There’s blood in the watercolor in Fred Davis’s design for Nicolas Roeg’s thriller Don’t Look Now. Inspired by the psychedelic imagery of Donald Sutherland’s prophetic visions and the water motif that permeates the film, Fred renders the red raincoat that is the film’s most haunting image with a gentle smoothness that paradoxically evokes violence.
Says Fred: “I was able to come to this project with a completely fresh set of eyes, since I had never seen the film. It became evident early in the discovery process that the little red mac, because of its association with two of the film’s driving forces, was the perfect solution. From that point, it was simply a matter of incorporating a secondary layer of meaning into an otherwise static and one-dimensional visual. I read up on Roeg’s thoughts on the film and was intrigued by his intentionally selective use of the color red throughout. So the process then became how to fuse the water, which is ubiquitous and integral to the film, and the red mac. Fortunately or not, when mixing red and water there’s an inescapable association with blood. In this case, it’s not entirely unwarranted.”
In addition to the final cover, this gallery features unused alternate cover sketches, along with Fred’s watery interpretation of the canals of Venice.
This post, inspired by the book Criterion Designs, is a continuation of our efforts to share insights into the collaborative process of creating images for our releases. Eric Skillman is a designer and art director at the Criterion Collection.