Insignificance (1985) - News Poster


"Nicolas Roeg was the greatest director I ever worked with," says producer Jeremy Thomas

Thomas also suggested the UK film establishment undervalued Roeg in his lifetime.

Award-winning UK producer Jeremy Thomas has paid heartfelt tribute to Nicolas Roeg, with whom he collaborated on films including Insignificance, Bad Timing and Eureka.

Roeg died aged 90 on Saturday (November 26).

“I will miss him forever. I had a 10-year lesson from him about everything,” said Thomas, speaking from Rome this weekend. “He was one of the greatest, if not the greatest, director I worked with and he left a legacy of magnificent films.”

As well as his directorial credits Thomas cited Roeg’s work as a cinematographer on
See full article at ScreenDaily »

Nicolas Roeg, Director of ‘Don’t Look Now’ and ‘Walkabout,’ Dies at 90

  • Indiewire
Nicolas Roeg, Director of ‘Don’t Look Now’ and ‘Walkabout,’ Dies at 90
Nicolas Roeg, a distinctive voice in world cinema best known for directing “Don’t Look Now” and “The Man Who Fell to Earth,” has died at age 90. The filmmaker’s son, Nicolas Roeg Jr., confirmed the news with a brief note: “He was a genuine dad. He just had his 90th birthday in August.” No cause of death has been announced.

Released in 1973, “Don’t Look Now” stands as one of the most acclaimed horror films ever made — as well as one of the most controversial. Julie Christie and Donald Sutherland play a married couple mourning the death of their son in Roeg’s adaptation of the short story by Daphne du Maurier, and a graphic sex scene involving the two stars proved scandalous for years after the film’s release.

Roeg’s genre-spanning career, which began in 1970 with the Mick Jagger–starring “Performance,” also included “Walkabout,” “Bad Timing,” “Insignificance,
See full article at Indiewire »

Nicolas Roeg, Director of ‘The Man Who Fell to Earth,’ ‘The Witches,’ Dies at 90

  • Variety
Nicolas Roeg, Director of ‘The Man Who Fell to Earth,’ ‘The Witches,’ Dies at 90
Director and noted cinematographer Nicolas Roeg, whose offbeat films included “Performance,” “Don’t Look Now,” “The Witches” and “The Man Who Fell to Earth,” has died. He was 90.

His son Nicolas Roeg Jr. told the BBC his father died Friday night.

A daring and influential craftsman, Roeg’s idiosyncratic films influenced filmmakers including Danny Boyle and Steven Soderbergh.

He worked his way up from the bottom of the business and by the 1960s was much in demand as a cinematographer, responsible for the lensing of films including “Petulia,” “Far From the Madding Crowd” and “Fahrenheit 451.”

The controversial, oddly compelling Mick Jagger-starring “Performance,” which Roeg co-directed with Donald Cammell, was almost not released and then was recut by Warner Bros.; execs at the studio found it incomprehensible as a gangster thriller. It was eventually recut, released in 1970 to modest business and decades later received widespread acclaim as a classic of British cinema.
See full article at Variety »

New to Streaming: ‘A Ghost Story,’ ‘Carol,’ ‘The Death of Louis Xiv,’ and More

With a seemingly endless amount of streaming options — not only the titles at our disposal, but services themselves — we’ve taken it upon ourselves to highlight the titles that have recently hit platforms. Every week, one will be able to see the cream of the crop (or perhaps some simply interesting picks) of streaming titles (new and old) across platforms such as Netflix, iTunes, Amazon, and more (note: U.S. only). Check out our rundown for this week’s selections below.

