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Nicolas Roeg (1928 - )

Films as director: Performance (1970) - Don't Look Now (1973) - Bad Timing (1980) -

Films as cinematographer: The Masque of the Red Death (1964)

Related: director - Donald Cammell - British cinema

Performance (1970) - Nicolas Roeg, Donald Cammell [Amazon.com]


Nicolas Roeg, born Nicolas Jack Roeg on August 15, 1928 in London, England, is an internationally-known film director. His work gained acclaim in film circles for his use of the Cut-up technique. --http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Nicolas_Roeg [Aug 2004]


As someone for whom Nicolas Roeg was and remains a favourite director, the last few years have been humbling. The most recent film in the Roeg filmography, according to the Internet Movie Database, is The Sound of Claudia Schiffer (2000). Not long before that was the made-for-Turner TV flick, Samson and Delilah (1996) with Liz Hurley as the object of desire, and Full Body Massage (1995), the thinking man's straight-to-video "erotic thriller." Critical attention has shifted (not unfairly) to Donald Cammell, his co-directing partner on Performance (1970), suggesting Roeg’s contributions were mainly technical. There is a palpable sense, especially in British film circles, that the trademarks of Roeg’s best work – the intricate use of flashback, the unapologetic use of jump cuts and zooms, the far-flung settings, and the obsessive characters – have lost their power to astonish and have shown distinct signs of self-parody. -- Lee Hill, http://www.sensesofcinema.com/contents/directors/02/roeg.html [Aug 2004]

Insignificance (1985) - Nicolas Roeg

In search of significance

Insignificance (1985) - Nicolas Roeg
[FR] [DE] [UK]

Plot Synopsis: Four 1950's cultural icons (Albert Einstein, Marilyn Monroe, Joe DiMaggio and Senator Joseph MacCarthy) who conceivably could have met and probably didn't, fictionally do in this modern fable of post-WWII America.

Plot Keywords: McCarthyism | Theory Of Relativity | Joe Dimaggio | Based On Play | Independent Film | Marilyn Monroe

See also: significance - 1985 - film - Nicolas Roeg

The Sound of Claudia Schiffer (2000) [...]


Nicolas Roeg was born in London on 15 August 1928. He entered the industry in the late 1940s and eventually became a camera operator in the late 1950s. In the early 1960s, he graduated to director of photography and, in this capacity, worked with Richard Lester (Petulia), Francois Truffaut (Fahrenheit 451), and Roger Corman (Masque of the Red Death). He started a second career as director in the late 1960s and early 1970s. He shared the director credit with Donald Cammell on controversial Performance (1970), starring Mick Jagger and James Fox, and continued to work with such as Donald Sutherland, Julie Christie (both in Don't Look Now, 1973) and David Bowie (The Man Who Fell To Earth, 1976). Roeg is known for his striking visual and experimental cinematic style: for example, applying to editing his films the cut-up technique developed by the writers William S. Burroughs and Brion Gysin (who were in their turn inspired by Surrealists). Nicolas Roeg's wife is actress Theresa Russell, who has already starred in five of her husband's films. --from phinnweb

More films (director)

  1. Castaway (1987) - Nicolas Roeg [1 VHS, Amazon US]
    This film just about cured me of my annual February fantasies about escaping from our bleak winters. Those who consider this a standard male fantasy film about sharing a desert island with a beautiful young woman weren't paying much attention. It does start out that way, paunchy, fifty something man advertises specifically for a pretty woman in her 20s to share the adventure for one year which he intends to write a book about. It rapidly blows up in his face. That they realistically portray this decidedly unheroic man facing his personal realities as he fails again and again to provide food, shelter, and be a source of sexual attraction to his increasingly frustrated, bored and literally starving young woman is what makes this movie stand out from the usual Hollywood "manly-man impresses woman right into bed" feature film. And it is a true story. At the end of the year together they go their separate ways happy never to have to see each other again. Interestingly, I hear the woman wrote the book and was published within months of leaving the island. I don't know if the man ever did. a viewer, amazon.com

