Give us this day our daily trailer! Presenting Peter Greenaway's notorious film that garnered an X-rating in the United States.

I came to 'good movies' later than I like to admit. Growing up I watched all sorts of movies, from classics to genre films to mainstream junk, but art films were always outside of my domain. That would change in the early 90s (after I got over my denied-onanism-fueled disappointment in sex, lies and videotape, that is), and one of the first films to help me with this level of my cinema education was The Cook, The Thief, His Wife & Her Lover*.

Peter Greenaway's allegorical film came to my attention when the MPAA granted it an X rating. Miramax opted to release the film unrated, and I heard lurid tales of the sex and violence contained within the movie. My interest was piqued. And I got what I was looking for at Forest Hill's Midway Theater, but also something more. I got a heightened film that was beautiful and strange, and a movie that I really didn't understand very well at all. I walked out of the movie confused and intrigued. 

It's actually been a long, long time since I've seen The Cook, The Thief, and watching the trailer has made me keen to revisit it. This was the first time I ever saw Michael Gambon onscreen, and it's strange to think my brain identifies him more with Dumbledore than The Thief. This would have been my first time seeing Tim Roth on screen, but I don't remember him making a big impression. Helen Mirren I knew well - Excalibur and Caligula were both favorites by then. 

The last time I saw the film - way back at the dawn of the 21st century - I was amazed that it had been stuck with an X. It's extreme, but never gratuitous. The extremity is the point.

* the film that changed my life when it came to cinema was Slacker. It may be the only think Kevin Smith and I agree on anymore.