As a footnote to the film Drowning By Numbers, and with intelligence, humour and causticity, Peter Greenaway has undertaken to comment in 100 chapters on the story, the sub-plots, the creation and the possible continuations of his film.
Drowning by Numbers is the story of three women who drown their husbands—one in a bath, one in the sea and one in a swimming pool—and get help from their coroner to cover up the murders. It is an affectionate, ironic tale of male impotency in the face of female solidarity. For the characters in the film, any event is a good excuse for a game. Even—and especially—death. With a playful and multi-level narrative structure, Fear of Drowning by Numbers serves as a sophisticated extension of the film.
Peter Greenaway (born, 1942 in Newport, Wales, lives and works in Amsterdam) trained as a painter for four years, and started making his own films in 1966. He has continued to make cinema
in a great variety of ways, which has also informed his curatorial work and the making of exhibitions and installations in Europe from the Palazzo Fortuny in Venice and the Joan Miro Gallery in Barcelona to the Boijmans van Beuningen Gallery in Rotterdam and the Louvre in Paris. He has made 12 feature films and some 50 short-films and documentaries, been regularly nominated for the Film Festival Competitions of Cannes, Venice and Berlin, published books, written opera librettos, and collaborated with composers Michael Nyman, Glen Branca, Wim Mertens, Jean-Baptiste Barriere, Philip Glass, Louis Andriessen, Borut Krzisnik and David Lang. His first narrative feature film, The Draughtsman's Contract
, completed in 1982, received great critical acclaim and established him internationally as an original film maker, a reputation consolidated by the films, The Cook, the Thief, his Wife & her Lover
, The Pillow Book
, and The Tulse Luper Suitcases