Add to Basket. Description Author Table of Contents Reviews Keywords While postwar British cinema and the British new wave have received much scholarly attention, the misunderstood period of the s has been comparatively ignored.
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Mar Diestro-Dopido. His version of Venice is both familiar and strange for the viewer; it is not the Venice we are expecting.
For Heather herself, the canals and claustrophobic streets provide the perfect echo chamber that she can navigate by sound, and yet this is not reassuring for the viewer. In the final scenes of the film, the tension is raised considerably by the sound of Laura running, getting closer and closer, but her appearance in shot is continually delayed so that the anticipation becomes deeply unsettling and we start to wonder if we can no longer trust our ears as well as our eyes.
Venice is sinking.
Du Maurier approved of his adaptation, as I will discuss further below, and the changes that he made are very much in keeping with the atmosphere and imaginative world that du Maurier had created. This may have been suggested by the way in which du Maurier introduces the cause of death in the story, by imagining the danger that a city like Venice might pose to a small child:.
The point was, remembering Christine before the onset of the fatal meningitis, she would have been running along the bank excitedly, throwing off her shoes, wanting to paddle, giving Laura a fit of apprehension. Changing meningitis to drowning enables Roeg to directly link her death to the waters of Venice, and water and reflections are one of the primary clusters of imagery in the film.
Nicolas Roeg: Seven great moments | BFI
In the famous opening scene of the film, Laura and John are inside the house while Christine and her brother Johnnie play outside by the pond, and John has a sudden premonition that something is wrong and he rushes out of the house to find Christine under the water. In Venice, John is similarly forewarned but this time he refuses to listen, instead convincing himself that the figure in red needs his help.
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John sees the ghost of Christine in the figure of the dwarf and pursues her in the misplaced hope that by protecting the little figure he can somehow assuage his guilt for being unable to save his daughter. John is not quite as comfortable in this Venice as he should be. In the film, Roeg continually foregrounds this sense of a disconnect between the artwork and the faith it represents. There is no comfort to be found in these images.
The gargoyles that John is restoring appear sinister, especially when the film cuts away from their stone features to the blind eyes of the psychic sister and to shots of the sisters laughing together. The sense of peril and danger in the shot is all too real. Critics such as Gina Whisker have shown that the use of the coat presents the dwarf as a perversion of the figure of Red Riding Hood from fairy tale tradition.
Don’t Look Now: British cinema in the 1970s
The little figure in red does not need protecting from the Big Bad Wolf, however, because she is the real menace that will destroy the would-be male protector in the form of John. Then he saw her.
The sight of the three women dressed in black cannot help but appear as a dark omen for John. But it also makes the viewer wonder not only why is Laura there with the sisters when she should be on a plane to England but, more worryingly, why- and for whom- they are dressed in mourning.