Bad Timing (1980) torrent download

Bad Timing

1980

Action / Drama / Mystery / Thriller

7

Synopsis

The setting is Vienna. A young American woman is brought to a hospital after overdosing on pills, apparently in a suicide attempt. A police detective suspects foul play on the part of her lover, an American psychology professor. As doctors try to save her life, the detective interrogates the professor, and through flashbacks we see the events leading up to the woman's overdose; her stormy and intensely sexual relationship with the professor, her heavy drinking and numerous affairs, and her estrangement from her Czech husband. A darkly erotic study of several rather unsympathetic characters.

Director

Nicolas Roeg

Cast

Art Garfunkel
as Alex Linden
Theresa Russell
as Milena Flaherty
Harvey Keitel
as Inspector Netusil
Denholm Elliott
as Stefan Vognic
Daniel Massey
as Foppish Man
Dana Gillespie
as Amy Miller
William Hootkins
as Col. Taylor

Movie Reviews

Reviewed by Nazi_Fighter_David 7 /10

Nicolas Roeg delves into erotic obsession in this film, with surprising results

His movie rates high in production value and acting and has an innovative approach to an old story…

The film is basically a character study… Alex (Art Garfunkel) is a depressingly dark and shadowy American psychoanalyst living in Vienna… Theresa Russell plays Milena, a resonant, carefree American girl… They meet by chance at a party and are thrown into a roller-coaster ride of an erotic relationship… He wants to smash her free spirit because he can't understand it, but she won't let him… The result is a near-fatal break-up…

Roeg comes close to the story from the middle (obeying Jean-Luc Godard's authoritative saying, a film "must have a beginning, a middle and an end, but not necessarily in that order." We quickly move to the different parts of Alex and Milena's relationship, moving through time as if it were Jell-O. The editing is intricate, but not confusing… As we change location back and forth, we begin to see more clearly how these two unlikely lovers ever got together…

The motion picture is filled with exceptional images, and Theresa Russell is outstanding

Reviewed by arturobandini 10 /10

Roeg's forgotten masterwork

When BAD TIMING: A SENSUAL OBSESSION emerged in 1980, its distributor dropped it like a hot potato. Sex! Surgery! Semen stains! Strippers rolling around on meshy overwire! It was all too much for the Rank Organization, a fading production empire with a long history of releasing family classics like GREAT EXPECTATIONS. (Curiously, Rank did sponsor a 'Win a trip to Vienna, location of BAD TIMING!' publicity contest at early bookings). The only reason they financed the picture, allegedly, was for its Freudian-tinged pedigree. When they saw the finished product, they labeled it 'a film about sick people, made by sick people, for sick people.'

Deviant psychology is but one of the many twisted pleasures in this tragically neglected masterpiece from '70s visionary Nicolas Roeg. With iconoclastic films like WALKABOUT, DON'T LOOK NOW and MAN WHO FELL TO EARTH, Roeg pioneered a new kind of film language. He replaced traditional narrative storytelling with stunning photography, explicit carnality and a signature editing style of jump cuts, cross cuts and subliminal flicker cuts Mixmastered into a mosaic of multiple interpretations. (Unlike today's A.D.D.-inducing overkill, Roeg's fragmentary cutting technique always provided insight into character psychology.) To those of us weaned on art cinema in the '70s and energized by the limitless possibilities of the medium, Nicolas Roeg was (and remains) a god. No filmmaker since has picked up the maverick torch that this deity carried for more than a decade.

Trying to encapsulate BAD TIMING's nuanced, character-driven plot is like describing Europe in a postcard. Essentially, it's about an eroticized interpersonal attraction that goes horribly awry, spiraling into jealousy, paranoia and (of course) sexual obsession. Theresa Russell's wild child Milena (the personification of Henry James' headstrong American girl abroad) is compulsively drawn to a fellow Yank stationed in Austria -- the buttoned-down, Freudian shrink/visiting prof Dr. Linden. Their passionate affair has led to a potentially tragic outcome, and it's up to a local police inspector (Harvey Keitel) to sort out what went wrong, why, and whether criminal malice was involved.

