The European Showerbath -- Peter Greenway 2004

⊆ 4/06/2007 04:54:00 AM by HT | ˜ 0 comments »

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With the Visions of Europe project, Lars Von Trier and his Zentropa company came up with the idea of 25 directors from 25 different countries in the European Union making a short film pertaining to Europe, with each film lasting around 5 minutes. Peter Greenaway made the United Kingdom's entry, entitled The European Showerbath. It shows us naked men and women of differing sizes, each with the flag of their country painted on their flesh. The first person who enters the shower is a portly man with a German flag painted on him. Next it's a lady with large breasts with the French flag displayed on her. Other people/countries enter the shower, seeming to follow in an order of importance and influence. Eventually the shower is crowded, and the small countries stand on the outside looking in. Then the shower stops. It's too late for them. The music by Architorti compliments.

"Fifteen countries of Europe, brightly identified with their national flags body-painted on their vulnerable naked flesh, and personified in their political economic history by older or younger, fatter or thinner corporeality, step one by one, optimistically into the warm showerbath of the European Community. First the original six; sturdy if plump-bellied Germany, voluptuous if a little over-extrovert France, young introspective Belgium, confident if a little vain Luxembourg, self-effacing Holland and elderly if a little frivolous Italy, followed, in order of membership by the remaining nine, each with their own physical identities, making up a community self-revealing in their camaraderie, all trying to maximise their position in the European warm water community, shoving a little, flirting a little, laughing and joking, if a little self-consciously, exuberantly demonstrating their togetherness a little too over-eagerly, enjoying mutual, frank, self-exposing, self-revelation, all dipping their heads and limbs and exposed bodies into the limited water-shower of benefits.
Waiting in the wings, are further optimistic entrants, ready to reveal their nakedness, eager to strip off their protective clothes…"
Description from the Visions of Europe site press book

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