Bad timing (1980)

“Bad Timing”  (1980)



inside out

Roeg has a troubled mind. Or at least is fond of entering troubled minds. His biggest quality is something i value a lot in a filmmaker: he paints his canvas, but he also designates where we seat to look at it. He builds the atmosphere and makes us a spaceship to enter it. That’s our feeling. But than there’s something more interesting he does. We think we are comfortable as the designated watchers of what he depicts, but what he does, mostly through camera work and editing (which is great in this film) is trying to push us into the game, and going through the same risks and trouble of the characters in the film. That will to place the viewer at the center of what matters is commonly tried these days, but i think Roeg was a visionary in his days, and that includes this film.

We have a psychoanalyst, which is a shortcut for saying he is someone who works relations inside out. He is obsessed, has retroactive jealousy, and the film is the evolution of how he fights himself to make a convenient story that allows him to be with the woman, something he eventually fails to do. We know how the thing ends from the beginning, so the film uses the form of allowing us to know the ending point and than driving as in flashback to that point. The editing is frantic and somehow psychedelic, something Roeg might have learned in his London 60′ experience. And the intention was precisely to make our visual mind work like the troubled mind of Garfunkel’s character.

An extra significant point, something Ted Goranson really likes to notice, and which i’m starting to fall for is the empathy Roeg has with the actress, Theresa Russell, which would lead to marriage. You really can understand that. Her character is not the center of the story, it’s all about Garfunkel, but we miss that unless we think about that. Garfunkel’s character was at this point a representative of Roeg’s urges for this beautiful woman.

The film that best portrays this relation, and simultaneously is Roeg’s best, to me, is Insignificance. This Bad Timing is one of his most celebrated, but it has minor power compared to the other one. It’s a good experience, but i suggest you use it as an introduction to the other.

My opinion: 3/5

This comment on IMDb


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