Bad Timing  

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"Interestingly, Bad Timing (1980) could be considered the first sexual warfare film to explore the concept of two people literally exhausting themselves to death (or at least coming perilously close); while Who's Afraid of Virginia Woolf? (1966) and its like depicted relationships as a battle, Roeg's film creates a new terrain in which love is a consuming, destructive, time-swallowing force when the partners are essentially incompatible. One need only look at the following year's more overtly horrific Possession (1981) to see the difference (that film also uses the split of Communist and Western urban culture as an emotional mirror), or such later studies in sexual/emotional exhaustion as Bitter Moon (1992) and Crash (1996), where empty thrills must consume a couple when their hearts have long since stopped beating. " --Nathaniel Thompson [1] [May 2004]

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Train wreck at Montparnasse (October 22, 1895) by Studio Lévy and Sons.
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Train wreck at Montparnasse (October 22, 1895) by Studio Lévy and Sons.

Bad Timing is a 1980 film directed by Nicolas Roeg.

In Vienna, a young American woman in her twenties (Russell) is rushed to the emergency room after apparently overdosing. With her is an Alex Linden, a American psychiatrist (Garfunkel) teaching in Vienna. Through a series of fragment flashbacks the film tells the story of their romance, which ends up becoming a sexual obsession. The woman, Milena, suffers from depression and is still married to a much older man (Elliott) whom she crosses the border to see at times. Linden likes her free spirited ways at first, then grows tired of her lifestyle which includes relationships with other men and heavy drinking. He spies on Milena and eventually tries to control her. At the hospital, an investigator (Keitel) realizes that there may be more to the case than a simple suicide. He investigates and tries to get Linden to confess to possible crimes involved with the case.

Critical reaction

The film received mixed reviews. Some found the film brilliant while others, possibly put off by the rape near the end intercut with graphic emergency room footage, found the film tasteless. Its UK distributor, Rank, were appalled by what they saw, one executive calling it "a sick film made by sick people for sick people." In response, they removed the Rank logo from all UK prints of the film.

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Unless indicated otherwise, the text in this article is either based on Wikipedia article "Bad Timing" or another language Wikipedia page thereof used under the terms of the GNU Free Documentation License; or on original research by Jahsonic and friends. See Art and Popular Culture's copyright notice.

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