Peter Greenaway – Intervals (1969)

Peter Greenaway – Intervals (1969)

This early work of the brilliant director Peter Greenaway is a lovely gem of editing. It has a kind of mezmerizing quality, which you’ll notice as you listen to the sound intervals and Italian alphabet against the shots of Venice street life.


A short examination of structure and sound, this film shot in black and white in the location of Venice presents three sections of similar film to us over its duration of six minutes. In the first section a metronome is used to count events in the film. People walk across the frame, sometimes in the foreground, which is accompanied precisely by a different sound. In the second section a male Italian voice can be heard counting through the alphabet. Music by Vivaldi is heard in the third. Shot 26 December 1968 – 8 January 1969. Dubbed 30 October 1973.

“Very abstract, an attempt to make a movie without narrative using the figure 13, the harmonic structure Vivaldi used in The Seasons. It was made in Venice and combined images from both the Biennale – representing the high culture of painting in Europe – and the Film Festival, largely through graffiti on the houses in Venice.”

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