Carol (Todd Haynes)

From the first note of Carter Burwell‘s magnificent score and opening shot of Edward Lachman’s ravishing cinematography — introducing a Brief Encounter-esque opening bookend — Todd Haynes transports one to an intoxicating world of first love and its requisite heartbreak. Carol excels at being many things: a romantic drama; a coming-of-age story; an exploration of family dynamics and social constructs of the time; an acting
See full article at The Film Stage »

Brother Can You Spare a Dime

It’s 1930s America as seen in the movies, through music, and the evasions of newsreels. Franklin Delano Roosevelt preaches prosperity while James Cagney slugs out the decade as a smart-tongued everyman — in a dozen different roles. Director Philippe Mora investigates what was then a new kind of revisionist info-tainment formula: applying old film footage to new purposes.

Brother Can You Spare a Dime


The Sprocket Vault

1975 / B&W / 1:33 flat full frame / 106 min. / Street Date ?, 2017 / available through The Sprocket Vault / 14.99 (also available in Blu-ray)

Film Editor: Jeremy Thomas

Research by Michael Barlow, Jennifer E. Ryan, Susan Winslow

Produced by Sanford Lieberson, David Puttnam

Directed by Philippe Mora

Years before he was briefly sidetracked into sequels for The Howling, Philippe Mora was an accomplished artist and documentary filmmaker. Backed by producers Sanford Lieberson and David Puttnam, his 1974 documentary Swastika pulled a controversial switch on the usual historical fare about
See full article at Trailers from Hell »


Nicolas Roeg's bizarre blend of high drama, searing sex and over-the-top brutality waited a year, only to be given a tiny American release. It then dropped out of sight. We're now in a better position to appreciate the show's great actors - especially Theresa Russell, the boldest and bravest actress of the 1980s. Eureka Blu-ray Twilight Time Limited Edition Small>1983 / Color / 1:85 widescreen / 130 min. / Ship Date May 10, 2016 / available through Twilight Time Movies / 29.95 Starring Gene Hackman, Theresa Russell, Rutger Hauer, Jane Lapotaire, Mickey Rourke, Ed Lauter, Joe Pesci, Helena Kallianiotes, Corin Redgrave, Joe Spinell, Frank Pesce, Timothy Scott. Cinematography Alex Thomson Production Designer Michael Seymour Film Editor Tony Lawson Original Music Stanley Myers Written by Paul Mayersberg from a book by Marshall Houts Produced by Jeremy Thomas Directed by Nicolas Roeg

Reviewed by Glenn Erickson

I remember Nicolas Roeg's Eureka as being one of the biggest busts of the 1980s.
See full article at Trailers from Hell »

'Steve Jobs' and Why Movies Can't Capture Genius

'Steve Jobs' and Why Movies Can't Capture Genius
Early in Steve Jobs, the Aaron Sorkin-scripted, Danny Boyle-directed biopic about the mercurial Apple co-founder, the hero does something so right yet so peculiar that you understand why a cult sprung up around him. It's 1984, a few weeks after the legendary SuperBowl commercial heralding the arrival of the Apple Macintosh. The official public unveiling is minutes away. The crowd, which has been kept waiting as its creator dithers and tinkers backstage, has begun muttering and stomping its feet. Jobs is a serenely confident pill of a man, micromanaging everything,
See full article at Rolling Stone »

Blu-ray Release: The Buddy Holly Story

Blu-ray Release Date: Aug. 12, 2014

Price: Blu-ray $29.95

Studio: Twilight Time

Gary Busey stars in The Buddy Holly Story.

A relatively normal Gary Busey (Insignificance) stars in the 1978 music-filled bio-pic The Buddy Holly Story, making its Blu-ray debut from Twilight Time.

Directed by Steve Rash, the movie sketches the tale of the rock-and-roll legend Buddy Holly (Busey), a Texas boy whose musical imagination changed the face of popular music. Busey and his on-screen bandmates (Charles Martin Smith, Don Stroud) played and sang Holly’s landmark songs (including “That’ll Be the Day,” “Maybe Baby,” “Peggy Sue,” and “Not Fade Away”) live for the film, which won an Academy Award for Joe Renzetti for Best Musical Score Adaptation.

