Peter Greenaway started his career behind the camera as a London bureaucrat in the mid-1960s. The onetime painter edited and directed short films for England's Central Office of Information, where he developed a deep suspicion of narrative's dominance over images. He also developed a style that runs through much of his work: an obsession with framing. The restless architect of visually ambitious allegories such as 1989's gorgeous, punishing The Cook, the Thief, His Wife & Her Lover leaves nothing accidental or misplaced on the screen. See the genesis of this ironic formalism when Electromediascope's series "The Greenaway Chronicles" opens tonight with six early shorts by the challenging British director (including "Dear Phone," pictured) at the Nelson-Atkins Museum of Art (4525 Oak). The series continues with The Falls, Greenaway's three-hour 1980 debut feature; the first half plays April 18, and the second on April 25. All three Friday showings are free and start at 7 p.m. Call 816-751-1278 for reservations, which are required. See nelson-atkins.org for details.
Fri., April 11, 7 p.m.; Fri., April 18, 7 p.m.; Fri., April 25, 7 p.m., 2008