Roman Polanski

Roman Polanski

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Roman Polanski (born 18.8.1933) Roman Polanski is a Polish-French film director, producer and actor. As a director, he has earned a great deal of acclaim. However, his personal life has been blighted by controversy, which has often overshadowed his career.

Childhood: Roman Polanski was born Rajmund Roman Liebling in Paris, France, to Bula and Ryszard Liebling (aka Ryszard Polanksi). His father was a plastics manufacturer and a painter. His father was a Polish Jew and his mother was a Catholic. The Polanski family lived in Krakow during World War II. They were forced in the ghetto, along with thousands of Jews.

Polanski's mother perished in Auschwitz, but his father survived the Mauthausen-Gusen concentration camp. After the war, Roman was reunited with his father, who died of cancer in 1984.

A Career in Film: Roman Polanski graduated from the Polish film school in Lodz in 1959. He had already taken up acting, appearing in Pokolenie in 1954, as well as Zaczarowany Rower He made his own directorial debut in 1955 with a short film entitled Rower. Two other films, Two Men and a Wardrobe and When Angels Fall (1959).

Roman Polanski's first full-length film was Knife in the Water, the first significant post-WWII film not to have a war theme. Polanski earned an Academy Award nomination for Best Foreign Language Film.

Polanski then moved to England and collaborated with Gerard Brach on Repulsion (starring Catherine Deneuve), a film heavily influenced by the likes of Alfred Hitchcock, Jean Cocteau and Luis Bunuel.

Polanski then made Cul-de-Sac in 1966; a bleak tragicomedy filmed on location in Northumberland. Stylistically, the film was indebted to Samuel Beckett and Harold Pinter. It stars Jack McGowran, Donald Pleasence and Francoise Dorleac.

The following year, Roman Polanski released The Fearless Vampire Killers, a parody of Hammer Studio's horror films. The film featured Polanski's future wife, Sharon Tate. Roman Polanski's career soon found more widespread acclaim when he relocated to the USA and made Rosemary's Baby in 1968. The film starred Mia Farrow and John Cassavetes.

Following the murder of his wife, Sharon Tate, the first film that Roma Polanski made was The Tragedy of Macbeth, starring Jon Finch and Francesca Annis.

In 1973, Roman Polanski made Chinatown. The film was nominated for 11 Oscars, including Best Actor / Actress awards for Jack Nicholson and Faye Dunaway. Chinatown is considered by many to be Polanski's finest hour as a filmmaker.

Polanski's next film, The Tenant was made in Europe in 1976. It was an adaptation of a novel by Roland Topor and stars Polanski himself, as well as Shelley Winters and Isabelle Adjani. This was followed by an adaptation of Thomas Hardy's Tess of the d'Urbervilles, entitled simply Tess. The title role was played by Natassja Kinski.

Polanski's next few films were steady performers: Pirates starred Walter Matthau and was intended as homage to Errol Flynn and the swashbucklers he loved as a child. Then came Frantic, starring Harrison Ford, Bitter Moon with Hugh Grant and Kristin Scott Thomas and The Ninth Gate, starring Johnny Depp in 1999.

Roman Polanski then released The Piano in 2002. The film starred Adrien Brody and won the Best Director Academy Award. Two years later, he released a new adaptation of Charles Dickens' Oliver Twist, starring Ben Kingsley, Barney Clark and Harry Eden.

In 2009, Roman Polanski began working on The Ghost, starring Ewan McGregor and Pierce Brosnan.

Personal Life: Roman Polanski was married to the actress Barbara Lass between 1959 and 1961. He then married Sharon Tate in London in 1968. The following year, she was murdered by followers of Charles Manson in Los Angeles. In 1989, Roma Polanski married Emmanuelle Seigner. They have two children together, Morgane and Elvis.

In 1977, Roman Polanski was charged with a number of offences against a 13 year old girl, Samantha Geimer. Polanski fled to France before he could be formally sentenced. As a French citizen, he was protected from extradition and the director has avoided traveling to countries where he is likely to be extradited. In September 2009, Polanski was arrested as he tried to enter Switzerland, where he was due to receive an award at the Zurich Film Festival.

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Will Roman Polanski Be Extradited For Child Sex Crime Conviction?

Roman Polanski

Filmmaker Roman Polanski has appeared in a Poland court to testify at a hearing regarding a U.S. request for his extradition over a 1977 child sex crime conviction. Dariusz Mazur, the judge presiding over the case in Krakow, said the court needed more time to make a decision and needed to consider additional documents submitted by Polanski's lawyers.

