Saturday, 3 December 2011

Un ballo in maschera

As Nicolas Roeg receives a well-deserved "Dilys Powell Award for Excellence" - the London Film Critics' Circle's highest honour - for his contribution to film-making, so we should also recognise the great man's contribution to camp in cinema.

He began his hit film-making career with a bang - several, in fact, if rumours about how realistic the sex scenes were in the film - with arch-camp performances in Performance from Mick Jagger, Edward Fox and Anita Pallenberg:

Despite its elements of Gothic horror, his classic adaptation of the Daphne DuMaurier chiller Don't Look Now is a masterpiece of cinematographic high camp. With its moody Venice settings, the bizarrely melodramatic blind psychic, and of course the wonderfully over-the-top ending replete with flashbacks and a psychotic dwarf, it is also (quite rightly) lauded as one of the best films of all time:

Mr Roeg was also responsible for bringing "Lady Stardust" himself Mr David Bowie to the big screen, quite brilliantly playing to type as a victimised alien in The Man Who Fell To Earth:

To finish this little tribute, his film for the collaborative project Aria (alongside contributions from the likes of Robert Altman, Ken Russell, Julien Temple and Derek Jarman) couldn't be more magnificently camp if it had been done by the late, great Ken himself...

Un ballo in maschera, Part 1:

Un ballo in maschera, Part 2:

Nic Roeg biography from the BFI

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