2 comments

  1. Jason, I appreciated your start in this, your less than fully engaged history with the picture. I’ve only seen it once, but that was my experience, so I’ll be a bit encouraged to try it again.

    I think a drawback for me is that I grew up in the 70’s, when so many of the techniques people now venerate, their having come between the polished Hollywood of the ’60s and before, and polished Hollywood of the 80’s and after, now seem to be rarified, encapsulated in a narrow, 10-15 year window. For me, the earlier Hollywood pictures shown on local TV were a relief from what I was mired in, and saw as pretty sloppy film and TV. It was sloppy in that Dirty Cities were kind of the rage, in cop shows, like Baretta, even comedies like Welcome Back Kotter. It was also sloppy filmmaking. There was that dubious flirtation with the zoom lens. Lens flares were all the rage, you know, real, like life. We see those all the time, looking around, don’t we? …shakey-cam, it was all the stuff some people venerate today as ‘artful’, when a lot of it is just push-button style, but unlike Hollywood’s polished push-button style, these techniques repeatedly prevent us from being able to see or engage with what’s on the screen, blurring it, shaking it, blocking it, and editing shots discontinuitously.

    Then in the 80’s, it felt like people finally learned how to use a camera and plan a shoot. I could get absorbed in a film, because I could always see it, motion felt real, not contrived, and people seem to have bathed at a more normal frequency.

    So for a lot of ’70s pictures, the cinematic uniquenesses are not a draw (people imitate them now, often with no greater skill than when they were previously merely fashionable), but something to be overcome by being earned and used unusually well, or containing interesting characters or story, both well presented. Don’t Look Now felt that way to me, muddled, styled after the approaches of the time, with many elements better than average, but overall, without enough coherence to be meaningful, nor with a particularly interesting incohesion. So it was a thing in front of me, not bad, not even dull, but also just not much.

    And now I’ll look forward to trying it again!

    Liked by 1 person

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