126 Track 29

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MichaelB
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126 Track 29

#1 Post by MichaelB » Thu Mar 07, 2019 6:14 am

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TRACK 29
(Nicolas Roeg, 1988)
Release date: 27 May 2019
Limited Blu-ray Edition (World Blu-ray premiere)


The explosive combination of director Nicolas Roeg (Performance, Don’t Look Now, The Man Who Fell to Earth) and writer Dennis Potter (Pennies from Heaven, The Singing Detective) created one of British cinema’s most unique and disquieting works – the hugely underrated Track 29.

Freely adapted from Potter’s BBC TV play Schmoedipus, this unsettling film stars Theresa Russell (Bad Timing, Black Widow) as an unhappy, possibly unstable, housewife who welcomes a young man (Gary Oldman – Prick Up Your Ears, Darkest Hour) into her home when he claims to be her long-lost son...

Ambitious, ambiguous and surreal, Track 29 is a kinky psychological send-up of American mores – a view from the dis-united states of consciousness. The glorious supporting cast includes Christopher Lloyd (Back to the Future), Sandra Bernhard (The King of Comedy) and Colleen Camp (The Swinging Cheerleaders).

INDICATOR LIMITED EDITION BLU-RAY SPECIAL FEATURES:
• High Definition remaster
• Original stereo audio
The BFI Interview with Nicolas Roeg (1994): archival audio recording of the celebrated filmmaker in conversation at London’s National Film Theatre
• Audio commentary with filmmaker and historian Jim Hemphill
• Interview with actor Colleen Camp (2019)
• Interview with editor Tony Lawson (2019): Roeg’s long-time collaborator talks about Track 29 and his work with the late, great filmmaker
• Original theatrical trailer
• Image gallery: on-set and promotional photography
• New and improved English subtitles for the deaf and hard-of-hearing
• Limited edition exclusive booklet with a new essay by critic and broadcaster Danny Leigh, Dennis Potter and Theresa Russell on Track 29, an overview of contemporary critical responses, and film credits
• World premiere on Blu-ray
• Limited Edition of 3,000 copies
• All extras subject to change

#PHILTD126
BBFC cert: 18
REGION B
EAN: 5037899071823

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colinr0380
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Re: 126 Track 29

#2 Post by colinr0380 » Thu Mar 14, 2019 6:30 am

While I am not entirely sure that this film works, I am looking forward to finally getting the chance to retire my 23 year old VHS tape with a recorded from television copy of the film! It also struck me that whilst Theresa Russell of course had been appearing in major roles in Roeg's films for almost a decade by this point, this might actually be the first time where the character that she is playing is the one with a central control over the structure of the film from beginning to end (in Bad Timing the focus is more on Garfunkle's character, which is arguably what causes Milena the most distress of all, in being projected upon. And whilst her Actress is the main figure of the central section of Insignificance in that film the flashback-reminiscences are split between four major characters). The film following this, Cold Heaven from 1991, is the other one where Russell takes on that central role for the entire film, with everything else being support for her character.
SpoilerShow
You could argue Gary Oldman's character controls things more in Track 29 as the active intruder into the dull, failing marriage but of course to say why his character is more subordinate than Russell's would mean spoiling the twist!
I know that I have been rather lukewarm on the film as a whole but it is certainly worth watching and there is at least one magnificent sequence that has stuck in my mind, in which a neighbour pops round for an afternoon chat and gossip, presumably about the affairs that their respective spouses are having (anticipating Desperate Housewives!), but gets much more insight than she was bargaining for as Russell's character launches into the central, explanatory traumatic flashback to her teenage carnival experience and events following on from it. Just the neighbour's reaction shot as we come out of the reminiscence and her somewhat flustered quick exit from the scene whilst Russell is still sitting there somewhat in a daze is very amusing!

(Also whilst the Dennis Potter aspect is a bit strange out of a British context, the film's allusions to Cape Fear are much more interesting)
Last edited by colinr0380 on Sat Sep 12, 2020 7:48 am, edited 2 times in total.

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MichaelB
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Re: 126 Track 29

#3 Post by MichaelB » Fri Apr 12, 2019 5:18 am

Full and final specs:

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MichaelB
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Re: 126 Track 29

#4 Post by MichaelB » Wed Apr 24, 2019 12:36 pm


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Re: 126 Track 29

#5 Post by MichaelB » Mon May 13, 2019 8:58 am


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Re: 126 Track 29

#6 Post by MichaelB » Sat May 18, 2019 4:33 pm


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DeprongMori
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Re: 126 Track 29

#7 Post by DeprongMori » Sun Jul 14, 2019 4:53 pm

Quick question on the NFT interview:

During the audience Q&A, someone asked about a film that didn’t happen. Roeg replies that Cannon studio collapsed during this period, that “Paul” later adapted the screenplay into a novel, and that he still hoped to make the film in the future. However, I could never quite hear what the film was, or which “Paul” he was referring to. (Mayersberg, maybe?) Could anyone shed some light?

