Nicolas Roeg's wonderfully tricky horror movie Don't Look Now, set amid the crumbling splendor of Venice, was made in 1973; for three decades, it has attracted an ever-expanding cult intrigued by its grown-up frights and relentless eroticism. Madstone Theaters will screen Roeg's occult thriller Friday and Saturday night at 9:30 p.m. and midnight to inaugurate the Tamarac Square art house's "Shock Therapy" series, which runs through March.
Donald Sutherland and Julie Christie star as a grief-stricken couple whose trip to Venice is haunted by visions of their little daughter, a drowning victim, darting through the shadows of the ancient city in a bright-red coat. Famous for its steamy sex scenes and violent climax, Now masterfully captures the essence of Venetian decadence. Its frequently puzzling twists and turns also recall Roeg's odd career. In the 1970s, the director gave us Walkabout, the drama of two English children stranded in the Australian outback, and in 1976 he helmed the profoundly weird The Man Who Fell to Earth, with pop star David Bowie in the role of a space alien masquerading as a business executive.
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Roeg's taste for bloody horror and psychological mind games were never better indulged than in Don't Look Now, but he had plenty of help from cinematographer Anthony Richmond and from the macabre short story by Daphne DuMaurier, from which the film was adapted. The New Yorker called the film "the fanciest, most carefully assembled enigma yet seen on the screen." At the very least, it remains a triumph of dark atmosphere. For information, call 303-752-3200.