Don't Look Now (1973)

JANUARY 6, 2008


Yet another example of why you gotta watch movies in order... there weren’t a lot of “horror” scenes in Don’t Look Now to begin with, but they were rendered a bit boring to me due to the fact that most of them were “homaged” in Alice, Sweet Alice, which I watched a few months ago. Goddammit. If you’ll excuse me, I am going to put my entire queue in chronological order, to prevent this sort of thing from happening ever again (of course, had I watched the film at the time HMAD reader Damian recommended it, I could have avoided this issue).

Needless to say I wasn’t as freaked out by the film’s climax as many others were. In fact, the only time I was truly terrified in the film was early on, when we are continually given the sight of Sutherland’s ass and pubic region. There’s an unspoken agreement that this film breaks – that a film should never show more of a man’s bush than his female co-star’s. This film offers far more Sutherland nudity than Julie Christie, and that is just not acceptable (this law is broken to an even more upsetting degree in the upcoming Forgetting Sarah Marshall, in which we see Jason Segel’s manhood 3 times in the film and yet neither Mila Kunis or Kristen Bell offer so much as an ass shot). I guess the female audience probably appreciates such things though, so oh well.

Speaking of that scene, I had more fun reading the trivia about the film afterwards than I did watching it. For starters, that sex scene was filmed shortly after the two met for the first time, and was also the first thing to be shot. Must have been fun. Also, I was relieved to discover a sort of answer to a long puzzling problem I suffer from: an unnatural fear of Dusty Springfield’s "You Don’t Have To Say You Love Me". I don’t know why, but the song sort of creeps me out. I suspect it may have been used in a horror or thriller movie I saw as a kid that I can otherwise no longer recall. But in the wiki entry for this film, it was noted that Pino Donaggio, the film’s composer, actually composed that song as well. Since Donaggio’s music is easily the highlight of the film (assuming you've also seen Alice, Sweet Alice already), it provides a bit of closure to know that the guy who makes creepy horror movie music also wrote a normal song that creeps me out for no other reason.

Sutherland's job in the film (church restoration... guy) is the least interesting I've ever seen for a main character in a film. Even Peter in Office Space was more interesting to watch as he did his work. There's a scene of Sutherland putting a statue back, and the fact that it's off-center provides the tension for the scene. For real.

The sound on the DVD is terrible as well, leaving several lines of dialogue to my imagination. Thus, I imagine all of those lines were about the serial killer, since otherwise, the whole subplot of the killer is pretty much the most half-assed subplot in cinematic history. Seriously, they just sort of off-hand mention the killer once or twice, and then the film’s final 5 minutes rely entirely on the killer’s “significance.” It’s like a Macguffin in reverse.

Nice Venice scenery though.

What say you?

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  1. ive been calling this movie "dont look back" my whole life. im a tard.

    i love Donald Sutherland though.

  2. The ending was retarded. It made me laugh so much when you find out its a killer midget in a red jacket. I couldnt believe so many people found it scary - if anything it ruined what had been a good movie.

  3. I thought it was great, more psychological than 'scary', more 'image of the mind'. If I looked at it like a traditional horror film, my expectations would be different. I wasn't shocked so much as fascinated by how the images felt more like real life, how we sometimes see images in our minds. Also glad it tried to do more visually with such a simple plot.


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