  2. Eureka (1981) - Nicolas Roeg [Amazon US]
    Anyone expecting conventional storytelling from director Nicolas Roeg will be disappointed by this tale of fate, wealth, greed, and obsession, but if you're familiar with Roeg's work, you'll know that Eureka deserves a place among such equally puzzling Roeg films as Walkabout, The Man Who Fell to Earth, and Insignificance. Indeed, with its esteemed cast, international locations, and enough thematic ambition to keep things vitally intriguing, Eureka qualifies as Roeg's last grand effort; after this, Roeg settled for more workmanlike projects, abandoning the kind of daring (if not altogether successful) filmmaking that Eureka represents. This is ostensibly the story of a Klondike prospector (Gene Hackman) who strikes it rich, only to fear that his daughter (played by Roeg's wife, Theresa Russell) and son-in-law (Rutger Hauer) are scheming not only for his wealth but his very soul. Greedy investors (Joe Pesci, Mickey Rourke) are also swooping down for Hackman's fortune, but this is no overblown episode of Dallas or Dynasty. In Roeg's hands--and through the lens of Roeg's mesmerizing camera--Eureka explores Hackman's connection to unexplained supernatural forces, to nature itself, and perhaps even to the continuum of the universe. Which is to say, this is a confounding and convoluted film by any "normal" standard, and by any measure it can hardly be considered a masterpiece. And yet, those mysterious forces are oddly compelling, and Roeg focuses their energy in this strange but beautiful film, reminding us why respected actors would readily contribute to his vision. --Jeff Shannon for amazon.com

  3. The Man Who Fell to Earth (1976) - Nicolas Roeg [Amazon US]
    While other films directed by Nicolas Roeg have attained similar cult status (including Walkabout and Don't Look Now), none has been as hotly debated as this languid but oddly fascinating adaptation of the science fiction novel by Walter Tevis. David Bowie plays the alien of the title, who arrives on Earth with hopes of finding a way to save his own planet from turning into an arid wasteland. He funds this effort by capitalizing on several highly lucrative inventions, and in so doing becomes the powerful leader of an international corporate conglomerate. But his success has negative consequences as well--his contact with Earth has a disintegrating effect that sends him into a tailspin of disorientation and metaphysical despair. The sexual attention of a cheerful young woman (Candy Clark) doesn't do much to change his outlook, and his introduction to liquor proves even more devastating, until, finally, it looks as though his visit to Earth may be a permanent one. The Man Who Fell to Earth is definitely not for every taste--it's a highly contemplative, primarily visual experience that Roeg directs as an abstract treatise on (among other things) the alienating effects of an over-commercialized society. Stimulating and hypnotic or frightfully dull, depending on your receptiveness to its loosely knit ideas, it's at least in part about not belonging, about being disconnected from the world--about being a stranger in a strange land when there's really no place like home. --Jeff Shannon. for amazon.com

Movies (cinematography)

  1. Fahrenheit 451 (1966) - François Truffaut [Amazon US]
    The classic science fiction novel by Ray Bradbury was a curious choice for one of the leading directors of the French New Wave, François Truffaut. But from the opening credits onward (spoken, not written on screen), Truffaut takes Bradbury's fascinating premise and makes it his own. The futuristic society depicted in Fahrenheit 451 is a culture without books. Firemen still race around in red trucks and wear helmets, but their job is to start fires: they ferret out forbidden stashes of books, douse them with gasoline, and make public bonfires. Oskar Werner, the star of Truffaut's Jules and Jim, plays a fireman named Montag, whose exposure to David Copperfield wakens an instinct toward reading and individual thought. (That's why books are banned--they give people too many ideas.) In an intriguing casting flourish, Julie Christie plays two roles: Montag's bored, drugged-up wife and the woman who helps kindle the spark of rebellion. The great Bernard Herrmann wrote the hard-driving music; Nicolas Roeg provided the cinematography. Fahrenheit 451 received a cool critical reception and has never quite been accepted by Truffaut fans or sci-fi buffs. Its deliberately listless manner has always been a problem, although that is part of its point; the lack of reading has made people dry and empty. If the movie is a bit stiff (Truffaut did not speak English well and never tried another project in English), it nevertheless is full of intriguing touches, and the ending is lyrical and haunting. --Robert Horton for amazon.com

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