Title: DON'T LOOK NOW (1973)
Classic Movie Man - May 27, 2006 09:29 PM (GMT)
In DON'T LOOK NOW, nothing is what it seems, and we often wonder if what we're seeing is happening for real or is another "vision." There was lots of talk about the very realistic love scene between Christie and Sutherland; the argument still rages about whether or not they actually "did it," or was it merely superior acting?
Visually, the picture is a treat. Roeg began as a cameraman, with credits that include FAHRENHEIT 451 (1967); CASINO ROYALE (1967); PETULIA (1968), etc., and his images are exquisite. But, as he's proved in WALKABOUT (1971); ILLUSIONS (1983); THE MAN WHO FELL TO EARTH (1976); and PERFORMANCE (1970) (co-directed with Donald Cammell), he is not a master of a story and often sacrifices communicating ideas for his incomparable camera style. Produced by American Boy Wonder Peter Katz, who had several stage hits in London before attempting films, this picture was expected to be a "breakthrough" movie for Roeg that would achieve the commercial success his others failed to garner. It didn't.
Not unlike ROSEMARY'S BABY (1968) in the psychological overtones, DON'T LOOK NOW was just too allegorical for most viewers and has now become a cult film that merits midnight showings at tiny theaters in college towns. The love scene has been trimmed somewhat to lose the "X" rating the film once had from the British Film Board. Enigmas are all well and good, but one wants answers in the end, and DON'T LOOK NOW proved unsatisfying in that department.
(from Cinebooks Motion Picture Guide review)
CMM : Sadly agree with the above review. It is quite suspenseful and very good visually but another of those films that had me wondering what the point was. Very depressing too. Walkabout (1971) was arty too but had a better story IMO. (2 1/2 out of 5)
Ian - May 27, 2006 10:12 PM (GMT)
|QUOTE (Classic Movie Man @ May 27 2006, 09:29 PM)|
he is not a master of a story and often sacrifices communicating ideas for his incomparable camera style.
CMM : Sadly agree with the above review. It is quite suspenseful and very good visually but another of those films that had me wondering what the point was.
I agree entirely with these sentiments.
Ferdy - May 27, 2006 11:46 PM (GMT)
To scare the bejesus out of us. I was shaking in my boots watching this one.
drednm - May 28, 2006 02:53 AM (GMT)
good film..... I liked the locations and the blind woman and the midget in the red raincoat.... all very spooky and atmospheric....
EMB - May 28, 2006 02:59 AM (GMT)
Daphne du Maurier updated, more or less, and with the gloss stripped away, and thanks to Roeg, maddeningly oblique and obscure, even inscrutable(still wonder if David Lynch was taking notes.... ;)). Still, even if none of it adds up to anything, it is a visually intoxicating thing, and its continued air of mystery and uncertainty certainly give it a certain appeal. But, yes, very dark, and since we can't be sure of what's real and what isn't, ultimately unsatisfying. But also unforgettable, which is no small thing.
drednm - May 28, 2006 03:34 AM (GMT)
I really liked the use of Venice locations, which ultimately have little to do with the plot but very interesting.....
EMB - May 29, 2006 03:08 AM (GMT)
The waterlogged city adds to the general surrealistic, otherworldly nature of things, and is itself almost a character in the plot. And I must say that Julie Christie and Donald Sutherland make for a most interesting couple.
drednm - May 29, 2006 03:15 AM (GMT)
I agree with you and I liked the whole art restoration theme.....