Director Nicolas Roeg has passed at age 90. Hugs and condolences to all concerned. Then again he lived a long, colorful life (born in ’28) and enjoyed a good creative period as a cinematographer during the ’60s (Lawrence of Arabia, Doctor Zhivago, Petulia) as well as a flush directing streak in the early to mid ’70s. No sadness in that.
Roeg’s finest three films, of course, are Walkabout, Don’t Look Now and The Man Who Fell to Earth. And also, don’t forget, Performance, which he partly directed with Donald Cammell. I’m sorry but I was never down with the creepy Bad Timing or the twitchy Alaskan prospector flick, Eureka, which starred Gene Hackman. Nor was I into Insignificance, his light-hearted Albert Einstein movie.
I was, however, half-taken with Castaway, which I wrote the press notes for while working for Cannon publicity. My phone interview with Oliver Reed didn’t go well — I tried not to rub him the wrong way but I said something about his character being a bit of a lazy sod. Things went downhill from there on.