Don’t Look Now 27.09.13

Don’t Look Now is a 1973 thriller film directed by Nicolas Roeg. Julie Christie and Donald Sutherland star as a married couple who travel to Venice following the recent accidental death of their daughter, when the husband accepts a commission to restore a church. They encounter two sinister sisters, one of whom claims to be clairvoyant and informs them that their daughter is trying to contact them and warn them of danger. The husband at first dismisses their claims, but starts to experience mysterious sightings himself. It is an independent British and Italian co-production adapted from the short story by Daphne du Maurier.

While Don’t Look Now observes many conventions of the thriller genre, its primary focus is on the psychology of grief, and the effect the death of a child can have on a relationship. Its emotionally convincing depiction of grief is often singled out as a trait not usually present in films featuring supernatural plot elements.

As well as the unusual handling of its subject matter, Don’t Look Now is renowned for its atypical but innovative editing style, and its use of recurring motifs and themes. The film often employs flashbacks and flashforwards in keeping with the depiction of precognition, but some scenes are intercut or merged to alter the viewer’s perception of what is really happening. It also adopts an impressionist approach to its imagery, often presaging events with familiar objects, patterns and colours using associative editing techniques.

Originally causing controversy on its initial release due to an explicit and—for the time—very graphic sex scene between Christie and Sutherland, its reputation has grown considerably in the years since, and it is now acknowledged as a modern classic and an influential work in horror and British film.

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