1983’s The Draughtman’s Contract by Peter Greenaway has to be one of my favourite films for hair design. First and foremost, no other movie in history has had the follicular poundage. Men, even children have gigantic manes, triple the size of their heads, curled and coiffed into architectural structures and the women, many with headdresses, still have some serious ten inch updos.
Set in Britain in the late 1600s, the film follows a young artist, Mr. Neville, as he is commissioned to design twelve drawings of a beautiful estate by the wife of it’s wealthy owner. Mrs. Herbert organizes this work while Mr. Herbert is away. Part of the contract stipulates the “pleasures” Mr. Neville is regularly entitled to engage in with Mrs. Herbert. Mr. Herbert subsequently turns up dead and the drawings offer clues to his murder – implicating Mrs. Herbert and her daughter.
This first feature of Peter Greenaway showcases his formidable talents as a writer as well as director. He goes on to make such classics as “The Cook the Thief His Wife and Her Lover” and “Nightwatching”, which received the Grand Jury Prize at the Venice Film Festival.