Art Garfunkel and Harvey Keitel get nasty as we wrap up October 1980
For a Halloween season, this line-up doesn't feel very scary
The home stretch! And once again, we’re doing two full weekends in one newsletter, including our first Halloween. Considering the holiday, you’d expect more horror programming this month. And sure, there are a few, but it doesn’t really feel like anyone went out of their way to try to own the season. It’s very different now.
Remember when Paul Simon was in that movie earlier in the month? The one that was all about him? In case you think Art Garfunkel was just sitting at home, looking at ads for that and feeling bad… it seems that he also happened to be busy on a film set at pretty much the exact same time. And the result? Verrrrrrrrrrry different, indeed.
Bad Timing: A Sensual Obsession
Art Garfunkel, Theresa Russell, Harvey Keitel, Denholm Elliott, Daniel Massey, Dana Gillespie, William Hootkins, Eugene Lipinski, George Roubicek, Stefan Gryff, Sevilla Delofski, Rob Walker, Gertan Klauber, Ania Marson, Lex van Delden, Rudolf Bissegger, Hans Christian, Ellan Fartt, Frits Goblirsch, Nino LaRocca, Roman Scheidl
cinematography by Anthony Richmond
music by Richard Hartley
screenplay by Yale Udoff
produced by Jeremy Thomas
directed by Nicolas Roeg|
2 hrs 3 mins
A police detective tries to discern if a woman’s near-death was an attempt at suicide or murder while her former lover remembers their turbulent affair.
I wrote a number of drafts of that synopsis, and I think that’s an accurate description of the events of Bad Timing. It doesn’t really hint at how happily fucked up the whole thing is, though, although “directed by Nicolas Roeg” might give you some clue of what to expect, as might that X rating.
It is amazing that it took until 2005 for anyone to release this on home video in the US, and impressive that it was Criterion who finally took the plunge. While I can’t really claim to love this chilly, ugly, mean little film, I do respect it, and I think Criterion made the right call. Their label has always had the twin purpose of preserving some undeniable giant classics in the best possible format and throwing a spotlight on under-seen and deeply deserving work. There are better Nicolas Roeg films, and I own both Don’t Look Now and Walkabout as Criterion releases, too, but this is a perfect fit for what they do. It needed to be reclaimed, if only so we can look at it in the context of Roeg’s work.