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  1. #21
    Administrator Country: Wales Steve Crook's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by will.15 View Post
    I think it is pretty bizarre he directed a Defenders episode. By that time the show had been on for years and the janitor probably could have directed it and no one could have told the difference. Despite being a critically acclaimed show that had a goon run, it hardly aired in reruns. I just caught the ending of one when I was a kid. Just before the jury rendered the verdict of an accused murderer, the familiar character actor whispered in E.G. Marshall's ear, "Whatever the verdict is, I want you to know I did it." The jury found him not guilty. You never would see that on Perry Mason.

    I found the Defenders epsode, Judgment Day, and the director was also British, David Greene.
    I don't know that anyone's found Powell's episodes of The Defenders or of The Nurses. I've never seen them. But the 3 episodes of Espionage that he directed have all been found and have been released on DVD.

    Steve

  2. #22
    Senior Member Country: United States will.15's Avatar
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    The Defenders episodes, all of them, exist, but they haven't been commercially released and probably never will be.

  3. #23
    Senior Member Country: Great Britain
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    Quote Originally Posted by m35541 View Post
    We screened Bad Timing at my University film society (and also Eureka) mainly because ithe Roeg fan on the panel convinced the rest of us we would be seeing something very risque. Most of us students were bored by it and couldn't see what the fuss was about - Art Garfunkel seemed to have Marlon Brando's ability in Last Tango of engaging in sex without even undoing the flies of his trousers. The audience just jeered at the ridiculously staged scene where he has sex (well at least i think that's what he is doing but the act is not physically possible) with a prone Teresa Russell.
    I don't understand why people go on about so-called "zipless sex". Do we really need to see the bloke unzip his trousers before we'll believe that he has unzipped them? Do we need to see every character open a door before they enter a room?
    I assume you're referring to the scene on the stairs (Garfunkel is naked in some of the other sex scenes). Sure it looks uncomfortable but it's supposed to be aggressive "do it now" sex like the first sex scene in Last Tango In Paris. Care to explain why it's "not physically possible"?
    Also if the students just wanted something "risque" why didn't they just watch a porn film instead of Bad Timing which has a hell of a lot more going on in it than sex.

  4. #24
    Senior Member Country: Great Britain
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    If anyone here does like Roeg (anyone?) there's an interesting article in today's Guardian here:-

    Nicolas Roeg: 'I don't want to be ahead of my time' | Film | The Guardian

    It's the first I've heard about his "installations".

  5. #25
    Senior Member Country: UK DB7's Avatar
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    Some directors simply lose their focus and become erratic, if you look at Peter Collinson in the space of five years he churned out a social film like Up The Junction, offbeat films like Penthouse and Long Days Dying and straighforward fare like The Italian Job and Fright. Then it all unravelled as he began accepting unoriginal projects and filming wherever. Tho he died early I doubt he would have every recaptured the early promise.

  6. #26
    Senior Member Country: United States theuofc's Avatar
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    Ryan Gilbey calls Nicholas Roeg, the "heir to Powell and Pressburger"

    Nicolas Roeg: 'I don't want to be ahead of my time'

    Once audiences make sense of his work, Nicolas Roeg has usually moved on. As the film world rushes to canonise him, he tells Ryan Gilbey about the curse of bad timing










    • Nicolas Roeg and David Bowie on the set of The Man Who Fell to Earth in 1975. Photograph: Duffy/Hulton Archive

      The mid-morning sun is creeping into the cluttered study of Nicolas Roeg's London home, not far from the bohemian hideout where a gangster and a pop star merged identities in his 1968 debut, Performance. Roeg, who is 82, is enthusing in his skittish way about the viewing habits of his teenage stepdaughter. "She lies on the sofa watching television and texting at the same time," he says, marvelling. "She'll look up at the screen and say, 'Yeah, it's quite good.' Fantastic! And she's taking it all in. That's the medium: six plots, all at the same time. You see a film now that's critically acclaimed and well-made but you think, 'Where are we going?' Youth is so exciting. It'll take over. I don't want to be swept away. I want to be with the taking-over people, right to the end."


      We are only halfway through our allotted hour together but already I have set aside my notebook, bidding farewell to the subjects I naively thought we might cover. Make no mistake: no one steers Nicolas Roeg. A conversation with him is a dot-to-dot puzzle in verbal form, with the interviewer left to fathom the far-flung connections between disjointed words and phrases. In the course of our meeting, he ranges over the Rockefellers, Anne Boleyn, the silent-movie era, Wild Strawberries and in-flight entertainment, among other things. But as with the higgledy-piggledy structures of his films � including Walkabout (1971), Don't Look Now (1973), Bad Timing (1980) and Eureka (1983) � there is every likelihood that an internal logic persists, even if it's not immediately accessible to the conscious mind.


