Nicolas Roeg, a distinctive voice in world cinema best known for directing “Don’t Look Now” and “The Man Who Fell to Earth,” has died at age 90. The filmmaker’s son, Nicolas Roeg Jr., confirmed the news with a brief note: “He was a genuine dad. He just had his 90th birthday in August.” No cause of death has been announced.
Released in 1973, “Don’t Look Now” stands as one of the most acclaimed horror films ever made — as well as one of the most controversial. Julie Christie and Donald Sutherland play a married couple mourning the death of their son in Roeg’s adaptation of the short story by Daphne du Maurier, and a graphic sex scene involving the two stars proved scandalous for years after the film’s release.
Roeg’s genre-spanning career, which began in 1970 with the Mick Jagger–starring “Performance,” also included “Walkabout,” “Bad Timing,” “Insignificance,” and “The Witches,” among others; prior to becoming a director, he worked as a cinematographer on such films as “The Masque of the Read Death,” “Doctor Zhivago,” and “Fahrenheit 451.” His final feature was 2007’s “Puffball.”
Born August 15, 1928 in London, Roeg was married three times and had six children. He was made a Commander of the British Empire in 2011. Tributes are already pouring in:
Farewell to the extraordinary cinematic talent, director Nicolas Roeg. His films hypnotized me for years and still continue to intrigue. Along with classics like Performance & Walkabout, I could watch Don’t Look Now on a loop & never tire of its intricacies. A master of the art. pic.twitter.com/fXB7GPwOL9
— edgarwright (@edgarwright) November 24, 2018
47 years later, when you ask people for the hottest sex scene in movies and the scariest moment in movies, Don’t Look Now will still make both lists. And then there’s the unique sad beauty of The Man Who Fell To Earth. If he’d done nothing else…RIP Nicolas Roeg.
— Mark Harris (@MarkHarrisNYC) November 24, 2018
Nic Roeg’s willingness to experiment with the associative power of images was unmatched, even among the vanguard of ‘70s directors. His best films kept beckoning you back like some elusive, beautiful puzzle. R.I.P.
— Scott Tobias (@scott_tobias) November 24, 2018
Nic Roeg was my first favorite director. PERFORMANCE changed my life. Rest In Peace. 🥀
— Robert Greene (@prewarcinema) November 24, 2018
A master with a preternatural understanding of the power of editing. And I second the notion that his full contributions tend to be understated. https://t.co/RhCvPvkVsr
— Keith Phipps (@kphipps3000) November 24, 2018