directed by Nicolas Roeg, 1973
Nicolas Roeg’s Don’t Look Now presents its world of grief as something both recognizable and sympathetic, but it’s also one that becomes more frighteningly askew and enigmatic with each passing minute. Endlessly resisting the urge to move forward and backward in any coherent straight line, the genius of Roeg’s 1973 supernatural horror landmark rests in its unsettling depiction of the compression of time. Despair, neglect, and irresponsibility all weigh down on the film’s primary characters, a British couple who have left their stateside home for Venice after the death of their daughter. Dread and tragedy seem to follow them everywhere, leaving the couple and the audience to intuit the unpredictable nature of the images and sounds Roeg presents us with. The film’s famous imagery has no doubt left a lasting impression over the years, but in revisiting the film via Criterion’s new edition, Don’t Look Now feels as chilling and timeless as ever.