As supplier Twilight Time prints up only 3,000 copies of each title, the time to order your Blu-ray discs directly from distributor Screen Archives is Now!
See full article at Disc Dish »

Director and Actress Duos: The Best, Overlooked, and Underrated

Riffing on Terek Puckett’s terrific list of director/actor collaborations, I wanted to look at some of those equally impressive leading ladies who served as muses for their directors. I strived to look for collaborations that may not have been as obviously canonical, but whose effects on cinema were no less compelling. Categorizing a film’s lead is potentially tricky, but one of the criteria I always use is Anthony Hopkins’s performance in Silence of the Lambs, a film in which he is considered a lead but appears only briefly; his character is an integral part of the story.

The criteria for this article is as follows: The director & actor team must have worked together at least 3 times with the actor in a major role in each feature film, resulting in a minimum of 2 must-see films.

One of the primary trends for the frequency of collaboration is the
See full article at SoundOnSight »

Watch: See Viola Davis, Uma Thurman, Elizabeth Banks & More Read Marilyn Monroe's Unpublished Diaries in Exclusive Trailer for 'Love, Marilyn' (Video)

  • Indiewire
Watch: See Viola Davis, Uma Thurman, Elizabeth Banks & More Read Marilyn Monroe's Unpublished Diaries in Exclusive Trailer for 'Love, Marilyn' (Video)
Relying heavily on newly-unearthed personal writings and rare archival footage, Liz Garbus' "Love, Marilyn" constructs a nuanced mosaic of the mysterious inner life of the famous actress by enlisting an array of modern stars (including Marisa Tomei, Glenn Close, Viola Davis, Elizbabeth Banks and Lindsay Lohan) for dramatic readings from Monroe's unpublished diaries. The film opens November 30 in New York at Film Forum, and will be released on HBO in 2013. Indiewire has the exclusive trailer for the documentary. In his rave review out of Telluride, where the film world premiered last Fall, Eric Kohn wrote: "Attempts to explore Monroe's off-screen persona in narrative form, including last year's 'My Week With Marilyn' and Nicolas Roeg's 'Insignificance,'tend to embellish on the actress' personality by nature of their interpretative format. 'Love, Marilyn' achieves greater clarity by letting the actress lead the way....
See full article at Indiewire »

Interview: Theresa Russell of Track 29

Disc Dish recently spoke with actress Theresa Russell on the eve of the release of Track 29, (DVD $14.98, Image Entertainment, available on Feb. 21, 2012), the 1988 comedy-drama in which she stars alongside Gary Oldman (Tinker Tailor Soldier Spy), Christopher Lloyd (Piranha) and Sandra Bernhard (Dinner Rush).

Written by Dennis Potter and directed by Ms. Russell’s then-husband Nicolas Roeg (The Man Who Fell To Earth), Track 29 is an eccentric fantasy-reality juggler if ever there was one. In it, she portrays Linda, a bored housewife who becomes captivated by the handsome young hitchhiker Martin (Oldman), who suddenly “drops” into her life. After Martin claims that he’s the child that she gave up for adoption after a teen pregnancy, Linda must deal with a series of increasingly bizarre events, which may or may not be transpiring solely in her own lonely head.

Not a great film but far from a forgettable one,
See full article at Disc Dish »

The Best Blu-ray Discs of 2011

Best Contemporary Titles

Winner: "The Tree of Life"

Runner-up: "Black Swan"

Love it or hate it, Terrence Malick's "The Tree of Life" is visually the most luscious film of the year and Blu-ray transfer recreates this in perfect detail. No digital artifacts or enhancements are done here, there is a bit of grain but that's expected with the photography on offer, while the IMAX 65mm sequences are true visual wonders.

