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Prospero's Books Directed by Peter Greenaway Produced by Masato Hara Kees Kasander Katsufumi Nakamura Yoshinobu Namano Denis Wigman Roland Wigman Written by Peter Greenaway Starring John Gielgud Michael Clark Michel Blanc Erland Josephson Isabelle Pasco Mark Rylance Music by Michael Nyman Cinematography Sacha Vierny Editing by Marina Rodbyl Release date(s) November 15, 1991 Running time 129 minutes Country United Kingdom France Language English Prospero's Books (1991), written and directed by Peter Greenaway, is a cinematic adaptation of The Tempest, by William Shakespeare. John Gielgud is Prospero, the protagonist who provides the off-screen narration and the voices to the other story characters. Stylistically, Prospero's Books is narratively and cinematically innovative in its techniques, combining mime, dance, opera, and animation. Edited in Japan, the film makes extensive (and pioneering) use of digital image manipulation (using Hi-Vision video inserts and the Paintbox system), often overlaying multiple moving and still pictures with animations. Michael Nyman composed the musical score and Karine Saporta choreographed the dance. The film is also notable for its extensive use of nudity, displayed with a naturist ethos in keeping with the work's key themes. (i.e. The nude actors and extras represent a realistic cross-section of male and female humanity.)[citation needed] Contents 1 Plot 2 Cast 3 Production and financing 4 Soundtrack 4.1 Track listing 4.2 Performers 4.3 Michael Nyman Band 4.4 Technical 5 Details 6 References 7 External links Plot The daughter of Prospero, an exiled magician, falls in love with the son of his enemy, while the sorcerer's sprite, Ariel, convinces him to abandon revenge against the traitors from his earlier life. In the film, Prospero stands in for Shakespeare, and is seen writing and speaking the story's action as it unfolds. Prospero's Books is a complex tale based upon William Shakespeare's The Tempest. Ariel is played by three actors — a boy, an adolescent, and a youth. Each represents a classical elemental. The boy represents water, and is shown perpetually urinating. Conservative movie critic Michael Medved attacked the scene of Ariel urinating from a swing in "The Urge to Offend" chapter of his book Hollywood vs. America. Cast John Gielgud - Prospero Michael Clark - Caliban Michel Blanc - Alonso Erland Josephson - Gonzalo Isabelle Pasco - Miranda Tom Bell - Antonio Kenneth Cranham - Sebastian Mark Rylance - Ferdinand Gerard Thoolen - Adrian Pierre Bokma - Francisco Jim van der Woude - Trinculo Michiel Romeyn - Stephano Paul Russell - Ariel James Thiérrée - Ariel Production and financing John Gielgud said a film of The Tempest (as Prospero, as he had been in four stage productions in 1931, 1940, 1957, and 1974) was his life's ambition. He had approached Alain Resnais, Ingmar Bergman, Akira Kurosawa, and Orson Welles about directing him in it, Benjamin Britten to compose its score, and Albert Finney to be Caliban, before Greenaway agreed. The closest the earlier attempts came to being made was in 1967, with Welles as both director and as Caliban to Gielgud's Prospero, but after the commercial failure of Welles and Gielgud's Shakespearean film collaboration, Chimes at Midnight, financing for a cinematic The Tempest collapsed.[1] The film was screened out of competition at the 1991 Cannes Film Festival.[2] Soundtrack Director Peter Greenaway and composer Michael Nyman acrimoniously ended their longstanding work relationship while making Prospero's Books.[citation needed] Most of the film's music cues, (excepting Ariel's songs and the Masque) are from an earlier concert, La Traversée de Paris and the score from A Zed & Two Noughts. The soundtrack album is Nyman's sixteenth release. Track listing 1. Full fathom five 1.58 2. Prospero's curse 2.38 3. While you here do snoring lie* 1.06 4. Prospero's Magic 5.11 5. Miranda 3.54 6. Twelve years since 2.45 7. Come unto these yellow sands* 3.44 8. History of Sycorax 3.25 9. Come and go* 1.16 10.Cornfield 6.26 11.Where the bee sucks* 4.48 12.Caliban's pit 2.56 13.Reconciliation 2.31 14.THE MASQUE+ 12.12 Performers Sarah Leonard, Ariel* Marie Angel, Iris+ Ute Lemper, Ceres+ Deborah Conway, Juno+ Michael Nyman Band Alexander Balanescu, violin Jonathan Carney, violin, viola Elisabeth Perry, violin Clare Connors, violin Kate Musker, viola Tony Hinnigan, cello Justin Pearson, cello Paul Morgan, double bass Tim Amhurst, double bass Lynda Houghton, double bass Martin Elliott, bass guitar David Rix, clarinet, bass clarinet John Harle, soprano & alto saxophone David Roach, soprano & alto axophone Jamie Talbot, soprano & alto saxophone Andrew Findon, tenor & baritone saxophone, piccolo, flute Graham Ashton, trumpet Richard Clews, horn Marjorie Dunn, horn Nigel Barr, bass trombone Steve Saunders, bass trombone Michael Nyman, piano & musiical direction Prospero's Books Photos by Marc Guillaumont Design: Creative Partnership Soundtrack album by Michael Nyman Released November 12, 1991 Recorded PRT Studios and Abbey Road Studios, London Genre Soundtrack, Contemporary classical, art