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The Pillow Book 18 rating

Ewan McGregor followed Trainspotting with this bewitching fusion of flesh and text for Peter Greenaway, a visually erotic delight co-starring Vivian Wu.

Drama 1996 126 mins

Director: Peter Greenaway



As a child in Kyoto in the 1970s, Nagiko’s (Wu) calligrapher father used her body to write a birthday message in paint. Now grown up and living in Hong Kong, she seeks a lover who will use her whole body as a blank canvas. English translator Jerome (Ewan McGregor) reverses roles and becomes the subject of her penmanship. They dream up a plan of creating a new Pillow Book, some 1000 years after Sei Shōnagon wrote her diary. The Pillow Book marks a change in direction for Greenaway, with its modern soundtrack and its sensual, dynamic and spellbinding sensibility.

With thanks to Film4.