Coming in second is my favourite film of last year, Darren Aronofsky's psychological thriller "Black Swan". Here is a challenge of a different sort, a film shot on both 16mm film and off the shelf Dslr video cameras. The result is a deliberately soft and grainy handheld-style image which lends a realistic documentary feel to proceedings and could look terrible if the Blu-ray transfer was handled poorly. Full kudos to Fox for a high quality presentation lacking in
See full article at Dark Horizons »

Notebook Soundtrack Mix #2: "Sleep Little Lush"

  • MUBI
Above: Image from Maurice Binder's title sequence for Diamonds Are Forever (1971).

Sleep Little Lush

This follow-up to the previous soundtrack mix, Hyper Sleep, is very much the same animal: a chance gathering of mesmerizing music tracks, carefully arranged to focus on the interstitial character of film music—its ability to distill into hallucinatory moments, the most sensual or emotional qualities of a film’s nature, and amplify these sensations to increase their temporal impact. With this idea of music as intoxicant in mind, the passing this year of John Barry was a loss of one of the great “perfumers” of film composing (for more on music as perfume, see Daniel Kasman’s “Herrmann’s Perfume”). The beautiful themes that Barry scored for the world of 007 that open this collection set the spell for a kaleidoscopic (largely) 60s and 70s sample of some of the best film music written by Ennio Morricone,
See full article at MUBI »

Criterion Files #566: Nicolas Roeg Deconstructs Stardom in ‘Insignificance’

The 1980s proved to be an interesting and difficult time for auteurs of the 1960s and 1970s. Directors like Copolla, Scorsese, De Palma, Altman, etc. offered works that were far from their classics of the previous decade, but many of these films have aged well and proven to be compelling entries within the respective ouvres of these directors precisely because they aren’t part of their canon. While British director Nicolas Roeg did not play a central part in New Hollywood in the same way as the directors I listed, his 1970s work was certainly part and parcel of this brief countercultural revolution in narrative storytelling. I see Roeg as something of a British equivalent to Hal Ashby: someone who made brilliant entry after brilliant entry throughout a single decade, only to fade out of the spotlight once the 1980s began. But unlike the late Ashby, Roeg has continued making films during these years, and
See full article at FilmSchoolRejects »

Blu-ray, DVD Release: Boeing Boeing

Blu-ray & DVD Release Date: Feb. 14, 2012

Price: DVD $24.95, Blu-ray $29.95

Studio: Olive Films

Christiane Schmidtmer has a layover with Jerry Lewis (l.) and Tony Curtis in Boeing Boeing.

The 1965 bedroom farce film Boeing Boeing, starring Jerry Lewis (The Nutty Professor) and Tony Curtis (Insignificance), is actually based on the 1960 French play of the same name by Marc Camoletti. (The play was revived in London’s West End and on Broadway a few years back to much success.)

The comedy movie follows the lives of two American journalists in Paris, Bernard Lawrence (Curtis) and his friend Robert Reed (Lewis). Bernard, the ultimate bachelor, is juggling romances with three stewardesses who just happen to have different schedules and nationalities. Robert, meanwhile, is scheming to take over for his buddy after Bernard’s job relocates him to another country. Lots of zany situations, close calls and bedroom door-slamming inevitably follows.

Directed by John Rich (Roustabout
See full article at Disc Dish »

DVD Release: Track 29

DVD Release Date: Feb. 21, 2012

Price: DVD $14.98

Studio: Image

Theresa Russell and Gary Oldman embark on a different kind of train ride in Track 29.

Gary Oldman (Sid & Nancy), Theresa Russell (Insignificance) and Christopher Lloyd (Piranha) star in the eccentric 1988 drama film Track 29, directed by Nicolas Roeg (Don’t Look Now) , Russell’s then-husband.

Unhappy with her barren marriage to her model train-loving surgeon husband (Lloyd), restless suburban housewife Linda Henry (Russell) craves something to awaken her lonely existence.

She soon becomes captivated with Martin (Oldman), a hitchhiker who drops in on Linda claiming to be the child she gave up for adoption after a teenage pregnancy. They spend time together trying to forge a bond, but bizarre events and behaviors make Linda wonder about this oddity who has shown up at her doorstep.

