It’s been more than a decade since the legend “A Nicolas Roeg film” last appeared on screen. Twelve long years in the wilderness for one of Britain’s greatest ever filmmakers and a personal favourite of mine. I’ve known Nic for several years and have had the pleasure of visiting him at home a number of times, sitting in his book-lined study and listening to this visionary talk and talk and talk. Believe me when I say when you speak with Nic you understand why his films are so fractured, his brain leads him on flights of conversation that are never to be repeated.
A former cinematographer, Roeg moved into directing with the remarkable Performance, co-directed with Donald Cammell, following it with a streak of films — Walkabout, Don’t Look Now, The Man Who Fell To Earth and Bad Timing — that earned him hallowed status. Since then, his output hasn’t met with as much critical acclaim , but there’s always moments in them that make them worth watching.
Puffball, adapted by Dan Weldon from his mother Fay’s novel, sees Roeg back behind the camera, and while this preposterous tale of fertility rituals and strange goings on in the Irish countryside starring Kelly Reilly, Miranda Richardson and Rita Tushingham, is, let’s be honest, something of a disappointment, it’s good to have him working again.