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Deathwatch (1980) - Bertrand Tavernier
Related: French cinema - Bertrand Tavernier - 1974 (novel) - 1980
Themes and tropes: reality TV - death - television - voyeurism
Deathwatch / La Mort en direct (1980) - Bertrand Tavernier I had been wanting to watch Deathwatch for years mainly to see Keitel and Stanton on screen together in something other than The Last Temptation Of Christ. I never managed to find a copy so I was excited when it was shown here on tv a couple of weeks ago. This movie is superb! Intelligent script, beautiful direction and photography, and faultless acting from Romy Schneider and Harvey Keitel in particular. PLEASE try and see this haunting and increasingly more pertinent film, it will resonate with you for a long time. INFOFREAKO for imdb.com
The Continuous Katherine Mortenhoe (1974) - D.G. Compton
The Continuous Katherine Mortenhoe - (1974) - D.G. Compton
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Image sourced here.
Bertrand Tavernier based his 1980 film Deathwatch on this 1974 novel. In the film Romy Schneider plays a dying woman whose last days are watched on national television via a camera implanted in the brain of a journalist Harvey Keitel.
David Guy Compton (1930 - ) is a British author. He often writes science fiction set in the near future. He published his first science fiction novel, The Quality of Mercy, in 1965. He has not become hugely popular, but did achieve some recognition after co-writing a SF novel, Ragnarok, with Dr. John Gribbin.
He has written murder mysteries as Guy Compton (the first in 1962) and even a few romance novels as Frances Lynch.
In Bertrand Tavernier's Death Watch (1980), Romy Schneider plays the dying heroine with the doubly punning surname Catherine Mortenhoe, whose death is being recorded on national TV in an ongoing soap opera of morbid video verité. -- Garrett Stewart via Between Film and Screen: Modernism's Photo Synthesis (2000)
A review:I've read two novels by British writer D. G. Compton: Synthajoy (1968) and The Continuous Katherine Mortenhoe (1974; also published as The Unsleeping Eye). Both novels deal with ethical problems raised by the use of technology to eavesdrop on human emotions. Both emphasize the human rather than the scientific side of the story, and they experiment with the subjective viewpoint of the narrator in a way reminiscent of Philip K. Dick. However, Compton's writing style is more refined than Dick's, which also makes it harder to overlook the implausibility of the technical innovations posited in each novel.
The Continuous Katherine Mortenhoe is less accomplished, but still quite gripping. The heroine of the title is told she has a rare, fatal illness and only has four weeks to live. Immediately, she is besieged by reporters, filmmakers, and merchandisers who who want to package and sell her death throes to a sensation-hungry public. Foremost among these is a TV reporter who has tiny cameras permanently implanted in his retinae. Compton's sense of moral outrage at the exploitive "media monster" is the most memorable aspect of the book. --Glenn Frantz via http://www.cs.cmu.edu/afs/cs/usr/roboman/www/sigma/review/conmort.html [Oct 2006]
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