Leonardo's Last Supper
A Vision by
Park Avenue Armory
Peter Greenaway, where did you hide for so long? After having made some of my favorite movies like "The Cook, The Thief, His Wife and Her Lover", "The Belly of an Architect" and "The Pillow Book" you disappeared. Now when you are returning to the limelight you are telling us that the cinema is "Dead" and cannot think of a single truly great movie made in the past 40 years....
I decided not to hold this against you, when I took my whole family to the Park Avenue Armory on Sunday.
It was jaw dropping at first. The large screens were hung in a way that made the space feel like a Cathedral, the filmed paintings together with the music put you in a special sacred mood.
First there was a prologue in one "room" and then the bells started to chime and you were lead into the second room, concentrated on the Leonardo's Last Supper, on one side and Christ's face on the other. The "paintings" were lit and projected in many different ways, shadows, daylight, nightlight, drawn and filled with images that made it look like wine was dripping down the table cloth. One especially beautiful effect was a close up of Christ that was magnified so much that it turned into a landscape, then the cracks in the paint split up into small particles and broke loose from the painting itself.
The last picture here is of the dining table that also was lit in different ways and set for a night of eating and drinking.
After the "Last Supper" we were led back into the previous "room" filled with new images. With Pablo Veronese's painting "Wedding at Cana" at the center. Here we were suddenly interrupted by a more lecturing voice. I thought this could have been done more poetically and told without obvious statements such as Christ sitting in the middle of the painting. Although it was entertaining to know that Pablo Veronese painted himself in white clothing in the foreground.
At the end we were left with images of an endless amount of wine pouring out of barrels, symbolizing the miracle of when Christ made water into wine.
"There are seldom such positive stories in the bible that we can wholeheartedly celebrate.
This is certainly one of them."
- Peter Greenaway