Bad Timing

There's a lot about Nicholas Roeg's 1980 psychological thriller Bad Timing that is just bad: Art Garfunkel's staring turn, Harvey Keitel's inconsistent accent, the fact that the film spends 122 minutes suggesting that having sex with an unconscious (and dying) woman isn't rape, etc.

Still the story format itself is interesting -- even if, as one reviewer suggests, there would barely be a story if it were actually told chronologically -- the ambiguity of the nature of the flashbacks is mostly interesting, and Theresa Russell is brilliant, even if she spends most of the film convulsing.

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Donovan Hill often joins us for discussions on the works of Akira Kurosawa because he has a long history with the films, having had them thrust upon him by his obsessive father from a very young age. Dr. Hill passed away recently and Donovan joins us in an episode dedicated in his father's memory, and dedicated to a discussion of the rose-tinted view of Japan's national memory. Kagemusha (1980) is one of the few Kurosawa period films that could be accurately described as historical fiction, not just being set in his normal nebulous samurai period, but specifically being about real people and real battles drawn from history, even if certain elements make it about as historically accurate as Inglorious Basterds.

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Ronald Neame, who we last saw with The Horse’s Mouth just a few months ago, directs Hopscotch from 1980, a film co-written by Brian Garfield from his own novel, which is only interesting to point out in that Garfield also wrote the novel Death Wish. This movie is not Death Wish related, but isn’t that neat?

Instead what we get is Walter Matthau being old, even older than I first insist, but wasn't he always old? Answer: yes. Now he's dead, which is the oldest you can get. Fortunately he made Hopscotch before then, because it's amazing and I love it and want to watch it again now just thinking about it.