      These would seem to be happy days for Roeg. His workrate may have decelerated (his most recent picture, the Irish voodoo horror Puffball, was made four years ago) but his stock is higher than ever. A retrospective is underway at the BFI in London, stretching back to his early work as a cinematographer, which includes credits as varied as the Roger Corman-directed The Masque of the Red Death and Fran�ois Truffaut's Fahrenheit 451. A recent poll by Time Out magazine to find the best British films of all time settled on Roeg's psychological horror Don't Look Now as the winner, with three more of his movies in the top 100 (alongside Lawrence of Arabia, on which he shot second unit). His influence is everywhere. Among those who have taken their cue from his complex editing patterns and narrative conundrums are Todd Haynes, Steven Soderbergh, Wong Kar-Wai and Charlie Kaufman. Christopher Nolan has said Memento would have been "pretty unthinkable" without Roeg, and drew on the explosive ending of Roeg's 1985 film Insignificance when making Inception.


      Not that Roeg gives a hoot about any of this. "I don't think about it," he says, sniffily. "We're all influenced by everything unless we're locked in an empty room." Retrospectives are neither here nor there, since he doesn't watch his old movies; awards merely leave him bemused. "How can you judge one film against another?" he asks, shaking his head. Shockingly, he has never had to clear much shelf-space for prizes, but when he received an honorary Bafta in 2009, he looked distinctly nonplussed, telling the audience: "I'm not dead yet."


      This is the bind in which Roeg now finds himself. On one hand, the industry is keen to honour the work that has made him British cinema's fiercest imaginative force, as well as the heir to Powell and Pressburger. On the other, that sort of treatment is usually a way of encouraging a director to hang up his megaphone. Whether or not you think Roeg's later work can hold a candle to the blistering first decade of his directing career, there is no shortage of unruly energy left in him. Puffball was not widely liked ("It got mauled," Roeg admits), though no one could have made it but him. The problem has always been that it takes everyone else an age to cotton on to his innovative experiments. Performance was shelved for two years by twitchy distributors; the same equivocation sealed the commercial failure of Bad Timing and Eureka. Having any kind of theatrical distributor, even a negligent one, had become a longed-for luxury by the time he made his eerie, overlooked 1990 thriller Cold Heaven.


      "Well, one of my films was called Bad Timing, after all," he says. "Eureka was very bad timing. The early 1980s: Reagan and Thatcher were in, greed was good, and here was a film about the richest man in the world who still couldn't be happy. Politically and sociologically, it was out of step."


      Around the same time, Roeg was driving near LA when a vehicle came up behind him, the driver blasting the horn. "I stopped in the lay-by, and it turned out to be a producer I knew. He said, 'I saw The Man Who Fell to Earth last night. I always thought it was a piece of shit. And I suddenly got it � it's you, isn't it? That Newton fella [the homesick alien entrepreneur played by David Bowie]. He's you! Well, I just wanted to say I was wrong. And it takes a lot for me to say that.' That was seven years after the film was released." He chortles at the memory. "Of course, The Man Who Fell to Earth was bad timing, too. Came out around the same time as the George Lucas one."


      It's enough to make a fellow feel he was ahead of his time, I say. Roeg's disapproval is instantaneous. "I hate that expression," he says, coming over sulky. "I don't want to be ahead of my time. This is my time. It's Marmite, isn't it? You like it or you don't."


      He drifts on to the subject of Last Year at Marienbad, which must have been vital in his development, what with its wealth of spatial and temporal ambiguities. "I saw it when it came out. I thought: 'This is fantastic!' In the lobby, people were saying, 'What was that about?' The same people 18 months later would see nothing unusual in it. Same thing now, you see? I'm not out of time. They're out of time. Even the word 'film' is obsolete. 'Grandpa, why is it called film?' 'Well, there were strips of transparent celluloid through which light was shone � ' 'OK Grandpa, we gotta go � ' The retention of the image � All the subtleties in a poem, all the things you put in the rhythm of words, can be destroyed in one look."


      We seem to have arrived circuitously at the core of Roeg's film-making: the supremacy of the image over the word, the eloquence of juxtaposition, the primal power of montage. His films have never been linear or literary. "Life isn't linear," he says. "It's sideways." For all that his work penetrates the mysteries of human communication � and it's my belief that Bad Timing is fit to be mentioned in the same breath as Bergman's Scenes from a Marriage � words come a distant third to the image and the edit. "Words have the tiniest importance. Half of what we say we don't mean. I love that American expression: 'Sure, I hear you. But what are you saying?'" He was first gripped as a child by the power of the image. "Going to the cinema was a treat. I was always a bit arty-farty as a boy. That's what my sister called me. 'Come on, Mr Arty-Farty.' I was hypnotised by it. And I believed it all. I sound like a complete ignoramus but I knew nothing about acting."


