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Commentaries on this disc:
Director Nicolas Roeg and actor Jenny Agutter
Rating:8.8/10 (4 votes) [
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Reviewed by Gavin Millarrrrrrrrrr on April 7th, 2008
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Nic Roeg's 1970 classic WALKABOUT is exactly the sort of film you'd expect to find in the Criterion Collection and they do it proud, bringing together the director and star (albeit on separate tracks - both recorded in 1996).
Agutter still seems somewhat in awe of Roeg, describing him as "a magician" as well as "charming" and "affable", and this affability certainly comes across in his sections of the commentary which find him relaxed and often chuckling at the memories evoked, even the potentially dangerous situation of having his young son stand on a box near the edge of a cliff so he could get the shot he wanted!
Jenny Agutter was always the quintessential English rose, in both looks and voice, and her classy, cultured tones would be worth listening to even if she had nothing to say. Happily she has plenty to say, describing how initially she was most impressed by the fact that the project was to be backed by The Beatles' Apple Corp. Still at school at the time, she wasn't yet set on a career in film, but making WALKABOUT seems to have been a life-changing experience and helped make up her mind.
She also discusses that nude swim, and talks with evident pride about the shots she took of her own feet for a POV shot as she carries the boy on her back.
This still leaves room for Roeg to discuss how he eschews storyboards, preferring "the random nature of things" and his "bizarre attitudes towards time", while also getting philosophical on the nature of film and life in general.
On a lighter note, he recalls taking the film and the young cast to Cannes and the reaction of some there to "the savage" and how he'd behave!
The highlight though is when the divine Ms Agutter lowers her voice to a near-whisper as she points out a scene where she was wearing the wrong shoes, spoiling the continuity in a scene that couldn't be reshot, which got her into trouble at the time and is obviously something she still feels guilty about.
All in all, a very worthy addition to the Criterion canon.
Reviewed by grimjack on June 18th, 2019
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Two different commentary tracks, spliced together, but not terrible because of this. Im not sure what I would have expected commentary track-wise from a film as subconscious as this is supposed to be, but it still is only sort-of interesting, unfortunately. It is worth listening to, but you will not learn a lot about the films meaning from it. More like a lot of good stories that happened while they were filming it.
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