Watch Goltzius And The Pelican Company
- 2 hr 8 min
Goltzius And The Pelican Company is a period drama film from 2012 set in the late 16th century Netherlands, based on the true story of Hendrick Goltzius, a famous Dutch engraver, poet, and printer. The movie is directed by Peter Greenaway, known for his avant-garde style and visual experimentation. The story begins with Goltzius (Ramsey Nasr) and his troupe of actors and musicians arriving at the castle of Margrave of Alsace (F. Murray Abraham) with the intention of presenting a theatrical performance. However, Goltzius has a secret agenda: to persuade the Margrave to fund his printing press and publish a book of erotic illustrations that he has created. To achieve his goal, Goltzius and his actors decide to stage a series of tableaus depicting stories from the Bible, from Adam and Eve to the Last Judgment, but with a twist: each tableau will feature nude actors posing as biblical characters. Goltzius argues that depicting nudity is a legitimate way to express the beauty and truth of creation, and that the Margrave, as a patron of the arts, should appreciate and support such an innovative and daring project. The Margrave is both intrigued and scandalized by Goltzius's proposal, but he agrees to watch the performances and consider the offer. As the tableaus unfold, the actors reveal not only their bodies but also their personal stories, desires, and conflicts. Some of them are willing participants, while others are coerced or exploited by Goltzius's charismatic and manipulative personality. Among the characters are Gertrude (Anne Louise Hassing), a former prostitute who plays Mary Magdalene and becomes Goltzius's lover; Raphael (Hendrik Aerts), a handsome and ambitious actor who plays Christ and dreams of fame and fortune; and Fulvia (Flavio Parenti), a closeted gay actor who plays Pontius Pilate and faces a moral dilemma. As the tension between Goltzius and the Margrave mounts, and as the tableaus become more graphic and provocative, the movie raises questions about the nature of art, censorship, religion, sexuality, and power. Goltzius sees himself as a visionary artist who challenges the norms of his time, but he also risks alienating his audience and his own moral compass. The Margrave, on the other hand, represents the contradictions of a ruler who wants to be enlightened but also fears scandal and rebellion. The actors, meanwhile, embody the conflicts between their artistic aspirations and their personal vulnerabilities. The movie is visually stunning, with elaborate sets, costumes, makeup, and lighting that create a surreal and dreamlike atmosphere. The camera moves around the tableaus and the characters in a fluid and dynamic way, emphasizing the contrasts between light and shadow, color and black-and-white, stillness and movement. The soundtrack, composed by Marco Robino, enhances the mood and themes of the movie with a mix of baroque, electronic, and experimental music. The cast is superb, especially Nasr as Goltzius, who delivers a charismatic and nuanced performance that captures the contradictions and complexities of his character. Abraham also shines as the Margrave, bringing a mix of humor, gravitas, and ambiguity to his role. Aerts, Hassing, and Parenti, among others, also contribute memorable performances that flesh out their characters beyond their nude bodies. Overall, Goltzius And The Pelican Company is a bold and fascinating movie that will appeal to viewers who enjoy historical dramas, art films, and unconventional storytelling. Although it may not be for everyone's taste, it offers a rich and thought-provoking experience that invites us to reflect on the power and limitations of art and human nature.