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8 1/2 WOMEN
aka EIGHT AND A HALF WOMEN
USA: Lions Gate Films
UK: Pathe Distribution
Cast: John Standing, Matthew Delamere, Vivian Wu, Annie Shizuka Inoh, Barbara Sarafian, Kirina Mano, Toni Collette, Amanda Plummer, Natacha Amal, Manna Fujiwara, Polly Walker, Elizabeth Berrington, Myriam Muller, Don Warrington, Claire Johnston, Manna Fujiwara
Director: Peter Greenaway
Countries: Germany / Luxembourg / Netherlands / UK
USA & UK: 120 mins
USA Rated: R for strong sexual content including dialogue and pervasive nudity
UK Certificate: 15 for sexual theme, strong sexual references and nudity
USA Release Date: 26 May 2000 (Limited Release - Los Angeles and New York)
UK Release Date: 10 December 1999
Peter Greenaway, who was trained as a painter, believes that film, like art, "is there to make us think, through both content and form". One of Greenaway's most distinguishing trademarks is that he is perfectly comfortable presenting male and female full-frontal nudity on screen. Flesh, including genitalia, is a dominant centerpiece in all of his films.
8 ½ WOMEN follows the amorous misadventures of two men, a fifty-five-year-old father, Philip Emmenthal (John Standing), and his son, Storey (Matthew Delamere), whose erotic fantasies come to life in provocative and often surprising ways. When Storey takes his father to see Federico Fellini's masterpiece, 8 ½, the sight of so many magnificent women prompts them to create their own private bordello on their Geneva estate. In 8 ½ WOMEN, the father, Phillip, stands naked beside his young and infinitely firmer son, Storey, bemoaning his aging skin. Yet Palmira (Polly Walker), the sensual woman both men desire, announces that she is not interested in the younger man because his body is "too simple...too unused." While enthusiastically dedicating themselves to the pursuit of sexual pleasure, the two men discover that ecstasy has a dark side, that fantasies inevitably turn into realities, and that women always come out on top.
Controversial director Peter Greenaway has consistently challenged his audiences with extraordinary and often shocking cinematic experiences that lead them to love or loathe his films and 8 ½ WOMEN, Greenaway's latest creation, marks a milestone in his remarkable body of work.