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The Pillow Book

The Pillow Book

A Feature film by Peter Greenaway

Release in France : 15/01/1997


    In Kyoto in the 1970s, a calligrapher delicately writes a greeting on his daughter's face on her birthday. When she becomes a woman, the daughter Nagiko remembers the event with excitement and searches hard to find an ideal calligrapher-lover to use her whole body as his paper. In Hong Kong she meets Jerome, an English translator, who convinces her that she should be the pen and not the paper - she should write on his body and he will carry her writing on his skin to a publisher.

    Actors (7)

    Production and distribution (3)

    Co-productions :

    Alpha Films, STUDIOCANAL

    French distribution :

    Pyramide Distribution

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    Box office: Timeline

    International releases (28)

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    "The encounter of two forms of calligraphy, one traditional, from the Orient and the other experimental, by the British director Peter Greenaway. The second uses the first as its stimulus for a more humane approach than in his most recent films and so returns to the inspiration of his most accomplished works ( "The Draughtsman's Contract, The Belly of an Architect") (...). A tale of love and death, "The Pillow Book" blends the filmaker's mathematical rigour with Japanese ceremonial, forms ties and discrepancies to create a work with stylistic harmony and striking themes. Andrée Putman's sets are magnified by Sacha Vierny's lighting and thus become the crucible of Greenaway's thoughts from which they seem to emanate." (Pascal Mérigeau, Le Nouvel Observateur)

    Full credits (10)

    Screenwriter :

    Peter Greenaway

    Co-producer :

    Jean-Louis Piel

    Sound Recordist :

    Garth Marshall

    Editors :

    Peter Greenaway, Chris Wyatt

    Music Composer :

    Brian Eno

    Foreign producers :

    Kees Kasander, Denis Wigman

    Director of Photography :

    Sacha Vierny

    Press Attachés (film) :

    Bruno Barde, Anne Guimet

    Production Designers :

    Wilbert Van Dorp, Andrée Putman

    Costume designers :

    Dien Van Straalen, Koji Tatsuno, Martin Margiela, Paul Smith, Emi Wada

    Technical details

    Feature film

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    Coproducer countries :

    The Netherlands, France, Luxembourg

    Original French-language productions :


    Nationality :

    Minority French (The Netherlands, France, Luxembourg)

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    French release :


    Runtime :

    2 h 6 min

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    Audio format :

    Dolby SR

    Posters (1)


    Festival Selections

    Cannes International Film Festival - 1996

    Cannes International Film Festival (France, 1996)


    Un Certain Regard