Nicholas Roeg's Don't Look Now Essay

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During the opening six minutes of Nicholas Roeg’s film Don’t Look Now, the viewer experiences a dynamic mixture of film techniques that form the first part of the narrative. Using metaphor and imagery, Roeg constructs a vivid and unique portrayal of his parallel storyline. The opening six minutes help set up a distinct stylistic premise. In contrast to a novel or play, the sequence in Don’t Look Now is only accessible through cinema because it allows the viewer to interact with the medium and follow along with the different camera angles. The cinematography and music also guide the viewer along, and help project the characters’ emotions onto the audience because they change frequently. The film techniques and choppy editing style used …show more content…
Usually, in mythology, crows are a symbol of death. This is an easily overlooked sound and occurs very quickly but it foreshadows what will happen to the girl.
The next scene depicts a man and a woman in a living room, presumably theirs. The woman is reading by the fireplace and the man is looking at projections. We are watching him watch something else. This puts the audience in a strange, almost powerless role, because we are subjected to the characters’ whims. He is watching the church projections and his wife. We see him and then we switch to his point of view. In one of the slides he sees a red chair. Then, we see a reflection of the girl in her red raincoat. Again, this is a projection; we are not technically witnessing reality. Roeg is manipulating the concepts of control and projection-identification in cinema – this reflection perspective would not be possible to accomplish using any other medium, whether it be a book or a play. The music stops as we see the ball in the water, followed by the boy fixing his tire, and then the father looking at the projection of the altar. It starts to “bleed” red, and there is a close-up of his face as he realizes something is wrong. The camera makes a few cuts as it follows him outside to check on his daughter. It continues to follow him into the water. There is still no music, only the boy’s voice shouting “Dad!” and the

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