NICOLAS ROEG: IT’S ABOUT TIME…
Sog.: Nicolas Roeg. F., M.: Alex Jones. Int.: Dilly Barlow (narratore), Nicolas Roeg, Donald Sutherland, Julie Christie, Jenny Agutter, Luc Roeg,, Ben Wheatley, Danny Boyle, Mike Figgis, Bernard Rose (se stessi). Prod.: Anthony Wall per BBC Arena. DCP. Bn e Col.
Those filmmakers whose work we call memorable are often the ones we inadvertently forget. That’s the price they pay for originality. Their innovations are absorbed and, before you know it, no one can remember where they came from in the first place. Nicolas Roeg, as good an example as any of a director whose genius is taken for granted, would have no truck with this line of thought; he is impatient with any talk of influence, creative longevity or changing trends. […] One look at his greatest work – Performance, Walkabout, Don’t Look Now, The Man Who Fell to Earth, Bad Timing, Eureka, Insignificance – shows that time is irrelevant when you’re timeless. Given his reluctance to glance in the rear-view mirror, it is a small miraclethat he was tempted to take part in Nicolas Roeg: It’s About Time.
The film seems to have been occasioned by the publication in 2013 of The World is Ever Changing, a memoir of sorts that is every bit as reflective, fragmented and unorthodox as one would expect of something associated with Roeg. […]
The list of interviewees is small but top-notch and includes Julie Christie, so animated in her enthusiasm that the camera can scarcely keep up with her, as well as Roeg’s ex-wife and most frequent on-screen collaborator, Theresa Russell, who notes sadly the possible thematic through-line in his work (“You’re alone”). Those who were – whisper it – influenced or shaped by exposure to Roeg’s films are also here to describe his effect on them: Danny Boyle, Ben Wheatley, Mike Figgis and Bernard Rose each give good obeisance. There is the usual disquisition on the way Roeg explores and represents time on screen, all traced with delightful poignancy to his early days as an editor. His work as a cinematographer (including Dr Zhivago and Fahrenheit 451) is also put in its proper context.
It is Roeg himself who is most bewitching, even when you aren’t entirely sure where his train of thought is taking him. He gets there in the end, by a more circuitous and revealing route than most of us would have chosen or had access to. Particularly enchanting is an anecdote he tells involving Stephen Hawking, which links back to Insignificance, about an imagined meeting between Marilyn Monroe and Albert Einstein.
Ryan Gilbey, “NewStatesman”, 24 giugno 2015