Wednesday, 14 April 2010

Don’t Look Now (Nicholas Roeg, 1973)

Don't Look Now 1973 poster

Cast: Julie Christie, Donald Sutherland, Hilary Mason, Clelia Matania

Summary: John and Laura Baxter are living in Venice grieving the recent death of their little daughter when they meet a pair of elderly sisters, one of whom claims to be psychic brings a warning from beyond.

Genre: Horror, Thriller

Beware there are spoilers!!

I watched this film as part of my film studies exam on British Horror films back in sixth form.

We used this film to learn about narrative theories and the theory we applied to this film was Todorov’s theory of Equilibrium, Disruption, Resolution and New Equilibrium.
This theory says that the narrative starts off as being balanced and normal before a problem occurs that creates an enigma; which when resolved rebalances the narrative and returns it back to normal, however this new balance differs from the old.

The stages of the narrative theory within Don’t Look Now are shown as:

Equilibrium: The equilibrium within Don’t Look Now is shown in the first few scenes where we see the family happy and relaxed, with parents John (Donald Sutherland)and Laura (Julie Christie) working and reading while their two children play outside.

Disruption: The disruption within Don’t Look Now is when we see John inspecting slides of stained glass windows. As he studying the pictures he accidentally spills a drink on the slide resulting in parts of the picture running red. Feeling that something is wrong John then races toward the children by the pond only to find that his daughter Christine had drowned.

Resolution: The resolution of the film comes when John sees a little girl with blonde hair in a red coat running through the streets of Venice, a girl who he associates with his daughter because of her blond hair and the read coat she was wearing when she died.

New Equilibrium: Finally the fourth and final stage in this narrative comes when John dies and pervious shots that have been shown to us now make sense as the audience can now make sense of the things that John saw.

My Rating: 5/10
Perfect For: Thriller Lovers
One Final Word: Okay

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