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Wednesday, Oct 23, 2019


In the '70s, a calligrapher writes a birthday greeting on his daughter?s face as a gift. When she grows up, the daughter remembers the event and searches for a calligrapher-lover to use her body as his paper.

india Updated: Jul 22, 2003 12:17 IST


UK, 1996
Director: Peter Greenaway

In Kyoto in the 1970s, a calligrapher delicately writes a greeting on his daughter’s face on her birthday. When she becomes a woman, the daughter Nagiko remembers the event with excitement and searches hard to find an ideal calligrapher-lover to use her whole body as his paper.

In Hong Kong she meets Jerome, an English translator who convinces her that she should be the pen and not the paper – she should write on his body and he will carry her writing on his skin to her publisher.

Peter Greenaway

Sacha Verny


Chris Wyatt, Peter Greenaway

Principal cast:

Vivian Wu, Yoshi Oida, Ewan McGregor, Ken Ogata, Hideko Yoshida

Kasander and Wigman Productions / Woodline Films / Alpha Films
35mm / colour / 126 mins

Director's bio-note:
Peter Greenaway, Britain’s leading filmmaker, trained as a painter and held his first exhibition in 1964. He began working as a film editor in 1965 and spent eleven years editing documentaries for the Central Office of Information.

In 1966 he began making his own films and since then has produced films, novels, paintings and illustrated books. During his formative years he made low-budget experimental shorts, formalistic films influenced by structural linguistics. The Cook, the Thief, His Wife & Her Lover (1989) is a visceral study of haute cuisine, adultery and murder.

The Pillow Book has won several awards. 

First Published: Jul 17, 2003 16:16 IST

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