Posted On March 12, 2017
“Dont look now” 1973 Roeg.
Comment on Julie Christies performance in “dont look now”, concentrating on particular scenes.
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If Julie Cristie was trying to put across the character of a kind, genuine british mother in the seventies when she was playing Laura Baxter, then she truly succeeded. The actress had to play the mother in 3 different long-term moods throughout the film. The start of the film is normal, “Equilibrium” if i am referring to Todorov terms. She is living like she would prefer, quietly with her husband and two children.
Most women would not see or experience the instant reaction coming from the view of your own drowned child, Julie manages to execute it hauntingly when she sees her husband holding her dead young daughter dripping with stream water and reeds. She presents her sheer shock with a loud dramatic scream accompanied by a menacing look of terror. One way i think that she is such a powerful actress is her way of appearing so elegant at times, but sometimes distressing and emotional. A powerful image presented with a powerful performance.
5 minutes into the film she is having lunch in a restaurant in venice where she is living with her husband. She is acquainted with a psychic old woman, who informs her of her dead daughter. Mrs Baxter is relieved and happy with the knowledge that she is happy in rest. This lightens her spirits and gives her peace of mind. You can instantly understand her relief with her sudden smile.
Julie christie had to play the part now of a curious mother, who also would like to take it a step further by asking to communicate with her late daughter. She made the balance of being polite with warming humble smiles and welcoming body language, but adamant about contacting her daughter pristine. Her character also pursued her husband in the same way, still trying not to piss him off.
One sequence in the film that i find very distressing is the last ending sequence. At this point you have just witnessed the bloody murder of Laura Baxters beloved husband. Another one of her loved ones tragically taken from her, within a finger tips grasp. The body language of Laura, is of a common, affective style. standing looking into nothing, in a state of overwhelming grief. The bland facial expression, though is sounds boring is indeed powerful. The look of being so sad, you cant even cry.
I believe you can still make a good performance if the character is relatively similar to yourself, or something you can relate to because at the end of the day you are a character to the majority of the audience. and your ability to affect the way people feel is the same. Laura baxter is a character that julie christie would be familiar with because she may have been a very polite welcoming 70s woman. If not she definitely would have been familiar with one.