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Book review: ‘The World is Ever Changing’ by Nicolas Roeg

Posted at 6:15 pm, September 8, 2013 in Arts & Entertainment, Technology
The World is Ever Changing Nicolas Roeg

Books written by film directors are usually autobiographical. The best of this quirky genre, ­Frank Capra’s ‘The Name Above the Title’, Ingmar Bergman’s ‘The Magic Lantern’, David Lynch’s ‘Catching the Big Fish’, and Michael Powell’s ‘A Life In Movies’ are as brilliant, entertaining and illuminating as the movies made by these directors. But good or bad, they all have one inevitable frustrating handicap: they are essentially literary and cannot integrate filmed material when taking about scenes, performances or movies.

Conceived, fashioned and designed by the legendary British film director Nicolas Roeg (‘Don’t Look Now’, ‘Performance’, ‘The Man Who Fell To Earth’) as an e-book, ‘The World Is Ever Changing’ is a masterly exposition of his ideas, his working methods and his artistic relationships. Into this new format he has digitally integrated self-analytical, intimate to camera explanations, carefully-edited film sequences from several of his masterpieces and a superb witty short film.

As you might expect from a man whose movies are characterised by extraordinarily diverse and often playful ideas, the written material running parallel to the videos is full of theories about time, art and the human condition. Although Roeg avoids a chronological description of his long career, every chapter heading heralds essays containing stories, experiences and anecdotes about his collaborators which illuminate specific arenas of moviemaking never before so cogently analysed. Film autobiographies have moved on. In Roeg’s own immortal final word: ‘Onwards!’ Don Boyd

Find out more at faber.co.uk.

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