Neil Young’s Film Lounge – Don’t Look Now



UK/ITY 1973
dir. Nicolas Roeg

The plot, based on a Daphne Du Maurier short story, is simple enough. A young girl accidentally drowns; her parents (Christie, Sutherland) escape to Venice. While he loses himself in his work restoring an old church, she falls in with a pair of elderly sisters (Matania, Mason), one of whom claims to be psychic and able to see the dead child. Meanwhile, a psychotic killer is on the loose loose among the shadowy canals

Don't Look NowFairly basic thriller material, but in Roegs hands Dont Look Now becomes a dazzling puzzle of a movie in which the viewer, like the characters, is constantly being forced to re-examine what we’ve seen, or, more accurately, what we think weve seen. The movie is as much composed as directed, building up a technically astonishing network of intricate visual rhymes and musical themes. But the film isn’t just an intellectual exercise in story-telling, its also a tremendously powerful emotional experience.

The legendary love scene (and its a love scene, not a sex scene) between Christie and Sutherland is still among the most beautiful and sensuous sequences in cinema, but its surpassed by the devastating closing montage in which all the movies shattered fragments finally fall into place. Roegs done some fine work over the years, but he’s never matched this stunning masterpiece. Come to think of it who has?

12th March 2001

For films rated 9 and 10 check out the Hall of Fame

by Neil Young


by Neil Young