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Roman Polanski (1933 - )
Related: Sharon Tate - European cinema - film director - France - Poland
Themes: alienation - cruelty - the dark side of human nature - psychological horror - sexuality
Film titles: Repulsion (1965) - Rosemary's Baby (1968) - The Tenant (1976) - Bitter Moon (1992)
Rosemary's Baby (1968) - Roman Polanski [Amazon.com] [FR] [DE] [UK]
Roman Polanski (born August 18, 1933) is a Franco-Polish film director and actor. A celebrated Hollywood director of such films as Rosemary's Baby (1968) and Chinatown (1974), he is also known for his tumultuous personal life. His wife, actress Sharon Tate, was murdered by the Manson Family in 1969 and he fled to Europe following a 1978 guilty plea to statutory rape of a 13-year-old girl. Unwilling to return to the United States and face arrest, he has continued to direct films in Europe, including Frantic (1988), the Academy Award-winning The Pianist (2002), and Oliver Twist (2005).
See also: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Roman_Polanski [Mar 2006]
Apartment dweller paranoiaRepulsion, Rosemary's Baby and The Tenant are all part of an unofficial but deliberate trilogy on the subject of apartment-dweller paranoia-- and they all deal with it uniquely, I think. -- antexit (ferriswhee...), December 19th, 2003, http://www.ilxor.com/thread.php?msgid=4106290
Knife in the Water (1962) - Roman Polanski
Knife in the Water (1962) - Roman Polanski [Amazon.com]
This simple but taut psychological thriller was the first full-length film from the great director Roman Polanski. A bickering couple pick up a hitchhiker, a good-looking young man whom they invite to go for a sail. But on the water the two men, separated by age, class, and experience, subtly and not-so-subtly jockey for status and fight for the attentions of the woman--a struggle that threatens to turn fatal. In Polanski's hands, this lean, spare movie, without any special effects or spectacular scenery, manages to lay bare the driving forces of machismo, envy, and marital spite. It's the beginning of a truly remarkable career that's ranged from the heights of Rosemary's Baby and Chinatown to the more dubious realms of Bitter Moon and The Ninth Gate. Knife in the Water is particularly significant to Polanski fans, but also a striking movie in its own right. --Bret Fetzer
Cul-de-sac (1966) - Roman Polanski
Cul-de-sac (1966) - Roman Polanski
Cul-de-sac is a film made in 1966 directed by Roman Pola?ski. It is Polanski's second film in English, filmed on the island of Lindisfarne in Britain.
The cast includes Donald Pleasence, Françoise Dorléac, Lionel Stander, Jack MacGowran, Iain Quarrier, Geoffrey Sumner, Renee Houston, William Franklyn, Trevor Delaney, Marie Kean, and Jacqueline Bisset.
Written by Gerard Brach and Roman Polanski
Photography by Gil Taylor
Editing by Alastair McIntyre
Music by Krzysztof Komeda.
The film begins with gangster Dickie (Lionel Stander) pushing his broken-down car through rising seawaters while his companion Albie (Jack MacGowran) lies inside, bleeding from a gunshot wound after a bungled robbery. Cut off by the unexpected rising tide, they are on the only road to a bleak and remote tidal island where, in a dark castle on a hilltop, the effeminate and neurotic George (Donald Pleasence) lives with his luscious young wife Teresa (Françoise Dorléac). Dickie then proceeds to hold the two hostage as he awaits rescue from his boss, the mysterious Katelbach, even throughout an unexpected visit from one of George's old work colleagues.
Like his previous film Repulsion, it explores themes of horror, frustrated sexuality, and alienation, which have become characteristic of most of Pola?ski's films, notably Rosemary's Baby and The Tenant. Stylishly filmed in black and white by Gil Taylor with superb locations and an excellent cast, Cul-de-sac was awarded the 1966 Golden Bear at the Berlin Film Festival.
The film was shot on location on the island of Lindisfarne, off the coast of Northumberland, England. The small castle is now a National Trust property and can be toured by the public. Despite forty years having elapsed, the building and surroundings are largely unchanged.
Cul-de-Sac has been compared in tone and theme to the works of Samuel Beckett, and it is interesting to note that actor Jack MacGowran was renowned for his knowing interpretations of the works of Beckett.
It features Jacqueline Bisset in a small part, her second film appearance.
Cul-de-sac is the French phrase for dead end street. --http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Cul-de-Sac [Aug 2005]
See also: Roman Polanski - European cinema - 1966
Macbeth (1971)- Roman Polanski
Macbeth (1971)- Roman Polanski [Amazon.com] [FR] [DE] [UK]
Roman Polanski's adaptation of the Shakespearean tragedy remains one of the most infamous for a number of reasons: the copious amounts of bloody gore, its expert use of location settings (filmed in North Wales), and Lady Macbeth's nude sleepwalking scene. Despite its notoriety, though, this does remain one of the more compelling film adaptations of the Scottish tragedy, if one of the more pessimistic takes on the story of Macbeth and his overreaching ambition. If you think the play is normally a bit of a downer, you haven't seen Polanski's bleak version of it, made in reaction to the murder of his wife, Sharon Tate, by the Manson "family." Jon Finch (Hitchcock's Frenzy) is an forceful Macbeth, bringing out the Scot's warrior instincts, and Francesca Annis is a memorable Lady Macbeth, but the main thrust of the film belongs to Polanski's and noted British playwright and critic Kenneth Tynan's take on the play: extremely violent, nihilistic, and visceral; this is down-in-the-dirt, no-holds-barred Shakespeare, not fussy costume drama. Pay close attention to the end, a silent coda that puts a chilling twist on all the action that has come beforehand and foreshadows more tragedy to come. --Mark Englehart, Amazon.com
The Fearless Vampire Killers (1967) - Roman Polanski
The Fearless Vampire Killers, or Pardon Me but Your Teeth Are in My Neck (1967) - Roman Polanski [Amazon.com]
The Fearless Vampire Killers is a 1967 movie directed by Roman Polanski. It has been produced as a musical, named Dance of the Vampires.
The film takes us into the heart of Transylvania where Professor Abronsius (Jack McGowran) and his apprentice Alfred (Roman Polanski) are on the hunt for vampires. Abronsius is old and withering and barely able to survive the cold drive through the wintry forests. Alfred is bumbling and introverted. The hunters come to a small Eastern European town seemingly at the end of a long search for signs of vampires. The two stay at a local inn, full of angst-ridden townspeople who perform strange rituals to fend off an unseen evil.
Straight from Polanski's international success with Repulsion, it was mounted on a lavish scale - color, huge sets in England, location filming in the Alps, elaborate costumes and choreography suitable for a period epic. Previously accustomed only to extremely low budgets, Polanski chose some of the finest English cinema craft artists to work on the film: cameraman Douglas Slocombe, production designer Wilfrid Shingleton. Polanski engaged noted choreographer Tutte Lemkow, who played the actual Fiddler in Fiddler on the Roof, for the film's climactic Danse Macabre minuet. --http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/The_Fearless_Vampire_Killers [May 2005]
see also: Sharon Tate
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