Roman Polanski’s first feature is a brilliant psychological thriller that many critics still consider among his greatest work. The story is simple, yet the implications of its characters’ emotions and actions are profound. When a young hitchhiker joins a couple on a weekend yacht trip, psychological warfare breaks out as the two men compete for the woman’s attention. A storm forces the small crew below deck, and tension builds to a violent climax. With stinging dialogue and a mercilessly probing camera, Polanski creates a disturbing study of fear, humiliation, sexuality, and aggression. This remarkable directorial debut won Polanski worldwide acclaim, a place on the cover of Time, and his first Oscar® nomination.—The Criterion Collection
The son of a Polish Jew and a Russian immigrant, Polanski was born in Paris on August 18, 1933. When he was three, his family moved to the Polish town of Krakow, an unfortunate decision given that the Germans invaded the city in 1940. Things went from bad to worse with the formation of Krakow’s Jewish ghetto, and Polanski’s family was the target of further persecution when his parents were deported to a concentration camp. Just before he was to be taken away, however, Polanski’s father helped his son escape, and the boy managed to survive with help from kindly Catholic families, although he was at times forced to fend for himself. (At one point, the Germans decided to use Polanski for idle target practice.) It was during this period that Polanski became a devoted cinephile, seeking refuge in movie houses whenever possible. Shortly after sustaining serious injuries in an explosion, Polanski learned of his mother’s death at Auschwitz. His father survived the camps, and moved back to Krakow… read more
A suspenseful tale told immaculately. And yet, I can't help but feel that the female character exists largely as a cipher for the psychological warfare between the men (though I certainly enjoyed the final scene, which switches the focus on to the married couple). Or as someone else put it: 'a film about male posturing'.
A Japanese La jetée and more posters from our sidebar Tumblr, Movie Poster of the Day.
As the NYFF celebrates its 50th year, a look at the posters from the films that made up its first incarnation in 1963.
As a great big lurid question mark hangs over his future, it seems that there's no time like the present to celebrate the films of Roman Polanski
Let's All Move To Shreveport (Dedicated To Vadim Rizov): "A Shreveport Hilton staffer says their wifi is fast and steady, and if it isn't they
This has to be one of the most overrated films in cinema history. As a Polanski fan, I’ve been meaning to watch Knife in the Water for quite some time. I went in with very high expectations… read review