Synopsis by Michael Hastings
Iconoclastic director Peter Greenaway begins his most ambitious project to date with this feature, the first in a proposed series of films, television programs, and multimedia projects that examine the contents of 92 suitcases, each revealed by title character Tulse Henry Purcel Luper. Broken into three sections spanning 1928 to 1940, The Tulse Luper Suitcases: Part One follows our young hero from age 10, when he is reprimanded by his father for scrawling some graffiti on a wall in his desolate South Wales neighborhood. Years later, Tulse (JJ Field) is a desert explorer who winds up being further punished by the aptly-named dominatrix Passion Hockmeister (Caroline Dhavernas). Finally, in the film's last section, Tulse is in Antwerp at the start of World War II, where he ends up being imprisoned by Nazis. Told in a fractured, non-narrative style, The Tulse Luper Suitcases also incorporates many inter-titles, superimposed images, an ever-present narrator presented in a picture-within-picture format, intentionally fake-looking sets, and many, many references to other Greenaway films and characters.