• On the occasion of BFI Southbank’s major retrospective on Nicolas Roeg’s more than forty-year career, the Guardian’s Ryan Gilbey sat down with the director for a chat at his London home. Gilbey’s conversation with the eighty-two-year-old Roeg has something in common with Roeg’s time-juggling movies: it’s an entertainingly nonlinear mix of philosophy and self-referentiality—as the journalist explains, “A conversation with him is a dot-to-dot puzzle in verbal form.” But, as one might feel about, say, Performance or Don’t Look Now or Bad Timing, “an internal logic persists, even if it’s not immediately accessible to the conscious mind.” The article features interesting tidbits, both from Roeg (he’s been doing installation art—anonymously) and from Gilbey: did you know that Christopher Nolan has cited Roeg’s Insignificance as a major influence on Inception?

7 comments

  • By MA
    March 11, 2011
    05:55 PM

    A possible clue to why Inception is so bad!
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    • By Brock Pace
      July 23, 2013
      03:48 PM

      Inception is one of the most critically acclaimed movies ever, made by one of the most critically acclaimed directors ever, inspired by one of the most artistic directors ever.
    • By TheDirector
      July 23, 2013
      11:44 PM

      @Brock I don't care to make any qualms about Inception's quality - but it's not one of the most critically acclaimed films ever, and Nolan isn't one of the most critically acclaimed directors ever. As for your comment on Roeg, it is much more grounded in reality.
    • By Brock Pace
      July 24, 2013
      10:02 AM

      @ TheDirector As far as in the eyes of the general public, Inception and Nolan are definitely received with high praise. While not an accurate representation of the "best movies ever," there is a reason why Inception is in the top 20 on IMDB's "Top 250" List. That reason is because people like Inception and people like Nolan. I don't hear any modern director talked about nearly as much as Nolan. To say Roeg is grounded in reality is a huge stretch. For instance, Walkabout was a highly surreal film that followed around two kids with a seemingly absent goal or purpose. As the film continues the audience slowly discovers this purpose, however the majority of it is still improvised landscape shots that was created on Roeg's own personal walkabout. If that doesn't represent art in cinema, I don't know what does.
    • By TheDirector
      July 24, 2013
      09:52 PM

      @Brock Firstly, when I said 'grounded in reality', I meant your claim was. As in, it was a realistic claim as opposed to your prior hyperbole. Secondly, yes, Nolan and Inception are /critically acclaimed/, but the level of acclaim does not amount to the acclaim given to Bergman, Welles, Tarkovsky, Fellini, Kurosawa, Ozu, Dreyer, etc. And, as an aside, in serious film conversation, there are quite a few directors who are discussed as much as Nolan. The Coens, for example, receive quite a bit of attention, and while their last film did not amount to the box office business that Nolan's films do, True Grit did make a pretty penny. And if you were to still dispute the idea that you hear talk about Nolan more than other directors - perhaps you're simply not listening enough?
    • By TheDirector
      July 24, 2013
      09:53 PM

      @Brock And, frankly, I don't know why you're defending Roeg so much. I never said a word against him, much less say he didn't achieve an artistic cinema.
  • By Brock Pace
    July 25, 2013
    10:33 AM

    @ TheDirector I apologize about the Roeg comment; it was a simple misunderstanding. While the other directors are more acclaimed than Nolan's, he is still "one of the" most critically acclaimed, especially in recent history. To dispute whether a director is or is not more critically acclaimed is futile though, as the only reason I brought that up was to show that the general public does not consider Inception a bad movie, and even if they did I'm sure it was not Roeg's influence that attributed towards that.
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