After the triumph of Chinatown, Roman Polanski’s The Tenant marked an unsettling return to the horrifying psychodrama of Repulsion and Rosemary’s Baby. As in those previous films, Polanski explores a descent into madness with subtle, deliberate pacing and keen attention to accumulating details. Cannily casting himself in the title role, Polanski plays the mild-mannered occupant of a Parisian flat previously rented by a woman who committed suicide by leaping from her upper-floor balcony. The woman’s leftover belongings and the harsh attitudes of disapproving neighbors (including Melvin Douglas and Shelley Winters) begin to grate on the new tenant’s psyche; his paranoia shifts from simmering anxiety to full-blown psychosis, until fate itself seems to run in a complete, tragically tormenting circle. Polanski masters the material as only he could, and despite some critical drubbing at the time of its release, The Tenant has earned a place among Polanski’s finest films. –Jeff Shannon
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
loved it, scared the hell out of me but in a way that i actually enjoyed considering i'm not a fan of being scared. Polanski was excellent in it which is impressive consdering he directed it. It was beautifully shot and paced and was a great place to go after i watched barton fink. great film.
In una Parigi razzista,intollerante e abitata da personaggi per lo più rozzi e spregevoli,Polanski dirige sè stesso in questo grandioso thriller psicologico.Un'atmosfera tesa dal principio conduce il protagonista ad uno sdoppiamento della personalità che porterà inevitabilmente ad un totale delirio. Scene veramente toste(la chiesa,il bagno,gli agguati) suggellano un maestoso lavoro del regista polacco(naturalizzato).
Alfred Hitchcock is the clear master of suspense and there is no disputing that, but I think Roman Polanski is a suspense master in his own right. Repulsion is great, Rosemary’s Baby is a masterpiece… read review