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Search for those involved in Glasgow-shot 1980 film Death Watch

Bertrand Tavernier's reality TV film gets Glasgow Film Festival and nationwide screening

Search for those involved in Glasgow-shot 1980 film Death Watch

Glasgow Film Festival are appealing for anyone who worked on Bertrand Tavernier's film Death Watch in 1979 to get in touch before it is screened in February.

Death Watch was filmed in Glasgow in 1979 and will be shown in cinemas nationwide this spring by Glasgow-based distributor Park Circus. The film has recently been restored and Glasgow Film Festival would like to hear from anyone who worked on the film and may want to attend the screening in Glasgow on Sunday 26 February.

Sci-fi drama Death Watch (or La Mort En Direct) stars Harvey Keitel as television journalist Roddy, who must film Katherine Mortenhoe (Romy Schneider), a terminally ill woman who programs computers to write romantic fiction, without her knowledge for a reality TV programme called 'Death Watch'. In this futuristic world, doctors have eradicated death, so the revelation that the character has a rare terminal disease is of huge interest to the public.

Roddy's eyes are surgically modified to become cameras so that he can secretly film Katherine for the show, but as their relationship blossoms he begins to feel guilty, as the climax of the movie leads to a shocking revelation.

French director Bertrand Tavernier filmed the entire film in and around Glasgow, and it features an early screen roles from Harry Dean Stanton, Robbie Coltrane and an early credit for producer Iain Smith (Local Hero, Children of Men). Tavernier supposedly chose Glasgow because he thought it represented the city of the future, and the film features city landmarks such as Glasgow Cathedral and The Necropolis, the City Chambers and Glasgow University.

The film is based on the novel The Continuous Katherine Mortenhoe (also known as The Unsleeping Eye) by British author David G. Compton. The focus on reality TV and the questions of morality surrounding this genre mean the story is still prescient today.

Please contact if you worked on the film and would like to know more about attending the screening.

Bertrand Tavernier-1980-La Mort En Direct

La Mort en Direct - Death Watch - 1980

Death Watch (La mort en direct)

  • 4 stars
  • 1980
  • 15
  • Directed by: Bertrand Tavernier
  • Written by: Bertrand Tavernier, David Rayfiel
  • Cast: Romy Schneider, Harvey Keitel, Harry Dean Stanton, Max von Sydow

Katherine (Schneider) is a novelist living in Glasgow who's been diagnosed with a terminal disease; Roddy (Keitel) befriends her, but unknown to her he works for a TV company with its own agenda. The basic idea is amazingly prescient but the plot is rather preposterous; Schneider's moving performance anchors it in…


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