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Track 29

Nicolas Roeg
UK, USA 1988 / 86’
Insignificance The Witches

A satire on the infantilism of American culture (a doctor plays with his model trains after work and with the nurse while at work, while his wife collects dolls) and its patriarchal dependencies (the doctor treats his wife like an annoying little girl and doesn't agree to give her the child she wants). Linda's (Theresa Russell) frustrating existence is interrupted by the appearance of a young man from England, who brings some punk energy to their house in a drab suburb. Martin (Gary Oldman in a bravura performance) pretends to be the son Linda gave up for adoption, and his "Mommy!" screamed to the accompaniment of John Lennon's Mother, will make shivers run down your spine. But perhaps Martin, who is transformed in the blink of an eye from provocateur to son, from father to lover, from aggressor to hearty pal, is just a projection of a mentally tired mind, and what is there to hide here but a woman who drinks too much? Is it perhaps her dark, destructive alter ego? A perverse sexual fantasy? A tormenting memory of a trauma from years earlier? Whatever and whoever he was, meeting Martin is a breath of fresh air in Linda's life and helps her sober up from the American dream. Track 29 (the title is a quote from the famous song Chattanooga Choo Choo), as the American critic Roger Ebert wrote, "does not offer entertainment, but it promises confusion, frustration, madness and bizarreness. You probably won't like it. But you definitely won't be disappointed."

Małgorzata Sadowska

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 Dennis Potter
cinematography Alex Thomson
editing Tony Lawson
music Stanley Myers
cast Theresa Russell, Gary Oldman, Christopher Lloyd, Colleen Camp
producer George Harrison, Rick McCallum, Denis O’Brien, Selwyn Roberts
production HandMade Films
language English
colouration colour