      He can still lose himself just as easily in what he's watching. "One moment of truth in a film can be seen instantly. 'Two men fought for the love of one woman across a wild frontier.' Yes � but why?" I ask if it isn't difficult, given his clearly insatiable passion for cinema, to be out of the game for such long periods. He squints at me, not quite comprehending, so I point out that his last cinema film before Puffball had been Two Deaths, back in 1996.


      "I've done a lot of work!" he protests. "What difference does it make whether it's cinema? So old-fashioned. Hopefully I've got another two, three, four films left in me. But I won't be sitting here like a frozen Norwegian dog turd. With a 'Go' it takes you 18 months, two years, to get a film made. I'm doing installation pieces and I don't even want to be credited." Why not? "I rather like the idea of anonymity." So people won't know they're by you? "No." Then we won't � "... be able to criticise!" he interrupts, laughing. They're just going to appear unheralded? He goes quiet. "I've said too much now. I should never have told you."


      Wait, I say, I'm confused. And he gives what might be the perfect Nicolas Roeg response to my bewilderment: "Good."


      The Nicolas Roeg season is at London's BFI Southbank until 30 March. Roeg will be appearing at the Borderlines film festival, Hereford, on 5 April.


      Nicolas Roeg: 'I don't want to be ahead of my time' | Film | The Guardian


  7. #27
    Senior Member Country: UK Moor Larkin's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by DB7 View Post
    Some directors simply lose their focus and become erratic, if you look at Peter Collinson in the space of five years he churned out a social film like Up The Junction, offbeat films like Penthouse and Long Days Dying and straighforward fare like The Italian Job and Fright. Then it all unravelled as he began accepting unoriginal projects and filming wherever. Tho he died early I doubt he would have every recaptured the early promise.
    There's been one or two debates about Auteurism in here. Presumably Visionary is just another way to express Auteur Theory. Directors who just take the technical approach to their work and will film whatever they are given to film, would presumably just get better and better, like a wood-carver, as they practise their craft.

    But if there is no such thing as an Auteur, how can anyone be a Visionary, in this regard ?



    One arguable mistake Roeg may have been making was his idea that he was such a great Direkhtor that he could make pop stars into equally great Ackhtors - Jagger, Bowie, Garfunkel..............

    My memory of the British version of Man who fell to Earth was that it was full of brilliant moments but that Rip Torn was the stand-out performer whilst Candy Clark's elderly make-up was atrocious, and Bowie only seemed to get into his actors stride in the final scene, when he did the man in the hat schtick.

    My memory of Bad Timing, which I also went to see at the time, was that Art Garfunkel was like a rabbit in headlights. Theresa Russell has infested my mind ever since however.....
    Last edited by Moor Larkin; 12-03-11 at 11:05 PM. Reason: moor rabbit

  8. #28
    Administrator Country: Wales Steve Crook's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Moor Larkin View Post
    There's been one or two debates about Auteurism in here. Presumably Visionary is just another way to express Auteur Theory. Directors who just take the technical approach to their work and will film whatever they are given to film, would presumably just get better and better, like a wood-carver, as they practise their craft.

    But if there is no such thing as an Auteur, how can anyone be a Visionary, in this regard ?
    I don't think they are the same. A visionary is just someone with a vision. That's quite different from what Auteur Theory claims of directors

    Steve

  9. #29
    Senior Member Country: United States will.15's Avatar
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    A visionary filmmaker would be an auteur, wouldn't he? Although an auteur might not be a visonary.

  10. #30
    Administrator Country: Wales Steve Crook's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by will.15 View Post
    A visionary filmmaker would be an auteur, wouldn't he? Although an auteur might not be a visonary.
    Why would a visionary be an auteur? How do you define an auteur?
    (Most people seem to have a different definition of an auteur which is one reason why it's such a silly concept)

    Steve

  11. #31
    Senior Member Country: United States will.15's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Steve Crook View Post
    I don't know that anyone's found Powell's episodes of The Defenders or of The Nurses. I've never seen them. But the 3 episodes of Espionage that he directed have all been found and have been released on DVD.

    Steve
    There is an internet seller selling the complete Defenders series, so presumably would have the Powell episode, but it is a lot of money.

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