Search for those involved in Glasgow-shot 1980 film Death Watch
- Jen Bowden
- 16 January 2012
Bertrand Tavernier's reality TV film gets Glasgow Film Festival and nationwide screening
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 FestivalPress@glasgowfilm.org if you worked on the film and would like to know more about attending the screening.