Roman PolanskiRoman Polanski could be extradited to the U.S. for his child sex conviction

Polanski's hearing began at 09:00 GMT but was closed to the media. 

Continue reading: Will Roman Polanski Be Extradited For Child Sex Crime Conviction?

Venus In Fur Review


Expert writing, directing and acting help this offbeat drama discover some powerful new themes in a novella that has been scandalising Western society since it was first published in 1870. The book's author Leopold von Sacher-Masoch even gave us the word "masochism". But this film by Roman Polanski and playwright David Ives digs far beneath the S&M to say some startling things about the male-female divide.

It's set in a theatre on a rainy day in Paris, where the actress Vanda (Emmanuelle Seigner) arrives late in a disheveled state to audition for the play's writer-director Thomas (Mathieu Amalric). But he's had a bad day, and immediately writes Vanda off. Eventually she wears him down, and the moment she starts reading his own words he's transfixed. She not only embodies the character, but she sparks something inside him that makes him question his own work. And as he runs the lines with her, she exerts an odd power over him that shifts in ways Thomas never sees coming.

Even with just two people on a stage, this movie is utterly riveting: funny, sexy, scary, surprising, intelligent and fiercely stylish. Polanski's direction is bold and playful, building a compelling rhythm that charges through 90 minutes of sometimes too-clever dialogue that keeps our minds spinning. And both Seigner and Amalric make the most of the script, packing every moment with insinuation and wit as they play with the ideas raised by the play within the film, which is about a dominatrix and her slave.

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39th Cesar Film Awards

Roman Polanski and Emmanuelle Seigner - 39th Cesar Film Awards - Arrivals - Paris, France - Friday 28th February 2014

Roman Polanski and Emmanuelle Seigner

39th Cesar Film Awards

Roman Polanski - 39th Cesar Film Awards - Press Room - Paris, France - Friday 28th February 2014

Roman Polanski
Roman Polanski

Seduced And Abandoned Review


Anyone interested in how movies get made will love this feisty behind-the-scenes documentary, which uses sharp comedy to explore the messy business side of cinema. Both smart and very funny, it may not tell us much that we don't know (mainly that it's almost impossible to get a film financed unless it's a blockbuster with bankable stars), but it reveals things in ways that make us wonder about the future of the movies.

The film follows actor Alec Baldwin and director James Toback as they head to the Cannes Film Festival to secure funding for their planned Iraq-set riff on Last Tango in Paris. They meet with a variety of experts who tell them that their hoped-for budget is three times too high for a movie starring Baldwin and Neve Campbell. So they talk to Chastain, Bejo and Kruger about taking over the lead role. They also consult with a range of prominent filmmakers including Scorsese, Coppola, Polanski and the Last Tango maestro himself, Bertolucci. But the more time they spend with the people who control the money, the more they wonder if their movie will ever get made.

It's fairly clear from the start that Last Tango in Tikrit is a joke project, but everyone takes it seriously. And as they talk to prospective investors, Baldwin and Toback consider adjusting the film to get more cash by, for example, shooting scenes in Russia or China. It's fascinating to hear these billionaires offer advice on how to get their movie made. And hilariously, no one worries about Baldwin's insistence that the story requires explicit sexual scenes.

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Joss Stone Plot Perpetrator Jailed For 18 Years

Joss Stone Roman Polanski Sharon Tate

In 2011, Joss Stone was the target of two men who intended to rob and kill her at her home in county Devon, UK. Kevin Liverpool was sentenced in April 2013, whilst the sentencing for Joe Bradshaw was delayed until yesterday (9th July 2013)

Joss Stone
Joss Stone at The Global Angels Awards, London 2012. 

The pair was noticed by locals close to Stone's house in Ashill, near Hemyock in Devon. When searched by police they were carrying a body bag and a number of weapons including two samurai swords. They intended to rob and kill Stone. 

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Celebrities At Nice Airport

Roman Polanski - Celebrities at Nice Airport - Nice, France - Monday 27th May 2013

Roman Polanski
Roman Polanski
Roman Polanski

F1 Monaco Grand Prix

Roman Polanski - Celebrities at the F1 Monaco Grand Prix at the Circuit de Monaco - Monte Carlo, Monaco - Sunday 26th May 2013

Roman Polanski

The Impossible: Is Ewan McGregor Finally Getting The Praise He Deserves?

