London-born Nicolas Roeg served in the military as a projectionist, and entered the movie industry immediately after World War II as a gofer and apprentice editor. He joined MGM’s British studios in 1950, and eventually became a cinematographer in 1959, working on a multitude of films of all types, from second unit work on Lawrence of Arabia (1962) to primary photography on the rock & roll exploitation films Just for Fun (1963), Every Day’s a Holiday (1965), and The System (1966). He moved into the director’s chair with Performance (1970), which he co-directed with Donald Cammell, and made a major impression with the low-keyed, eerily compelling drama Walkabout (1971). By the mid-‘70s, Roeg was one of England’s most respected filmmakers, responsible for the unsettling thriller Don’t Look Now (1973), and the sci-fi drama The Man Who Fell to Earth (1976). With the possible exception Insignificance (1985) and the compellingly obscure Track 29 (1988) Roeg’s output throughout the 1980s… read more
He's been dead artistically as long as I've been alive - he died in 1985 after completing Insignificance. A sad career, you can argue. He debuted too late and burned out too early. But Walkabout, Don't Look Now, The Man Who Fell To Earth, Bad Timing, Eureka and Insignificance are important works that should be studied and scrutinized by all future and present cinematographers and editors. Roeg had a better understanding of what a camera can do and, in particular, what an editing table can do, than most of the filmmakers that has come and gone in this 117 year old art form. +And you can't talk about Roeg without mentioning Theresa Russell, his muse and wife. Theresa Russell has never been a great actress in the traditional sense of the word. But she had a great look and at her best she was magnetic (like in Straight Time) and in the films she did with Roeg. And, man, Roeg filmed her with such lust! You can tell, watching their films, that he was crazy about her. If Godard's love for Anna Karina permeated Vivre Sa Vie - then Roeg's LUST for Russell permeated Eureka, Insignificance and especially Bad Timing.
Right there, sitting directly behind the masterful Kubrick, sits this man. This genius filmmaker who knew how to photograph ugly so that it was beautiful and edit so that our emotions are both toyed with and prayed upon. A very sensual filmmaker in every way, and undervalued at that. "Don't Look Now" may be his masterpiece (and rightfully seen that way), but the fact still remains that films like "Bad Timing", "The Man Who Fell to Earth", "Performance", and "The Witches" are all on a very close level. This man. Second best.
i re-invent this director. first i watched the bad timing(1980) and art garfunkel's performance was unbelievable...then suddenly realized that the director loves to collaborate with rock stars...in "the man who fell to earth"(1976) with david bowie and in "performance"(1970) with mick jagger... i love the directing but i think the editing of his movies much more effective than his cinematography.