AND BAD TIMING
‘Bad Timing’ is one of Nicholas Roeg’s less successful films (‘Walkabout’ and ‘Don’t Look Now’ being two that made a bigger impact). Below is a drawing of the box office at The Cameo, Edinburgh, where ‘Bad Timing’ was being shown.
It was one of two films I’d chased around to see, either being too early or too late to catch either of the aforesaid films ( the other was ‘Last Year at Marienbad’ (1961) by I forget who but a weird and very avant-garde Italian*).
When I did catch up with them, they were disappointing, partly because of the build up of expectations over such a long period and partly because by the time I caught up with them, their moment had passed, or I had moved on, or whatever.
Which led me to think about Bad Timing in real time. Hemingway’s ideal of ‘Grace under Pressure’ as a prime characteristic of bravery came to mind and then the idea of ‘Grace without Pressure’ seemed just as courageous. Acting before you have to. Speaking out when no-one expects you to. In other words, ‘Good Timing’:
Good Timing in saying ‘I love you’ when there is a risk of rejection and not out of a sense of desperation; in giving your son or daughter money before they ask for it; in general, saying and doing things before you have to and not out of a premature fear of losing someone or something.
Yes, I like the ideal of ‘Good Timing’ as a sort of preemptive (proactive?) instinct. Pity about the film though.
*Written by Alain Robbe-Grillet; directed by Alain Resnais, and French, not Italian