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Don't Look Now (1973)
Written by: The Arrow
Director: Nicolas Roeg

Starring:
Donald Sutherland/John
Julie Christie/Laura
PLOT-CRUNCH
After the tragic drowning of their young daughter; loving couple John (Sutherland) and Laura (Christie) head for Venice in the name of healing their gaping emotional wounds. But when a mysterious duo of psychics enter their lives and John begins to see a little girl running about Venice with a coat akin to the one his daughter wore when she passed on; they are both tossed into a surreal and confusing tornado of events that leads them to…well watch the film to find out champs!
THE LOWDOWN

Nothing is what it seems – John

I have never seen a film like Don’t Look Now before and I highly doubt that I will ever see one after, now that I’ve viewed it. Upon reading site contributor Eric Red’s review of the picture here; I felt compelled to take a look at it for myself. What I found was one of the most unique, sad, mind-boggling yet gorgeous piece of celluloid horror that I’ve ever seen.

Don’t Look Now slyly played the experimental/art film card in the unorthodox way that it was shot and edited. The flick moved its compelling narrative line forward in a fashion that echoed a fragmented stream of consciousness as opposed to a standard linear manner. Result; I was engulfed, manipulated and often baffled by what transpired on the screen with my involvement factor being boosted to a ludicrous degree by the trippy execution. The clever use of back and forth cuts and the impact laced milking of contrasts the flick put out also made for an original way to tell a story. Wait till you see the handling of the heart-breaking opening... now that’s f*cking CINEMA! A flick that tells its story and explores its characters via arresting visuals and brilliant sound design...WOW! I haven't seen one of those in a while! I was floored!

Now, none of it would have mattered if I didn’t cherish the players and their plight so much and boy did I care about the people in this film! I can’t remember the last time I got so deeply attached to film characters. Big props to the wonderful chemistry that Donald Sutherland and Julie Christie shared and to Director Roeg for capitalizing on it so skillfully. The love scene in the film for example, was so honest, natural and pure that it let me in the characters' lives on a deeper level than the norm; hence ensuing in me getting my ass severely kicked by the ugliness inflicted upon the characters down the road.

Another angle that upped the film's power was Roeg's knack at filling the glass with bleak mood, foreboding and menace when it came to the setting (dark, tourist-less Venice locations), which was as much of a character as the human protagonists . Furthermore, the bizarre manner in which the location related with the leads had me on the edge of my seat throughout. The whole time I just knew something really bad was going to happen and the flick played on that feeling of dread brilliantly. I actually pussied out at one point where I stopped the film because I didn’t want to go on with the film and see these characters go through the ringer. I have never done that in my entire courtship with cinema (wow that sounded pretentious...it stays!).

Of course I got my courage back and finished the movie. What followed was an exhilarating, poignant and fairly depressing continuation that went on to crush my skull against the wall via its unpredictable and novel finale. Everything I thought was happening, everything I thought I knew, everything I hoped would happen…was wrong. The film had me!  Any complaints? Other than the fact that it took me so long to see this baby; no.

Don’t Look Now was a perfect film for me in the way it was shot, performed and edited. Its also one of those that gets richer after each viewing; which prompted me to buy the DVD. If your tastes go above the fast paced, McDonalds horror we’ve been getting lately; seek it and see it. Much like PSYCHO this has to be one of the most important genre films ever made. It was ahead of its time and then some! LOOK NOW!

GORE
We get a ghastly slit throat…the film wasn’t about gore and it didn’t need it.
ACTING
Both Donald Sutherland (John) and Julie Christie (Laura) gave strong, layered, genuine and dynamic performances. Their “vibe” together was nothing less than mesmerizing. Good job guy and gal!
T & A
Both Sutherland and Christie showed all (except for frontal) in one of the most realistic and moving love scenes I have ever seen on film or in my bedroom for that matter!
DIRECTING
Nicolas Roeg owned this film through his competent and thick injection of dread, clever cutting, extreme zoom-in, arresting use of slow motion, symbolism galore and a talent at toying with the audience that has yet to be equaled; my lying ex-girlfriend bitch aside of course.
SOUNDTRACK
Pino Donaggio's varied score hit all the right notes in its engaging, creepy and offbeat nature.
BOTTOM LINE
Don’t Look Now was a unique, stimulating and heart breaking watch; one that tweaked the brain through its inimitable editing, that warmed the heart with its wonderful love story, that scared the shite out of me with its dread filled location/surreal events and that broke my heart with its ballsy, left field ending. It’s definately not a film for everybody where it’s evenly paced, mucho ambiguous and demands brain matter. But if you feel like being challenged while being wooed by awe inspiring Gothic imagery than this bitter pill might be one worth swallowing for you too. For me; it just made my top 10 List of all time!
BULL'S EYE
The famous sex scene between Donald Sutherland and Julie Christie was a last minute on-set idea by director Nicolas Roeg and is rumored to be the real thing where both were dating at the time.

The film is based on a short story by Daphne Du Maurier.
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9:42AM on 02/02/2007

creeeepy!

I love this movie! i've wanted to see it ever since bravo gave away a scary scene three years ago. i have to say that if they hadn't, and the scene had hit me unawares, i'd still be in some sort of shock right now!
I love this movie! i've wanted to see it ever since bravo gave away a scary scene three years ago. i have to say that if they hadn't, and the scene had hit me unawares, i'd still be in some sort of shock right now!
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