Set in off-season Venice, British director Nicolas Roeg’s tragedy Don’t Look Now combines an acute study of grief with a supernaturally charged thriller plot, to beautiful and devastating effect. On a cold, bright autumn day in Suffolk, England, a little girl in a red mackintosh drowns in a pond – the daughter of John (Donald Sutherland) and Laura Baxter (Julie Christie). Trying to recover from the tragedy, the couple arrive in Venice, Italy, where John has been commissioned to restore a church. In the eerie atmosphere of the lagoon city in winter, they encounter two strange sisters. Laura is suddenly released from her grief when one of them, a blind psychic, tells her that she is in contact with her dead daughter. Angered and skeptical, John carries on with his work, but witnesses an unsettling vision of his own: a little girl in a red mackintosh disappearing into the Venetian alleys.
As a wave of killings haunts the city, Laura returns to England to visit their son after an accident at his school. But the premonitions don’t stop: John suffers a near-fatal accident high on the church scaffolding, and then he glimpses his wife, supposedly hundreds of miles away, on a private launch flanked by the two mysterious sisters. The local police are intrigued by and even sympathetic to his story, but cannot help. As Venice and his fate closes in on John, illusion, reality and sudden terror spiral the story to its grotesque climax, as the design in director Nicolas Roeg’s mosaic becomes unforgettably clear.
Praise for Don’t Look Now has continued over the years, and the film has topped Time Out’s Best British Film Of All Time poll twice in a row. The film is also regularly ranked as one of the top horror films of the century, and cited as an influence on many leading directors for their films, including Ben Wheatley, Danny Boyle, Lynne Ramsay, Ryan Murphy and Martin McDonagh. In their tributes to Roeg in 2018, Edgar Wright referred to him as “A master of the art”, Asif Kapadia dubbed him a “Legendary inspirational director”, the BFI called him “A true great if ever there was one” and David Jenkins of Little White Lies stated he was a “British titan of cinema.” In recognition of his unique, uncompromising vision, Roeg was also awarded the BFI Fellowship and won the BAFTA Special Award for Outstanding Creative Contribution to Cinema in 2009.
Story By Daphne Du Maurier
Screenplay By Allan Scott & Chris Bryant
For the 2019 restoration of DON’T LOOK NOW, STUDIOCANAL went back to the original camera negative which was scanned at 4K resolution in 16bit and created the following: 4K DCP, UHD version and a new HD version which were produced with the same high technological standards as today’s biggest international film releases. The restoration and new UHD version was colour graded and approved in London at Silversalt by the BAFTA Award-winning cinematographer, Anthony B Richmond. Richmond said of the restoration: “It was very exciting to come over to London to Color Correct the restoration of DON’T LOOK NOW. The important thing for me was to make it look like the original print. I think with the help of Silver Salt Restoration and colorist Steve Bearman we have succeeded in doing that. For me personally it’s incredible that having shot it in 1973 it’s being released in the cinema again in Dolby Vision. DON’T LOOK NOW is as strong and haunting now as it was when it was first released”