Cover image for Nicolas Roeg, film by film
Nicolas Roeg, film by film
Salwolke, Scott.
Personal Author:
Publication Information:
Jefferson, N.C. : McFarland & Co., [1993]

Physical Description:
ix, 222 pages : illustrations ; 24 cm
Format :


Call Number
Material Type
Home Location
Item Holds
PN1998.3.R635 S26 1993 Adult Non-Fiction Central Closed Stacks

On Order



Nicolas Roeg has directed some of the most original films of the past twenty years, yet his work has remained relatively unknown. Combining the styles of such famous British directors as Hitchcock, Reed and Lester with innovations from the French New Wave, his work is artfully distinctive.Despite their initial lack of commercial appeal and pans by critics for their inaccessibility, many of Roeg's films have gained a large audience over time. Performance and Bad Timing have become cult films; Walkabout is a mainstay on college campuses and even among church groups. Why? Film by film, details of Roeg's dozen features are examined in an effort to better understand the man and his movies.

Reviews 1

Choice Review

Roeg's work is problematic: is he a self-indulgent obscurantist or an underappreciated pioneer of cinematic complexity? Salwolke espouses the latter view but lacks the tools to convince us. Instead of a systematic effort to make sense of Roeg's themes and techniques, he opts for plot synopses, pausing now and again to belabor obvious meanings and parallels. Treating a filmmaker whom he himself labels "inaccessible" by merely recounting the labyrinthine plots does nothing to illuminate the films' meanings: it simply substitutes inelegant verbiage for Roeg's elegant and compelling visuals. Salwolke seems to know nothing of current film theory, nor has he attempted to master the theories of Jung, the most obvious influence on Roeg's thinking. There are feeble attempts to discuss technique, but not much can be expected from a writer who both misspells and misunderstands the term "mise-en-sc`ene" or who mistakes Anne Bancroft for Anne Baxter. Even his transcription of lines from the films is suspect: from Performance, "At the death, who's left holding the baby?", is given as "Let the death who's holding the baby." In short, if there is a case to be made for Roeg as a significant filmmaker, this dreadful book fails to make it. W. A. Vincent; Michigan State University