a neglected accountant (Vivian Wu), a nun-cum-bank cashier (Toni Collette), a woman sexually intrigued by horses and a pig (Amanda Plummer), an obsessive Pachinko casino player (Shizuka Inoh), a vengeful maid (Barbara Sarafian), a meek female-female impersonator (Kirina Mano), a money hungry matron who must at all times be pregnant (Natacha Amal), and as the half woman, a legless lady who remains a mystery throughout (Manna Fujiwara). (Naturally, some confusion with the names — Giulietta, Giaconda, Mio, Clothilde, Griselda, et al. — is bound to follow.) 8 ˝ Woman stands as a unique and often wacky comedy that plays on all the hidden and taboo-ist inhibitions that supposedly exist; the Freudian resemblances, concoctions and twists that Greenaway smolders the movie in (additionally writing), are warped and esoteric. That should be a disclaimer enough on its own. The actual visage of sex and flesh is not nearly as present or prevalent in Greenaway’s prior movies (The Cook, the Thief, His Wife and Her Lover, The Pillow Book), however, there is still enough to fill the screen.
With John Standing and Matthew Delamere.[See it if you must.]