Bad Timing | 1980
Psychoanalyst Alex Linden (Art Garfunkel) calls an ambulance when he discovers Milena Flaherty (Theresa Russell) unconscious from a drug overdose, but Inspector Netusil (Harvey Keitel) can’t help feeling that something just doesn’t add up. He relentlessly badgers the aloof and arrogant Linden in an attempt to tease out the niggling inconsistencies in his version of events.
The story is a familiar screen theme of a controlling man in relationship with a free-spirited woman, but Nicolas Roeg’s prismatic editing turns it into a mysterious and disturbing puzzle.
Although Linden is the shrink, it’s Netusil who burrows into his psyche like a relentlessly guilty conscience. Fittingly, the movie is set in the home of psychoanalysis, the cluttered, elegant Jugendstil city of Vienna, where Sigmund Freud himself pioneered the famous ‘talking cure’. The credits feature the highly stylised paintings of Gustav Klimt and the more raw pictures of Egon Schiele.
The gallery Milena visits with Linden to see the paintings of Klimt, is the Upper Belvedere of Schloss Belvedere (Belvedere Palace and Museum), standing in acres of formal gardens toward the south of the city.
The works include The Kiss, Judith With The Head Of Holofernes and the Portrait Of Adele Bloch-Bauer (the painting at the centre of 2015's Woman In Gold, with Helen Mirren). Spoiler alert – if you haven't seen Woman In Gold yet – be aware that this portrait is no longer in Vienna.
Milena’s typically florid apartment building was Schönbrunner Schloßstraße 2, just east of the Schönbrunn Palace, southwest of the city centre. Astonishingly, the entire building has since been demolished.
Milena impatiently demands Linden analyse her personality after he buys a 'Colour Test' book from the (now gone) St Gabriel's bookshop in the small galleria at Stephansplatz 6.
As the investigation begins to wear him down, Linden leaves the police station at night and heads to Zollamssteg Bridge, on the eastern side of the city, crossing the River Wien (Vienna River) just south of its junction with the Donaukanal (Danube Canal), above the U4 Line rail bridge.
The large, elegant coffee house, where Linden discusses Milena with the ‘foppish man’ (Daniel Massey), is the landmark Cafe Landtmann, Universitätsring 4, a historic hangout for politicians, alongside Vienna’s Burgtheater.
As Linden's controlling behaviour becomes more obsessive, he confronts Milena after seeing her talking to a young man at the University of Vienna, Main Building, Universitätsring 1, near Schottentor U-bahn station.
Alex and Milena take a holiday in Morocco at Ouarzazate, a favourite North African location seen in films as diverse as Ridley Scott’s Gladiator, The Last Days of Sodom and Gomorrah and Jewel of the Nile.
Their hotel, the ‘Palais Glaoui’ is the the Kasbah Taourirt, Avenue Mohammed V, now a museum, which featured in Bernardo Bertolucci’s The Sheltering Sky.
On a rooftop terrace overlooking the Jemaâ el Fna, the huge and bustling main square of Marrakech, Milena chooses to ignore Alex’s proposal of marriage and their relationship hits the rocks.