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Re: movies about books

For those interested in seeing the visual images of the books of Prospero's
Books, there is a book about the movie (the screenplay and background info)
which includes sketches and detailed descriptions of the books. For
example, "The Book of Water:"
        "This is a waterproof-covered book which has lost its colour by much
contact with water. It is full of investigative drawing and exploratory
text written on many different thicknesses of paper..."

and "A Harsh Book of Geometry:"
        "This is a thick, brown, leather-covered book, stippled with gold numbers.
When opened, complex three-dimensional geometrical diagrams rise up out of
the pages like models in a pop-up book. The pages flicker with lograrithmic
numbers and figures. Angles are measured by needle-thin metal pendulums
that swing freely, activated by magnets concealed in the thick paper."

There are 24 books in all.  Some of them sound plausible (binding-wise)
others more on the fantastic side (such as the "Autobiographies of Pasiphae
and Semiramis" which has "the slightest taint of steam or smoke" rising
from the pages and is always warm, or "A Book of Motion" which "at night,
drums against the bookcase shelf and has to be held down with a brass
weight.") But all offer some very imaginative ideas for binders willing to
invest the time and energy in what I think would be the ultimate library.

For those interested, the book which lists all these is:

        "Prospero's books : A Film of Shakespeare's The Tempest" by Peter
Greenaway (New York : Four Walls Eight Windows, c1991).

I also highly recommend the movie for anyone who wants to be audiovisually
delighted and overwhelmed, especially the climatic wedding scene at the
end.  It is out on video, but I have never watched it on the small screen.
The movie palace theater I saw it in probably spoiled me to ever rent it
and watch it again!  (And for those familiar with Greenaway's "The Cook,
the Thief, his Wife and her Lover," do not worry.  There are no images of
canabalism and torture, just a few swimming naked bodies here and there.)

And not a human skin binding in site!


         Eric Alstrom           Athens, Ohio          alstrom@xxxxxxxxx
By all means leave the road when you wish.  That is precisely the use
of a road:  to reach individually chosen points of departure.  By all
means break the rules,  and break them beautifully,  deliberately and
well. That is one of the ends for which they exist.
                     R. Bringhurst: The Elements of Typographic Style

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