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Don’t Look Now

Nicolas Roeg
UK, Italy 1973 / 110’
Walkabout The Man Who Fell to Earth

"Don't look now," John said, "But two tables away, there are two older ladies who are trying to hypnotize me." Thus begins Daphne de Maurier's short story, which Nicolas Roeg managed to translate onto the big screen following several adaptations. The result is riveting: masterfully edited, with brilliant sound and visually dazzling. Don't Look Now is one of the most original horror films ever made. British critic Peter Bradshaw called the legendary scene of conjugal lovemaking probably the best, the most tender, and maybe just the truest sex scene in the history of cinema. In Roeg's film, sex is a weapon against death and the grief felt by the parents (Julie Christie and Donald Sutherland) of a little girl who died tragically. During a trip to Venice, where John is renovating a church, the couple meet two sisters, one of whom, a blind clairvoyant, claims to be in contact with the Baxters' dead daughter. Don't Look Now pulls us into the murky labyrinth of Venice, where the red coat of a mysterious ghost flashes by in wet alleys, drawing us into a world of visions, premonitions and signs. Past and future, chance and destiny are constantly intertwined in flashbacks and visions, depicted on-screen with an intense red color.

Małgorzata Sadowska

awards

BAFTA 1974 - Best Cinematography

Nicolas Roeg

Born in 1928, Nicolas Roeg is one of Britain's most original filmmakers: a director with passion who tears down the order of the classical narrative, a master of editing and an outstanding stylist. Probing with his camera deep into our obsessions, tormenting memories, unhealed collective and individual wounds and sexual fantasies, he broke down the on-screen division between past and present, proving - in a particularly brilliant way - that cinema is a time capsule. While struggling for years with rejection and being misunderstood, Roeg consistently followed the path of an outsider, not only setting his films outside Great Britain (in Australia, the Seychelles, Vienna), but also happily working with artists associated with counter-cultural rebellion (David Bowie, Mick Jagger, Art Garfunkel). Films that came to be appreciated a bit too late, such as PerformanceDon't Look Now, WalkaboutThe Man Who Fell to Earth and Bad Timing, are iconic works: visually stunning, engaging, provocative fairy tales for adults.

Selected filmography

1970 Performance

1971 Walkabout

1973 Nie oglądaj się teraz / Don’t Look Now

1976 Człowiek, który spadł na ziemię / The Man Who Fell to Earth

1980 Zmysłowa obsesja / Bad Timing

1983 Eureka

1985 Z przymrużeniem oka / Insignificance

1988 Tor 29 / Track 29

1990 Wiedźmy / Witches

Cast & Crew

director Nicolas Roeg
screenplay Allan Scott, Chris Bryant (based on Daphne du Maurier's novel)
cinematography Anthony Richmond
editing Graeme Clifford
music Pino Donaggio
cast Julie Christie, Donald Sutherland, Hilary Mason, Clelia Matania, Renato Scarpa
producer Peter Katz
production Casey Productions, Eldorado Films, D.L.N. Ventures Partnership
sales Tamasa
language English
colouration colour