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Nicolas Roeg, director of "Walkabout" has passed away


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Director Nicolas Roeg dies aged 90

Director Nicolas Roeg, whose films include Don't Look Now and Performance, has died at the age of 90.

In a career spanning six decades, he was celebrated for his original and controversial film-making.

His 1973 psychological thriller Don't Look Now caused controversy for its graphic sex scenes.

Roeg also directed Mick Jagger in the crime drama Performance and David Bowie in the science fiction movie The Man Who Fell To Earth.

His son, Nicolas Roeg Jr, said his father died on Friday night. "He was a genuine dad," he said.

"He just had his 90th birthday in August," he added.

'Roeg bewitched and bewildered'

Nicolas Roeg was one of the most original film-makers the UK has ever produced.

His early experience as a cinematographer brought a stunning visual quality to his work.

He often exasperated the critics and gained a reputation as being hard on his actors.

And he took a delight in jumbling scenes and time to both bewitch and bewilder his audiences.

Read the full obituary here

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Born in St John's Wood in north London in 1928, Roeg started in the film industry making tea and operating the clapper board at Marylebone Studios.

His directorial debut came in 1970 when he filmed Performance, sharing the director's role with Donald Cammell.

The explicit scenes of violence and drug-taking caused the film's release to be delayed by two years.

Speaking to the BBC's Front Row in 2013, he said false rumours that Don't Look Now included a real sex scene were "very flattering" because it meant audiences thought the film was authentic.

"What you are looking for in anything is some sort of truth," he said.

Edgar Wright, the British director of Shaun of the Dead and Baby Driver, was among those who paid tribute to "a master of the art".

Duncan Jones, the director of Warcraft and son of David Bowie, paid tribute to the "incredible body of work" Roeg has left, saying it inspired his own "ongoing love of filmmaking".

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At least, unlike other directors, he lives on in song (which TCM will probably beat into their tributes):

(Guess we don't have to worry about "Don't Look Now" spoilers in the lyrics...  )

And mentioning Roeg's "Walkabout" only brings up the point made in the documentary "Not Quite Hollywood", that before the 70's, the only "Australian movies" were other directors making movies about Australia, that usually depicted it as one endless Outback wilderness of desert, wild dingos and Magic Aborigine.  Which only emphasized the lack of cultural identity the country was feeling in the late 60's, before the Sydney Opera House put them on the map.

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He was and is truly my favorite director. All of the obvious suspects, of course, but I think Eureka is an overlooked masterpiece. And although he didn’t direct it, Petulia is my favorite film of all time thanks to his contribution. He really knew what to do with Julie Christie. 

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19 hours ago, rayban said:

So gifted, who could forget a Nicolas Roeg film?

In an unusual change of pace Roeg directed Elizabeth Taylor in a televised version of Sweet Bird of Youth. I think Liz was a very director-dependent actress and she performed well in a role which really suited her. His experience as a cinematographer probably helped too, since she was at an age where she benefitted from all those "tricks of the trade" known to professional photographers. 

Around the same time he directed Insignificance, a fascinating movie featuring characters based on Marilyn Monroe, Albert Einstein, Joe DiMaggio and Joe McCarthy. It appears to have fallen into some kind of void, but thankfully Criterion has kept it alive.

I agree with LawrenceA; Performance (which is still on my DVR after the recent TCM broadcast) and The Man Who Fell to Earth are also two of my favorites, not just of Roeg films but of all the films of my youth.

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