I thought it might have been the rumored adaptation of J.G. Ballard’s “High Rise” that Roeg worked on with Mayersberg, but that doesn’t make sense of the statement that it was later turned into a novel.

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John Cope
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Re: 126 Track 29

#8 Post by John Cope » Sun Jul 14, 2019 5:05 pm

It's Chicago Loop, supposed to star Spader and Russell and based on Paul Theroux's excellent novel (or at least I had thought so--this is the first I have heard about it being a screenplay first). I have long bemoaned the loss of this one.

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Re: 126 Track 29

#9 Post by DeprongMori » Sun Jul 14, 2019 5:25 pm

Thank you, John Cope. I was completely unaware of that project (and am unfamiliar with that Theroux novel.) Ah, the films that might have been!

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MichaelB
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Re: 126 Track 29

#10 Post by MichaelB » Sun Jul 14, 2019 5:57 pm

It's interesting that Ryan Gilbey had the same dilemma that I had:
I still think of Roeg as one of cinema’s great cerebral and emotional forces, yet I didn’t vote for any of his films in my own contribution to the poll: were there too many other contenders, or had he just become too familiar to me, so much a part of myself that I had failed even to notice him any more? A bit of the former but more of the latter, I think.
I too couldn't pick a single Roeg for Sight & Sound's 2012 international critics' poll, even though I badly wanted to - Roeg's 1968-83 output (which I initially discovered on television in the early 1980s, and then on the big screen from Eureka onwards) is unquestionably one of the fundamental things that shaped the way that I look at the world.

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Adam X
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Re: 126 Track 29

#11 Post by Adam X » Sun Jul 14, 2019 6:23 pm

Was it just 10 films you had to narrow it down to? I could understand the dilemma if that were the case. I think I’d find it nigh on impossible to realistically create a top 10 list of my favourite films, even given the quality of that period in Roeg’s career.

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Re: 126 Track 29

#12 Post by MichaelB » Sun Jul 14, 2019 6:23 pm

Ten films, no more, no less.

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therewillbeblus
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Re: 126 Track 29

#13 Post by therewillbeblus » Mon Apr 06, 2020 6:33 pm

I struggled with this one. There are enough eccentric perversions to keep one invested, and Russell does a great job as the central character showing a lot of range even in understated dispositions, but the projections of trauma get too ridiculous and Potter’s script’s tendencies to make surrealism boundless in scope to the point of disengagement has never been more dull.
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The “twist” of Oldman as a manifestation doesn’t work on so many levels of pragmatism, but is also ruined early on when we cut to the bartender who says Russell is talking to herself. If you’re going to go for broke, at least drag that out passed the halfway mark - or maybe stay with the subjective character so that the externalized trauma fits with the ideas?
Roeg’s flexibility is a good fit for faithfully visualizing Potter’s wildness, and I can see how appealing this concept would be to get a green light: Potter’s scattered madness and Roeg’s nonlinear stylistic flairs combining to explore the experience of trauma! I’d sign up for that, since this subject should be treated with such imagination and willingness to gravitate away from expected cinematic logic.. but unfortunately the result isn’t deserving of the salute it got on paper, and we wind up with a kind of film has been done countless times before and since, and aside from Russell getting a much deserved spotlight placement, I can’t say I cared much about anything here except for a cool John Lennon credits opener.
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Speaking of, in hindsight Oldman literally popping into the frame makes a ton of sense- or does it? I suppose we’re meant to see his narrative as Russell’s daydreams.. but what of the interaction in the diner with Colleen Camp? Why did he only pop in now, is there any indication that Russell hit a particular place where she had to conjure that part into being? Maybe I missed something... Or maybe he was half-real, or whatever.

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Re: 126 Track 29

#14 Post by MichaelB » Mon Apr 06, 2020 6:45 pm

I was actually grateful for the early revelation in your first spoiler, as I've seen too many films where that sort of thing is a supposedly shocking (but in fact utterly predictable) eleventh-hour surprise, and Roeg may well have felt similarly.

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Re: 126 Track 29

#15 Post by therewillbeblus » Mon Apr 06, 2020 7:06 pm

That’s a good way to think of it, and certainly helps some of the Russell-centric therapy later breathe, but that’s also all the less excuse for not devoting some effort to continuity of logic during the shorter length of time we are in the dark.
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I get that I’m asking for what isn’t either Roeg or Potter’s MO, but at least in the presence of another person (i.e. Camp at the diner contrasted with just Russell at the bar a few scenes later), trying to sell the idea would be helpful. I respect the abstract nature both artists enjoy working in, and I’m usually not one to ask for any semblance of “logic” but in fleshing out the significance of Oldman’s existence he seems to need at least some continuity of logic around the context in which he appears to be a powerful force. That doesn’t mean spelling it out for us but inserting himself into Russell’s world randomly and assertively until she gets a handle on this part of her (which was expertly done in I Am a Ghost) would be fine, though the minute he interacts with Camp his function becomes muddled from sporadic infections of Russell’s individualized schema to disempowering the experience of her trauma as her own by including other ‘real’ characters. Or maybe I really am missing something.

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