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Directed by Peter Greenaway with Martin Freeman, Eva Birthistle, Jodhi May


Peter Greenaway, On Rembrandt
2008, Canada/United Kingdom/Poland/Netherlands Greenaway’s dramatization of the theory that Rembrandt included clues to a murder mystery within the imagery of his most celebrated painting has never opened commercially in the U.S. The fictional counterpart to Rembrandt’s J’accuse, Nightwatching plots the turning point in the life of the famous Dutch painter. Persuaded by his wife to paint the Amsterdam Musketeer Militia (in a group portrait that later came to be known as “The Night Watch”), Rembrandt discovers a conspiracy and builds his testimony in the form of his painting: “a bristling, encoded denunciation of the grand gentlemen who commissioned it [that] effectively accuses them of being murderers, villains, rapists and thieves” (Peter Bradshaw). Just as the portrait consolidates the artist’s reputation as a master-painter it brings about his social and financial ruin.

“Greenaway's group compositions are bracingly cerebral – and sometimes very erotic. His tableaux vivants are like glittering 21st-century cine-masques, with a poetic structure which swerves conventional expectations of location and narrative.” – Peter Bradshaw, The Guardian

“One-man cinema vanguard and world-class VJ, the British media artist” (J. Hoberman) Peter Greenaway has undertaken an ambitious project titled Nine Classical Paintings Revisited. Nightwatching—made for the Netherlands’ year-long 2006 celebration of Rembrandt’s 400th birthday—and Rembrandt’s J’accuse take the Dutch master and his greatest painting as their subject. The 35mm prints of these films travel from England for a U.S. tour that begins here.




April 7 @ 8:30pm

April 8 @ 2pm

Bright Family Screening Room



$10. $7.50 for Members and Seniors. $5 for Students. Emerson Students Free.



Running Time:

134 minutes


Color, 35mm