Death Watch (12A)
Bertrand Tavernier, 129mins. Starring: Romy Schneider, Harvey Keitel, Harry Dean Stanton
French auteur Bertrand Tavernier's 1980 Glasgow-set dystopian yarn (re-released in a restored version) is one of the director's most intriguing and idiosyncratic films.
Shot in widescreen, it has an epic quality that few British movies of its period match. The film is also prophetic in its anticipation of reality TV at its most vicious and intrusive.
Tavernier's casting is eclectic, combining Harvey Keitel (in full Method mode) with German film actress Romy Schneider, a sleazy-looking Harry Dean Stanton, Ingmar Bergman favourite Max von Sydow and (in a cameo as a chauffeur) a youthful, very trim Robbie Coltrane. Schneider plays a woman told she is terminally ill and offered a small fortune for her illness and death to be shown on TV.
Keitel is the opportunist with the camera implanted in his brain who films her as she roams across Glasgow and the Highlands. Tavernier eschews typical sci-fi conventions, foregrounding character and dialogue instead. Schneider brings a sensitivity and fierceness to her role as the victim/guinea pig that reminds you of Isabelle Huppert at her best.
GlastonburyWI to make debut appearance at Somerset festival
TV reviewIt has taken seven episodes for Game of Thrones season five to hit its stride
FilmPalme d'Or goes to radical and astonishing film that turns conventional thinking about immigrants on its head
Arts & Ents blogs
- 1 Man on naked bike ride gets ejected after becoming aroused
- 2 Charles Kennedy 1959-2015: A gifted, compassionate politician whose career was cut short by the 'demon drink' - latest news
- 3 Ann Summers survey reveals the UK's favourite sex position
- 4 Jaden Smith wears gender fluid dress to high school prom with Hunger Games actress
- 5 How much sex should I be having?
The 1975 leave social-media after cryptic comic strip tweet hinting at possible break up
Britain's Got Talent 2015 final: Jules and Matisse used secret dog double for winning tightrope act
Netflix is testing out adverts
Britain's Got Talent 2015 final: Vote reveals Jules O'Dwyer beat Jamie Raven by just 2% despite using 'stunt dog double'
Britain's Got Talent final 2015: 90 viewers complain to Ofcom about Alesha Dixon and Amanda Holden's 'revealing' dresses
Migrants in Kos: Photos show real tragedy after Brits abroad complain of 'awkward' holidays
Thousands of teenage girls enduring debilitating illnesses after routine school cancer vaccination
British tourists complain that impoverished boat migrants are making holidays 'awkward' in Kos
Michael Gove determined to scrap the Human Rights Act – even if Scotland retains it
Threat to scrap Human Rights Act could see UK follow Nazi example, warns UN official
Why this year's general election was the most unfair in Britain's history