A comedy set in a New York hotel room over a sweaty night in 1953 might seem an odd assignment for such a serious and innovative director as Nicolas Roeg.
Story concerns four celebrated American figures of the 1950s who, for legal reasons are not specifically named. That’s all to the good since pic dispenses with biographical detail to focus on the nature of celebrity in Cold War America.
Film was scripted by Terry Johnson from his stage play. Although legit text is not opened out in a traditional way, beautifully lensed views of the NY landscape and flashbacks give the film a sense of scale. When, towards the end of the film, the Elevator Attendant greets the dawn Cherokee-style, the hotel room has become a microcosm of the world outside.
Those on the lookout for philosophical reflections will find plenty to think about in the pic’s meditations upon relativity and the coming together of time. Insignificance also works on a simpler level as a depiction of four people struggling against despair.