Director Nicolas Roeg dies aged 90

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Nicolas RoegImage source, Getty Images

Director Nicolas Roeg, whose films include Don't Look Now and Performance, has died at the age of 90.

In a career spanning six decades, he was celebrated for his original and controversial film-making.

His 1973 psychological thriller Don't Look Now caused controversy for its graphic sex scenes.

Roeg also directed Mick Jagger in the crime drama Performance and David Bowie in the science fiction movie The Man Who Fell To Earth.

His son, Nicolas Roeg Jr, said his father died on Friday night. "He was a genuine dad," he said.

"He just had his 90th birthday in August," he added.

Donald Sutherland, who starred in Don't Look Now and named one of his sons Roeg, paid tribute to him.

"He is a fearless visionary, always was, always will be," he said.

"He was a liberating joy to work for. I fell in love with him then and will love him forever."

Image source, Getty Images
Image caption,
Nicholas Roeg in London in 1991

'Roeg bewitched and bewildered'

Nicolas Roeg was one of the most original film-makers the UK has ever produced.

His early experience as a cinematographer brought a stunning visual quality to his work.

He often exasperated the critics and gained a reputation as being hard on his actors.

And he took a delight in jumbling scenes and time to both bewitch and bewilder his audiences.

Born in St John's Wood in north London in 1928, Roeg started in the film industry making tea and operating the clapper board at Marylebone Studios.

His directorial debut came in 1970 when he filmed Performance, sharing the director's role with Donald Cammell.

The explicit scenes of violence and drug-taking caused the film's release to be delayed by two years.

Speaking to the BBC's Front Row in 2013, he said false rumours that Don't Look Now included a real sex scene were "very flattering" because it meant audiences thought the film was authentic.

"What you are looking for in anything is some sort of truth," he said.

Edgar Wright, the British director of Shaun of the Dead and Baby Driver, was among those who paid tribute to "a master of the art".

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Duncan Jones, the director of Warcraft and son of David Bowie, paid tribute to the "incredible body of work" Roeg has left, saying it inspired his own "ongoing love of filmmaking".

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Image caption,
Roeg in 2010 with Jenny Agutter, whom he worked with on the film Walkabout