Don't Look Now (1973)

Don't Look Now (1973), directed by Nicolas Roeg.


It's ok. I've found the real world. It's down here. Come on.

After the drowning death of their young daughter, Donald Sutherland and Julie Christie go to Venice where he is restoring a church. (It's always "death in Venice", isn't it?) They meet two dotty English sisters, one of whom is blind and psychic. She says their daughter is still with them and happy, but that the husband must leave Venice or die.

The wife is credulous and the husband skeptical, but he starts seeing things, like glimpses of the little girl and premonitions of his own death. He's in pursuit of mysteries, but it is not clear what he's chasing, or what he will find.

Some movies are explicit and some suggestive. This is very much the latter sort. Nothing is really explained, there is no solution. Intimations of surrounding mysteries suggest the mysteries of life and death, but they are never clearly shown.

The film has a floating, dream-like quality throughout. Roeg was a cinematographer before directing, but his approach here is less formal than in Walkabout (1971). Lots of handheld camera work, improvised scenes, quick cuts, clever juxtapositions and non-linear sequences.

The stars do a famous nudity and passion scene, quite controversial at the time. See the wikipedia article for details.

Christie definitely has a spot on the pre-1979 babes list. Love her nose. Sutherland looks like a 1970s porn star; it must be the hair.

From a Daphne Du Maurier story.