Why see ‘Don’t Look Now’?

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We invite you to a Time Out screening on March 22 of a British classic – introduced by David Morrissey

Last month, we asked the esteemed members of the British film industry to tell us about their favourite British films and one movie reigned supreme: Nicolas Roeg’s 1973 chiller ‘Don’t Look Now’, which beat Carol Reed's 'The Third Man' to the top spot by a whisker.

Now we're offering you the chance to watch ‘Don’t Look Now’ on the big screen on Tuesday March 22. The film, television and stage actor David Morrissey, recently seen in 'South Riding', will kindly join us for the screening and offer insights into his relationship with the film and explain why he was one of many who voted for Roeg's film as one of his all-time favourites.This is the first of a series of ten screenings set to take place over the next ten weeks at London’s Cineworld Haymarket cinema. We hope that everyone who comes along will leave with a new understanding of why our national cinema still matters and doesn't begin and end with 'The King's Speech'.

Made in 1973, 'Don't Look Now' was based on an original novel by Daphne du Maurier. So pleased was du Maurier with Roeg’s sensitive treatment of her supernatural tale of a well-heeled couple looking to disconnect themselves from the horrors of their past – the accidental drowning of their daughter – that she wrote him a personal letter of appreciation.

In hindsight, ‘Don’t Look Now’ is the perfect mixture of Roeg's abilities as a teller of mysterious stories and as one of the most accomplished cinematic stylists ever to peep through a viewfinder. The film smashes up chronology and pieces it back together in a deviously strange order, so we get constant hints and suggestions of dark events to come. Donald Sutherland and Julie Christie are utterly convincing as the central couple who flee to Venice to retain a focus on their messed-up lives.Don't Look Now.jpg

The famous sex scene near the beginning of the film is tremendous. It’s erotic, but also mysterious, and there’s no sense that Roeg is using his camera to leer. Even if you’ve seen the film already, just this small scene – the sinewy camerwork, the pre and post-coital movements, the naturalistic emotions, the decor of the room – remains open to infinite readings. Are they really in love? Are they relinquishing their anguish or fermenting it? Have they finally forgotten about their dead child, Christine, and are ready to start again?By the time he made 'Don't Look Now', Roeg already had three movies and some notoriety behind him. His 1970 debut, ‘Performance’, made with the late Donald Cammell, depicted the counter-culture in the badlands of Notting Hill and so shocked its backers, Warner Brothers, that they shelved the film on delivery. His next film, ‘Walkabout’ (1971), was a rapturous ode to survival and blossoming sexuality and saw two siblings wandering the perilous Australian Outback with an Aboriginal boy as their guide. ‘Walkabout’ is a lot darker than its reputation suggests and offers a barbed critique of the savagery of the urban middle classes.

‘Don’t Look Now’ was the film that fully made Roeg's name. It's not a work that can easily be experienced and understood in a single sitting. The flood of visual suggestions is overwhelming, and Roeg throws out endless decoys. Like the eccentric Italian police chief to whom Sutherland speaks when he believes his wife is missing, Roeg makes it our job to decide what is truth and what is fiction.

Indeed, it’s highly likely that if you come along to our screening of the film next week, you’ll find something in 'Don't Look Now' that you’ve never noticed before and will uncover even more of its manifold mysteries. We hope to see you there.

Click here to book tickets to our special 'Don't Look Now' event




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