Repertory Picks

Gothic Roeg in Cambridge

On Film / In Theaters — Feb 7, 2019

On Saturday evening, as part of the series A Tribute to Nicolas Roeg, the late, great director’s haunting 1973 masterpiece Don’t Look Now will show at the Brattle in Cambridge, Massachusetts, in 35 mm. (The film will be followed on a very ominous double bill by Roger Corman’s 1964 The Masque of the Red Death, on which Roeg served as cinematographer.) A grief-stricken film dripping with eerie atmosphere, the Daphne du Maurier adaptation Don’t Look Now revolves around a married couple (Donald Sutherland and Julie Christie) abroad in Venice, where they’ve traveled in the wake of their only child’s accidental death by drowning, and where they find themselves haunted by a series of unsettling occurrences.

Marrying fractured editing and lucid-dream visuals, Roeg conjures a singular air of foreboding throughout. But the filmmaking reaches particularly virtuosic heights during the movie’s boldly associative, blood-soaked ending. “It’s one of my favorite scenes of all time in film history,” director Joachim Trier (Oslo, August 31st; Thelma) told us last year in his Under the Influence tribute to Roeg’s supernatural thriller. “I think on some level, with all the montage work I’ve done with my amazing editor, Olivier Bugge Coutté, what we really always have wanted to try to achieve is what Nicolas Roeg does at the end of Don’t Look Now.