What makes this relationship drama so compelling is Roeg's structure: the film starts in the middle, jumps ahead to the end, then back to the prologue within the first four minutes – and continues in a non-linear fashion until the final shot. It takes us viewers a while to get our bearing, but it also elicits our rapt attention to detail. Never are we certain if the cascading flashbacks are meant to be objective on the filmmaker's part, or the skewed perspective of one of the three main characters. Is Russell a victim, or a tramp? Is Garfunkel a creep, or is that just Keitel's projection? Is Keitel a sympathetic doppelganger, or a crafty manipulator? The stars turn in complex, though off-center performances. Keitel turns miscasting to his advantage; never has he underplayed 'menacing' like he does here. Garfunkel's lack of charisma will turn many viewers off, but he's 100% believable as a shrewd, unstable shrink. Yet it's Russell who's the revelation – those who subscribe to the lazy theory that she can't act will be astonished here. What she may lack in formal technique, she compensates with fearless commitment. Hers may be the most passionate performance by a 21-year old ever captured on film.

Tony Richmond's widescreen photography is particularly rich in color and composition (the film's look was based on the art of Gustav Klimt). He shows us a Vienna that's cold, academic, clinical – but electric whenever Russell's on screen. There's a sequence in a university courtyard where he changes lenses, practically from shot to shot, to convey Russell's emotional collapse. (In the background, Keith Jarrett's 'Köln Concert' mourns her sad dilemma.) It's a heartbreaking passage, poetically surpassed only by the connecting shot of Garfunkel brooding through a polarized car windshield at daybreak. Frequently Richmond balances the stars' close-ups on the very edge of the screen, which is why the film's power is neutered on cable TV, where 2/3 of the image is lopped off. In that pan-and-scan atrocity, the screen is forever hovering on backgrounds and earlobes.

The real tragedy is that BAD TIMING has never been released on any home video format, and I fear it may never happen. It was made at a time when music licenses weren't automatically cleared for home viewing. Considering the eclectic soundtrack incorporates Jarrett, Tom Waits, The Who, Billie Holiday, Harry Partch and others, the idea of renegotiating deals at this point would be any lawyer's nightmare. Even worse, Roeg himself believes the few prints that Rank struck are probably lost or damaged beyond repair, and one fears for the state of the negative. My overlong, effusive review here is a direct plea for a rescue operation. Is any entrepreneurial DVD-releasing outfit willing to salvage this forgotten treasure from obscurity and give it the best letterboxed release possible? Once people are able to see this film as it was intended – for the first time in 24 years or more – I believe its reputation will grow immeasurably. There is simply no other film like it, and, based on current popular trends, nor will there ever be.

Reviewed by philip_vanderveken 8 /10

Art Garfunkel surprised me in this one

When this movie was shown on television a couple of days ago, I had never heard of it before, but given the fact that it has received less than 600 votes until now, even though it is already from 1980, means that I'm not the only one who didn't know of its existence. Apparently some things went wrong with the distribution and the dark content of the movie was probably not what they were used to see at that time either. Does that mean that it is a bad movie? Far from it, the story for instance is multi-layered, interesting and quite impressive.

It all starts with a young American woman who is brought to a hospital in Vienna after a suicide attempt by overdosing on pills. But the police detective that investigates the case suspects that there is more going on than what her lover, an American psychology professor, wants to admit. As the doctors do everything possible to save the woman's life, the professor is thoroughly interrogated by the detective. Through a series of flashbacks, we see how the relationship between the two started and evolved and what that had to do with the suicide attempt. Everything will be shown: their passionate sexual relationship, her drinking problem, the numerous affairs that both have, her hidden marriage...

As I already said, this is a multi-layered story. For me, that makes this movie only more interesting, but I have the feeling that not that many people can cope with it, as today we are only used to see straight and easy stories which don't demand too much of our brains. This movie combines all kinds of aspects like espionage during the Cold War, romance, thriller, drama,... but always feels like one solid film. That only proves the skills of the director and the screenwriter of course. It was the first time that I saw a movie from the hand of director Nicolas Roeg and Yale Udoff is a complete stranger to me as well. But together they made the entire story work.

The fact that this is such a solid movie also has a lot to do with the good acting. Not that I expected anything else from people like Harvey Keitel and Theresa Russell, but Art Garfunkel certainly surprised me. Normally I don't like all those singers / would-be actors who only appear in movies to get the movie a larger audience (not that it worked this time) and not because they know anything about acting. But when their performance is OK, I'll be the first one to admit it as well and so I say here that Art Garfunkel was really very good in this movie.

Overall this is a very good movie with an interesting story and some very fine acting. It's too bad that it isn't better known, because it certainly deserves to be seen by a much larger audience. I give this movie at least a 7.5/10, maybe even an 8/10.

Read more IMDb reviews