Psychological thriller about parents who retreat to Italy after the tragic death of their daughter in a drowning accident. Director Nicolas Roeg masterfully creates an almost dreamlike atmosphere using the canals of Venice as a backdrop. The surroundings are hauntingly eerie. The story develops in such a way that impels the viewer to keep watching. Indeed a genuine sense of dread permeates the action. At times, certain stylistic devices of the filmmaker like glass breaking, the recurrence of the color red and the use of slow motion, can feel a bit self consciously arty. And that infamous love scene which awkwardly intercuts footage of the couple getting dressed for dinner with unusually graphic sex, is hopelessly dated and unsexy. However these are minor criticisms in an intensely absorbing, spooky mood piece of a film. Based on a short story by Daphne du Maurier who also wrote the short story The Birds and the novel Rebecca.
Archive for 1973
Road comedy set during the Great Depression about a father and daughter team who work as a couple of grifters. Hilarious, affectionate and stylish film makes excellent use of black and white cinematography. Director Peter Bogdanovich is at the top his game here.