Ewan McGregor Naomi Watts Roman Polanski

Ewan McGregor's stunning turn in Juan Antonio Bayona's The Impossible is being lauded by critics left, right and center, with some suggesting it may be the Scottish actor's finest turn since Trainspotting. Of course, the disaster-epic is a very different film from Danny Boyle's 1996 classic, and it's the first time McGregor has played a father or family man.

The movie tells the true story of a family's experience of the 2004 Indian Ocean tsunami. It had its world premiere at the 2012 Toronto International Film Festival on September 9, where it received critical acclaim. Following its full release, Empire magazine dubbed it a "rousing, superbly acted, no-holds-barred melodrama is a mighty feat of physical filmmaking." Peter Bradshaw mused, "This film is not especially complex, and not subtle, but there is judgment and intelligence in the simple idea of survival being the most agonising thing, and making survivor guilt the psychological aftershock of a shattering and irreparable blow." High praise indeed, though it seems McGregor is finally getting the praise he deserves following a series of criminally underrated performances. Roman Polanski's The Ghost Writer avoided just about every nominations list, but oozed suspense, drama and a subtle performance from the 41-year-old. Beginners was even better, while last year's Salmon Fishing in the Yemen was a hit with critics despite a fairly average box-office performance.

McGregor's co-star Naomi Watts is nominated for the Golden Globe for Best Actress. McGregor did not receive a nomination for Best Actor. 

Continue reading: The Impossible: Is Ewan McGregor Finally Getting The Praise He Deserves?

Samantha Geimer To Publish Roman Polanski Sex Scandal Memoirs

Roman Polanski

Samantha Geimer, the woman at the centre of the Roman Polanski sex scandal, is planning to publish her memoirs, revealing her side of the story. Reuters reports that Geimer, 47, will be publishing THE GIRL: Emerging from the Shadow of Roman Polanski in 2013, via Atria Books – an imprint of Simon & Schuster. In 1977, Roman Polanski – the director of movies such as Rosemary’s Baby and Chinatown was arrested in Los Angeles and indicted for six counts, including Geimer’s rape. She was 13 at the time that the incident is alleged to have happened.

At the time, Polanski accepted a plea bargain of guilty. However, when he suspected that the judge was going to serve him with a sentence longer than the time he had already served, he fled the USA. Years later, Geimer sued Polanski for sexual assault and emotional distress; they eventually settled that lawsuit. Geimer hopes that in writing and publishing her account of what happened, she can reclaim some of her sense of self. “I offer my story now without rage, but with purpose - to share a tale that in its detail will reclaim my identity," Geimer said a statement to the press. "I am more than ‘Sex Victim Girl,’ she added. Lawrence Silver, Samantha Geimer’s attorney, will also contribute to the book.

Roman Polanski has continued to direct movies. Now aged 79, he recently directed Carnage and The Ghost Writer. In a documentary made last year, he apologized to Samantha, saying that she was both a victim of his and of the press.

Carnage Review

Based on Reza's play God of Carnage, this claustrophobic film features only four characters in a single New York apartment. But the acting and directing, as well as a fiendishly entertaining script, make it absolutely riveting.

After their 11-year-old sons are involved in a playground fight, their parents meet to make sure everything is fine. Penelope and Michael (Foster and Reilly), parents of the injured boy, are happy to let bygones be bygones until they begin to suspect that Nancy and Alan (Winslet and Waltz) aren't properly punishing their son. Over the course of the next hour or so, liaisons shift as their civilised surface gives way to seething bitterness. And it certainly doesn't help that they open a bottle of Scotch.

Continue reading: Carnage Review

Carnage Trailer

Penelope and Michael Longstreet are horrified when their son, Ethan, comes home from school one day and tells his parents how he was hit in the face with a stick by a classmate, Zachary Cowan. His concerned parents decide the best way to tackle the problem is to invite Zachary's parents, Nancy and Alan, over to their house to talk things over.

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The Ghost [aka The Ghost Writer] Review

Tightly wound and told without much fuss, this political thriller is captivating and often quite tense even though it doesn't seem to have much visual panache. But Polanski's fiendishly clever and extremely subtle touch is in every frame.

When a successful British ghost-writer (McGregor) is hired to clean up the memoirs of former Prime Minister Adam Lang (Brosnan), he can't quite believe the large paycheque heading his way. He soon relocates to an isolated island home in America to work with Lang, his wife (Williams) and assistant (Cattrall), but it quickly becomes clear that something fishy's going on here.

And maybe the scandalous news reports, about Lang's approval of torture in the War on Terror, are missing the real story.

Continue reading: The Ghost [aka The Ghost Writer] Review

The Ghost Trailer

Watch the trailer for The Ghost

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