Wilson, Kristi. “Time, Space, and Vision: Nicolas Roeg’s Don’t Look Now.” Screen 40(3) (1999): 277-94.
Wilson is a feminist film critic (she lets the reader know from the start), so her analysis of Don’t Look Now comes from a completely different perspective than other available analyses. She argues that the film represents “failed masculinity” (294), embodied by John Baxter and his failure to prevent his death. John’s failure comes from his inability to interpret space. The first hard evidence of this that Wilson brings up is the book John has written, Fragile Geometry (Laura is reading it in the opening sequence). Wilson argues that the title of the book reflects John’s own failure at understand the “fragile geometry” of time and space. Roeg’s montage, with its questionable linearity, visually represents this “fragile geometry.” Roeg blurs the lines between the real and the unreal and the past, present, and future. Wilson refers to the effect of Roeg’s montage as “slippage,” because Roeg moves between real and unreal, for example, so fluidly, that the audience rarely picks up on it. She articulates the effect of this “slippage” on the audience, when she explains:
All that seems solid where the film is concerned, whether we are referring to Roeg’s visually unconventional presentation of the narrative, or his character’s sense of architectural/geographical control, proves to be illusory. (294)
She argues that the sequence, in which blood appears on John’s slide, “provides a literal example of physical slippage between background and foreground” (290). Wilson sees John as a synecdoche for all men, in his inability to recognize “slippage” (i.e. recognize omens and portents), because all of the women in the film are attuned to the “slippage” and recognize when the unreal world (e.g. the spirit world) enters the real world. I disagree with this assumption, because I don’t see all the women as recognizing the “slippage.” Heather does, because she has the gift of ‘second sight;’ the other women merely believe that she can see the “slippage”...