Executive produced by George Harrison and written by Dennis Potter (Pennies From Heaven, The Singing Detective), this DVD is the U.
See full article at Disc Dish »

Lesser Roeg but hardly a Criterion Bluray release of Insignificance

Three things encouraged me to get ahold of Criterion about this release. It's directed by Nicolas Roeg (Performance [1970], Walkabout [1971], Don't Look Now [1973], The Man Who Fell To Earth [1976]). It stars Tony Curtis and Gary Busey. It's based on a play by Terry Johnston that posits the collision in a hotel room between individuals who remain unnamed but are dead ringers for Marilyn Monroe, Sen Joseph McCarthy, Joe Dimaggio, and Albert Einstein. How was it? The resultant energy is largely satirical. Insignificance finds plenty to laugh, about as it looks at the nature of celebrity  and the cold war. But it also seems unformed, failing to tell a story that measures up to either subject or the larger than life characters that...
See full article at Screen Anarchy »

3 'Must Buy' Criterion Blu-rays: Clouzot's 'Diabolique,' Kurosawa's 'High and Low' and 'The Battle of Algiers'

Time is an annoying thing, it ticks away, aging us all and leaving behind things we meant to do, but never got around to. This is a statement that can be related to just about anything in our short lives, but in this case it happens to be my opening for a large batch of Criterion Collection Blu-rays I, shamefully, never got around to fully reviewing after mentioning them in my weekly DVD and Blu-ray columns. For some of you that is enough, for others you would like more, this is my attempt to clean off the shelves and start anew.

Let's get started...


Thanks to my trip to the Cannes Film Festival I got so backed up with my Criterion reviews I was never able to recover, so I'm heading as far back as May 17, when Criterion issued brand new DVD and Blu-ray editions of Henri-Georges Clouzot's Diabolique,
See full article at Rope Of Silicon »

Blu-Ray Review: Criterion Releases ‘Insignificance,’ ‘The Makioka Sisters’

Chicago – The Criterion Collection is one of the greatest gifts to pure cinema buffs ever perpetuated. Founded in 1984, their mission is to sell “important classic and contemporary films,” and they do just that with there latest Blu-ray releases, Nicolas Roeg’s “Insignificance” and Kon Ichikawa’s “The Makioka Sisters.”

It is an interesting pair of films indeed, made within two years of each other. Ichikawa was near the end of a long and fruitful career, the Sisters film represented a late career comeback. Roeg was on his sixth film with his outsider status intact, Insignificance has the happenstance of catching a couple of movie stars near their influential end (Tony Curtis, Will Sampson), and a couple near the beginning (Gary Busey, Theresa Russell).

Insignificance” (1985)

As brilliant a metaphor as ever been made about American celebrity obsession, Insignificance capped an amazing period for director Nicolas Roeg that began with “Walkabout” (1971). Framed
See full article at »

Raffaello Matarazzo, "People on Sunday" and More DVDs

"It's easy to enjoy Raffaello Matarazzo's melodramas for the campy excess of their acting and story lines," blogs Dave Kehr, "but it's more productive to take them seriously, I think — to see how cleanly and elegantly Matarazzo presents this bezerko material, with a visual style that reminded Jacques Lourcelles of Lang, Dreyer and Mizoguchi, and how perfectly engineered his narratives are, with every outlandish episode incorporated into a serene, symmetrical structure. The new Matarazzo box set (my New York Times review is here) from Criterion's budget Eclipse line contains four of Matarazzo's seven films with the towering star couple Amedeo Nazzari and Yvonne Sanson (literally — Matarazzo's mise-en-scene somehow makes them seem larger, both physically and emotionally, than any of the other characters on the screen), all subtitled in English for the first time: Chains (1949) [image above], Tormento (1950), Nobody's Children (1952) and The White Angel (1955)."

"Though immensely popular, the films were dismissed by
See full article at MUBI »
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