SassyFlix | Death Watch

Death Watch


Roddy has a camera implanted in his brain. He is then hired by a television Producer to film a documentary of terminally ill Katherine, without her knowledge. His footage will then be run on the popular television series, "Death Watch".


Prescient dark film - how long 'til we're watching "Deathwatch"?

This movie foretold the downside of the "reality TV" craze twenty years before it happened. Wonderful brooding cinematography around greater Glasgow at its most depressed. This is definitely a film which deserves to be in greater circulation and better known than it currently is. Romy Schneider's last film, ironically enough, and an excellent very real performance in a fairly artsy 70s vein. I should note I saw this in Glasgow some years ago, and it was the European cut, not what sounds to be a bowdlerized American version which misses some of the point.

sci-fi without the hardware

Science fiction films in recent years have been noticeably lacking both credible science and original fiction, but this multi-national production is a startling exception, presenting a complex tale of emotional manipulation that engages the imagination without the crutch of special effects. The intriguing plot, set in a recognizable near future where medical advances have completely eliminated the threat of natural death, follows a young volunteer (Harvey Keitel) who after having experimental micro-cameras implanted into his eyes agrees to follow a woman known to have a rare, incurable disease, in order to record on video her final days for the entertainment of a desensitized and nostalgic TV audience. Despite the morbid premise (anticipating by two decades the current glut of tacky, ersatz 'reality TV' programming) it's a surprisingly life-affirming movie, maintaining a mood of cautious optimism even while prophesying dark days just around the corner.

One of Tavernier's best films.

A great film, and quite scary, specially for Tavernier's view over the media (television here, but just replace that word, and nothing will be different), in a not so far future. Sad, because was Romy Schneider's last film. She, and Harvey Keitel, are in the leading roles, under Tavernier's direction the two in top form. In a way, this was ahead of other future "prophecy films", sure one of the best.