Don’t Look Now

Year: 1973
Production Co: Casey Productions
Director: Nicholas Roeg
Writer: Daphne Du Maurier/Alan Scott
Cast: Julie Christe, Donald Sutherland

I can't call myself a multiplex loving Philistine as I've loved plenty of 'weird' movies before, even ones that seem to have no resolution or point, like the first time I watched Donnie Darko.

But when it comes to any films like that which I responded to, I like to think it was because things were happening between the set-up and pay-off, no matter how abstract.

So Don't Look Know was another film that was supposed to be a classic and which I finally sought out but came away from very disappointed.

It contains Nic Roeg's signature dreamy editing, and the initial scene with the death of Laura (Christie) and John (Sutherland) interspersed with their domestic bliss indoors as well as the sex scene intercut with the banality of the pair dressing for dinner are where his style shines.

But imaginative editing don't make a plot, and the story that occurs afterwards – of the pair subsequently living in Venice while John restores an old church – just doesn't contain enough of it or reveal it fast enough.

An old blind woman who claims to be psychic approaches Laura in a restaurant, telling her their dead daughter is happy. A mysterious red-coated figure (the outfit their daughter died in) starts showing up in the shadows. The pair fight about Laura's believing the old woman's story while John thinks it's all nonsense. And it all takes such a long tie to unfurl I gave up after giving it what I felt was plenty of time to show me something.

From what I've read the payoff has no neat tightening up of all the plot strands, which probably would have driven me mad after the rest of the film was so dreary and confusing.

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