Death Watch

La mort en direct, French-FRG thriller, colour, 1980, dir: Bertrand Tavernier, Language: French, English, German, Subtitles: English, 130’



09.25. 19:30
French Institute

Directed by Bertrand Tavernier
Screenplay by David Rayfiel, Bertrand Tavernier, Géza von Radványi
Director of photography: Pierre William Glenn
Music by Antoine Duhamel
Cast: Romy Schneider, Harvey Keitel, Harry Dean Stanton
Genre: drama, thriller
Production: Films A2, Gaumont International, Little Bear

Tavernier’s film is based on one of the best, most baffling film concepts ever: Roddy (Harvey Keitel) is being examined in the opticians, but although it appears to be a routine procedure it is anything but that. It is a camera test. Whatever Roddy sees is relayed to a TV station. He is reporting on the final days and life of a dying woman. As the doctor gives the beautiful woman (this is the most interesting role Romy Schneider ever had) the diagnosis, the interaction is also being viewed through a two-way mirror. The woman who writes successful novels using computers is the protagonist and at the same time the victim of this fake documentary. The film raises important issues: how far can an artist go, what counts as exploitation of a person? What does the responsibility of the media mean?