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Don't Look Now (1973) - Nicolas Roeg

Related: Daphne du Maurier - 1973 - Nicolas Roeg - sex in mainstream films - film

Don't Look Now (1973) - Nicolas Roeg [Amazon.com] [FR] [DE] [UK]


Nicolas Roeg's Don't Look Now once seemed radically new with its kaleidoscopic imagery, dreamlike editing, and willingness to let mystery be mysterious on several levels of reality/illusion--plus art-house darling Julie Christie in a long, nude love scene! Nowadays, this 1974 adaptation of a Daphne du Maurier ghost story looks almost classical. Following the drowning of their child in England, Laura (Christie) and John Baxter (Donald Sutherland) have come to dank, eternally dying Venice, where he is supervising the restoration of a moldering church and she is either slipping into or climbing out of madness with the help of a pair of creepy spinster sisters, one of whom can "see" even though blind. John may share this psychic power, though he resists accepting it as the canals fill with murder victims, surface realities turn shimmery as water, and a red-coated figure--the daughter's ghost?--keeps flickering in the corner of our vision. Though surreal and perplexing, the film does eventually add up, and the ending remains a real throat-grabber. --Richard T. Jameson for amazon.com

Don't Look Now is a British film about a couple whose daughter tragically drowns while playing at their English home. While grieving in Venice, they are befriended by strange sisters who say that they are in contact with their daughter from beyond the grave. Drawn to the sisters, they are led into a vortex of time and coincidences, of recurring themes and motifs (light on water, breaking glass, the colour red), which reaches a dramatic conclusion on the water's edge.

Sex Scene
Don't Look Now has become somewhat well-known for possibly including a real sexual act, rather than the simulated sex typically found in mainstream (i.e. non-pornographic) movies. What is known for certain is that the scene (which appears approximately 30 minutes into the film) was included spontaneously and did not appear in the screenplay. Director Roeg used the scene of the main characters played by Christie and Sutherland making love to counterbalance the scenes of them arguing. The scene in question was severely trimmed in the original American theatrical release to receive an MPAA R rating. The scene is edited in an atypical fashion, with the footage of the act intercut with footage of the couple getting dressed to leave. Director Steven Soderbergh paid homage to the scene by including a tamer love scene shot in similar style in his 1998 Elmore Leonard adaption Out of Sight. --http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Don%27t_Look_Now [Jul 2005]

see also: 1973 - Nicolas Roeg

Don't Look Now (1971) - Daphne du Maurier

Don't Look Now (1971) - Daphne du Maurier [Amazon.com] [FR] [DE] [UK]

Don't Look Now is a collection of short stories by Daphne du Maurier. Published in 1971, the title story became a famous film, directed by Nicolas Roeg. The book actually contains a selection of several short stories, all rather diverse but similar in that they touch on the supernatural, or strange events.

Don't look now, the short story, differs from the filmed version in several respects. The Baxters are in Venice trying to get over the death of their little girl, Christine. In the book it is stated that Christine died from meningitis. In the filmed version, the little girl, clad in a red plastic mac, drowns at the family home one sunday afternoon. The director portrays this in a highly stylised manner, and his motives are made clearer as the film progresses.

In the short story, Laura and John joke about a couple of weird looking sisters in Venice, at the same restaurant. They are identical twins. In the film, they are simply sisters, one would assume because of the difficulty of casting elderly identical twins in the parts.In the book, Laura states that in the toilet she "felt faint" after the ladies had talked to her about the dead Christine. Roeg portrays Julie Christie as actually fainting, once arriving at the table following a trip to the toilet. This is filmed in slow motion, and Laura falls to the floor, causing crockery to smash everywhere. In all other respects, the film is fairly faithful to the book. The "little girl" that John tries to rescue is also clad in a red plastic mac, which goes some way to explain why John is so concerned about her. --http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Don%27t_look_now_%28book%29 [Aug 2006]

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