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USA 1995
Directed by
Nicolas Roeg
90 minutes
Rated M

Reviewed by
Bernard Hemingway
3 stars

Full Body Massage

Nicolas Roeg delivered some marvellous films during the 1970s, including Walkabout (1971), Don't Look Now (1973), The Man Who Fell to Earth (1976) and Bad Timing (1980), then gradually lost his way with films such as Eureka (1983), Insignificance (1985) and Track 29 (1988) (Castaway,1986, was an exceptional return to form).

This film, that looks like it was made for cable TV (although given that Mimi Rogers spends a good portion of it nude and would not be out of place in a Russ Meyer movie) is decidedly minor Roeg but it does quite successfully instantiate the director’s ongoing fascination with the Eros/Thanatos dynamic. This is realized in the form of a single massage session in which Bryan Brown as the masseur and Mimi Rogers as the massaged engage in an intense colloquy that reveals their personal history, visually depicted by intermittent flashbacks, and contrasting world views whilst getting about as physically intimate as is possible in a non-sexual relationship.

If the film at times comes close to designer kitsch, always a danger with Roeg in this decade, the charisma of the two leads and the script by Dan Gurskis which skilfully traverses a variety of ideas (complete with overlaid text explaining some of the concepts) in what is a kind of idealized West Coast New Age romantic encounter makes, for those so disposed, engaging and very relaxed viewing.

DVD Extras: None 

Available from: Umbrella Entertainment




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