“Don’t look now” (1972)
Running time: 103 minutes
Written by: Allan Scott and Chris Bryant
Directed by: Nicolas Roeg
Featuring: Julie Christie and Donald Sutherland
John Baxter: “Christine is dead. She is dead! Dead! Dead! Dead! Dead! Dead!”
Released recently on Blu-ray and re-mastered is the now timeless Nic Roeg directed gothic horror “Don’t look now” (1972) a film that holds a special place in many hearts and minds as a true modern masterpiece that at points defies genre and description as an original piece of art that remains watchable fifty years after its first appearance.
There has been so much written about “Don’t look now” over the intervening decades that I am not sure what I would be able to add but I will say that I love the use of color throughout especially of course red which is used throughout. I also love the idea of a couple left hanging after the death of their daughter, they are caught in a limbo that exists right up until the climax of the film which is at least as shocking as the opening.
Sometime after the drowning of their young daughter, Christine (Sharon Williams), in an accident at their English country home, John Baxter (Donald Sutherland) and his grief-stricken wife Laura (Julie Christie) take a trip to Venice after John accepts a commission from a bishop (Massimo Serato) to restore an ancient church.
For the 2019 restoration of “Don’t look now”, StudioCanal went back to the original camera negative which was scanned at 4K resolution in 16-bit and created the following: 4K DCP, UHD version and a new HD version which were produced with the same high technological standards as today’s biggest international film releases. The restoration and new UHD version was color graded and approved in London at Silversalt by the BAFTA Award-winning cinematographer, Anthony B. Richmond.
Richmond said of the restoration: “It was very exciting to come over to London to color correct the restoration of “Don’t look now”. The important thing for me was to make it look like the original print. I think with the help of Silver Salt Restoration and colorist Steve Bearman we have succeeded in doing that. For me personally it’s incredible that having shot it in 1973 it’s being released in the cinema again in Dolby Vision. “Don’t look now” is as strong and haunting now as it was when it was first released.”
Julie Christie said of the film’s re-release in cinemas: “Venice was a magical place to film, even waiting hours for the next shot was exciting because the surroundings were so mysterious and sensual. My dear Nic, Tony Richmond and myself were old friends from previous films and always had a lark whenever we worked together. Of course, I didn’t know what was in Nic’s mind when he was creating the film but when I did see it I was amazed at his extraordinary creations. A very precious time of my life.”
- NEW Pass The Warning: Reflecting on Nic Roeg’s masterpiece: new documentary featuring interviews with David Cronenberg, Danny Boyle, Brad Bird, Andrew Haigh, Stephen Woolley, Peter Bradshaw and more.
- NEW A Kaleidoscope of Meaning: Color in Don’t Look Now – Featurette
- NEW The New 4K Restoration – restoration featurette
- Audio commentary with Nic Roeg
- Interviews with Donald Sutherland, Pino Donaggio, Allan Scott, Tony Richmond, Danny Boyle
- Don’t Look Now: Looking Back – Featurette
- Behind the Scenes stills gallery