Zed & Two Noughts, A (1985)

Original Title : Zed &, Two Noughts, A
Director : Peter Greenaway
Writer : Peter Greenaway
Genre : Drama
Country : UK
Language : English
Producer : Kees Kasander , Peter Sainsbury
Music : Michael Nyman
Photography : Sacha Vierny
IMDB ID : 0090366
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poster for "Zed & Two Noughts, A" by Peter Greenaway (1985)
Zed & Two Noughts, A (1985) - Peter Greenaway


¬Andr√©a Ferr√©ol Alba Bewick
¬Brian Deacon Oswald Deuce
¬Eric Deacon Oliver Deuce
¬Frances Barber Venus de Milo
¬Joss Ackland Van Hoyten
¬Jim Davidson V
¬Agn√®s Brulet Beta Bewick
¬Agn√®s Brulet Beta Bewick


Oliver Deuce, a successful doctor, is shattered when his wife is killed in a freak car accident involving the car being driven by Alba Bewick colliding with a very large rare bird. His twin brother Oswald is researching how carcasses decay at the local zoo. Alba survives the accident although she loses one leg, and her sinister physician eventually removes the other 'because it looked so sad all alone'. Oswald and Oliver become involved in a menage a trois with Alba, and uncover very dubious trafficking in zoo property. But ultimately their only goal is to try and understand their mortal condition.


Search for the Red Herring Spoilers follow, but it hardly matters. Cosmetic amputation, timelapse of rotting corpses. siamese twins fathering twins, bias against black and white animals, a crooked vet who is a Vermeer counterfeiter, and multiple suicides all to children's music. Forget all that. It is just a framework for lush compositions and an ornate allegorical framework. Pretentious? Preposterous? Predicatory? Naah. This is a wonderful film, much richer symbolically than `Cook,' a stronger narrative than `Drowning,' better photography and music than `Belly,' of the following year. A good Greenaway is something to be relished. Which is the best Greenaway? This is the best start, I think. `Prospero's Books' and `The Pillow Book' are the most accomplished without compromise. I rank this with `The Draughtsman's Contract,' and `Drowning by Numbers,' all three have concessions to an understandable narrative. `The Falls' is a must, but takes discipline. But with this film, he has temporarily abandoned the layering and successive self-referential annotation that is his most unique contribution to the art. The only such effort is the thread of a film about the origin of life that is interwoven. One twin searches it for the red herring among the clues, the red herring that explains the trumping of randomness over purpose. Before viewing, it helps to view the 26 Vermeer paintings.
poster for "Zed & Two Noughts, A"
329 x 475
Zed & Two Noughts, A (1985) - Peter Greenaway