‘Don’t Look Now’ di­rec­tor Ni­co­las Roeg dies at 90

The Oklahoman (Sunday) - - METRO | STATE - BY GRE­GORY KATZ As­so­ci­ated Press

Ni­co­las Roeg, a di­rec­tor of provoca­tive and oth­er­worldly films who gave Mick Jag­ger and David Bowie en­dur­ing screen roles, has died. He was 90.

The British di­rec­tor of “Don’t Look Now” and many other films died Fri­day night, his son, Ni­co­las Roeg Jr., told Bri­tain’s Press As­so­ci­a­tion.

“He was a gen­uine dad,” Roeg Jr. said Satur­day. “He just had his 90th birth­day in Au­gust.”

He didn’t pro­vide de­tails about his fa­ther’s death dur­ing a brief tele­phone call with the as­so­ci­a­tion.

Dur­ing the 1970s, Roeg sent Jenny Agut­ter and his son Luc Roeg on the Aus­tralian Out­back odyssey “Walk­a­bout;” gave Jag­ger a big-screen role in the thriller “Per­for­mance,” which was co-di­rected with Don­ald Cam­mell; and plunged Julie Chris­tie and Don­ald Suther­land into psy­cho­log­i­cal hor­ror in the Venice-set “Don’t Look Now.”

Suther­land said Roeg was “a fear­less vi­sion­ary.”

“He was a lib­er­at­ing joy to work for,” Suther­land said in a state­ment. “I fell in love with him then and will love him for­ever.”

In “The Man Who Fell to Earth,” Roeg di­rected Bowie — per­fectly cast and sub­limely strange — as an alien who crashes on Earth look­ing for a way to save his own planet.

Bowie’s son, film­maker Duncan Jones, wrote on Twit­ter: “Just heard an­other great sto­ry­teller, the inim­itable Ni­co­las Roeg left us to­day. What an in­cred­i­ble body of work he’s left us with!”

Roeg’s later films in­clude the in­tel­lec­tu­ally play­ful “In­signif­i­cance,” in which Al­bert Ein­stein matched wits with Mar­i­lyn Mon­roe. His last ma­jor film was “The Witches,” in 1990, a Roald Dahl adap­ta­tion which starred An­jel­ica Hus­ton.

The British Film In­sti­tute has named “Don’t Look Now” and “Per­for­mance” as two of the great­est films in Bri­tain’s Top 100 film poll.

The in­sti­tute paid trib­ute to Roeg in a tweet: “RIP to Ni­co­las Roeg, a pi­o­neer­ing force of cin­ema who cre­ated some of the most af­fect­ing mo­ments of beauty, ter­ror and sad­ness ever seen. A true great if ever there was one.”

Born in Lon­don in 1928, Roeg worked his way into di­rect­ing af­ter win­ning ac­claim as a cin­e­matog­ra­pher. He be­gan his ca­reer as an edit­ing ap­pren­tice in 1947 — among his du­ties was serv­ing tea.

Roeg worked on ma­jor films in­clud­ing “Lawrence of Ara­bia” and “Fahren­heit 451” be­fore he en­tered the di­rect­ing ranks in 1970.

He said he couldn’t un­der­stand how some­one could be­come a di­rec­tor with­out first work­ing in cin­e­matog­ra­phy.

Ni­co­las Roeg

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