Our third event features the highly original and influential "The Cook, The Thief, His Wife & Her Lover" directed by Peter Greenaway, who was himself a Walthamstow School of Art Alumni, having grown up in nearby Chingford.
Greenaway's sixth feature is one of his best known most (in)famous films. Ian Dury, his contemporary at the Walthamstow School of Art, makes a rare acting appearance as Terry Fitch, a gangster. The film focuses on churlish mobster Albert Spica (Michael Gambon) who acquires an upscale French restaurant in London. He dines there nightly, effectively scaring off the clientele with his bad manners. His wife, Georgina (Helen Mirren), is especially disgusted by him, and soon begins an affair with another restaurant guest, Michael (Alan Howard). Despite their efforts to keep it a secret, however, Spica finds out about their trysts, and he plans to exact a terrible revenge.
The critic Roger Ebert reflected: "I think The Cook, the Thief, His Wife, and Her Lover is more of a meditation on modern times in general. It is about the greed of an entrepreneurial class that takes over perfectly efficient companies and steals their assets, that marches roughshod over timid laws in pursuit of its own aggrandisement, that rapes the environment, that enforces its tyranny on the timid majority - which distracts itself with romance and escapism to avoid facing up to the bully-boys."