song, Minimalist music Length 54:58 Language English Label London Argo Producer David Cunningham Professional reviews The reviews parameter has been deprecated. Please move reviews into the Reception section of the article. See Moving reviews into article space.Allmusic [1] Michael Nyman chronology String Quartets 1-3 1991 Prospero's Books 1991 The Michael Nyman Songbook 1992 Technical Produced by David Cunningham Engineer: Michael J. Dutton Assistant engineer: Dillon Gallagher (PRT), Chris Brown (Abbey Road Studios) Mixed by Michael J. Dutton, Michael Nymam, and David Cunningham at PRT Studios and Abbey Road Studios Edited at Abbey Road Studios by Peter Mew Art Direction: Ann Bradbeer Photography: Marc Guillamot Design: Creative Partnership Artist representative: Don Mousseau v · d · eMichael Nyman Michael Nyman Band: Gabrielle Lester · Catherine Thompson · Kate Musker · Tony Hinnigan · David Roach · Simon Haram · Andrew Findon · Nigel Barr · Dave Lee · Steve Sidwell · Martin Elliott · Sarah Leonard Alexander Bălănescu · John Harle · Chris Laurence · Ann Morfee · Jonathan Carney · Madeleine Mitchell · Jamie Talbot · Georgina Born · Marjorie Dunn · Beverley Davison · Barry Guy · John Greaves · Andrew Shulman · Michael Thompson · Richard Watkins · John Metcalfe · Christian Forshaw Ute Lemper · Marie Angel · Hilary Summers · Omar Ebrahim David Cunningham · Molly Nyman · Les Disques du Crépuscule · Minimalist music · Systems music Nyman-produced albums Decay Music · 'The Masterwork' Award Winning Fish-Knife · Michael Nyman · The Draughtsman's Contract · The Cold Room · The Kiss and Other Movements · A Zed & Two Noughts · And Do They Do/Zoo Caprices · The Man Who Mistook His Wife for a Hat · Drowning by Numbers · La Traversée de Paris · The Cook The Thief His Wife & Her Lover · Out of the Ruins · La Sept · String Quartets 1–3 · Prospero's Books · The Michael Nyman Songbook · The Hairdresser's Husband · The Essential Michael Nyman Band · Time Will Pronounce · The Piano · Michael Nyman for Yohji Yamamoto · The Piano Concerto/MGV · À la folie · Live · Noises, Sounds & Sweet Airs · Carrington · The Diary of Anne Frank · After Extra Time · The Ogre · Enemy Zero · Concertos · Gattaca · The Suit and the Photograph · Strong on Oaks, Strong on the Causes of Oaks · Practical Magic · Ravenous · Wonderland · The Commissar Vanishes · Nabbie's Love · The End of the Affair · The Claim · String Quartets 2, 3 & 4/If & Why · Facing Goya · 24 Heures de la vie d'une femme · Sangam: Michael Nyman Meets Indian Masters · The Actors · Man and Boy: Dada · The Piano Sings · The Libertine · The Composer's Cut Series Vol. I: The Draughtsman's Contract · The Composer's Cut Series Vol. II: Nyman/Greenaway Revisited · The Composer's Cut Series Vol. III: The Piano · Six Celan Songs • The Ballad of Kastriot Rexhepi · Acts of Beauty • Exit no Exit · Nyman Brass · Love Counts · Mozart 252 · 8 Lust Songs: I Sonetti Lussuriosi · The Glare Albums to which Nyman contributed (as composer and/or performer) Recent English Experimental Music · The Pavilion of Dreams · From The Kitchen Archives - New Music New York 1979 · The Sensual World · Saxophone Works · John Harle's Saxophone Songbook · Piano Circus · The Contemporary Trumpet · Taking a Line for a Second Walk · Plus que Tango · Visions · First & Foremost · An Eye for a Difference · Pick It Up · Meeting Point: The Saxophone Concertos of Nyman, Heath and Torke · Twentieth-Century Blues: The Songs of Noel Coward · Generation Sex · The Golden Section · Faces · Ahn-Plugged · Groovebox · Moving On Singles/EPs Mozart/Webern · The Heart Asks Pleasure First/The Promise · Anohito no Waltz · In Re Don Giovanni · Enemy Zero Piano Sketches Compilations Michael Nyman · Pure Moods · The Very Best of Michael Nyman: Film Music 1980–2001 · Man on Wire Additional operas Tristram Shandy · Letters, Riddles and Writs · Vital Statistics · La Princesse de Milan Unreleased film scores Vertical Features Remake · The Falls · Brimstone and Treacle · Ballet Mécanique  · Monsieur Hire · Mesmer · Katie and Orbie · Titch · Act Without Words I · Man with a Movie Camera · Nathalie... · À propos de Nice · A Cock and Bull Story Major individual compositions Memorial · MGV Details Italian Title: L'ultima tempesta runtime: 124 min References ^ Sir John Gielgud: A Life in Letters, Arcade Publishing (2004) ^ "Festival de Cannes: Prospero's Books". festival-cannes.com. http://www.festival-cannes.com/en/archives/ficheFilm/id/95/year/1991.html. Retrieved 2009-08-12.  External links Prospero's Books at the Internet Movie Database Prospero's Books at Allrovi v · d · eFilms directed by Peter Greenaway 1970s Vertical Features Remake (1978) 1980s The Falls (1980) • The Draughtsman's Contract (1982) • The Coastline (1983) • A Zed & Two Noughts (1985) • The Belly of an Architect (1987) • Drowning by Numbers (1988) • The Cook, the Thief, His Wife & Her Lover (1989) • A TV Dante (1989) 1990s Prospero's Books (1991) • The Baby of Mâcon (1993) • The Pillow Book (1996) • Stairs 1 Geneva (1994) • 8½ Women (1999) 2000s The Tulse Luper Suitcases (2003) • Nightwatching (2007) • Rembrandt's J'Accuse (2008) 2010s Goltzius and the Pelican Company (2011)