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Roman Polanski and Cannes Film Festival - Roman Polanski and guest Monday 21st May 2012 'Vous N'avez Encore Rien Vu' (You ain't seen nothin yet) premiere during the 65th Cannes Film Festival

Roman Polanski and Cannes Film Festival
Roman Polanski and Cannes Film Festival
Roman Polanski and Cannes Film Festival

Repulsion Review


Essential
Today's lesson: Don't leave the crazy lady alone with a straight razor.

Roman Polanski's Repulsion has been rightly hailed as a chilling examination of a woman going mad. With unnerving intensity, it places us in the shoes of Catherine Deneuve's fragile beautician, whose unexplained trauma and sexual repression induce bizarre, frightening hallucinations that ultimately drive her to murder. But just as powerful is its notion of an outside world incapable of aiding her. Polanski's penchant for exploring helplessness and indifference has seen more overt expression in other films, but here it forms a haunting counterpoint to the central drama, a statement both on insanity and the banal monstrosities which enable it.

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Roman Polanski - Sunday 25th May 2008 at Cannes Film Festival Cannes, France

Roman Polanski

Oliver Twist (2005) Review


Weak
At the end of a good year, I will have read three books. This has nothing to do with any sort of laziness or lack of literary enjoyment; this is simply my quota. When I do read, however, I tend to try to read what one would consider modern classics. On this reasoning, I've read a scant number of what most people consider "classic" novels. However, of the few I have read, one of them happens to be Charles Dickens' Oliver Twist. So, I am coming into Roman Polanski's Oliver Twist locked and loaded with the book and David Lean's wonderful 1948 version on my mind.

Let's get the story out of the way for those few who haven't heard it. Sweet, young Oliver Twist (Barney Clark) is cast out of his orphanage when he is picked to ask the cook for more porridge and is sent to work for a kind casket maker who is controlled by his wife. He escapes to London where he makes friends with a charming thief nicknamed The Artful Dodger (Harry Eden). As it happens, Dodger is part of a gang of thieving youths who work for the persuasive Fagin (Sir Ben Kingsley), a decrepit old man with too much hair and too few teeth. The storm really swells when Twist tries to go straight with a rich book collector named Mr. Brownlow (Edward Hardwicke) and gets on the bad side of a few of Fagin's friends and partners. The most nefarious of the partners is Billy Sykes (Jamie Foreman), a terribly mean thief who is followed around by an ugly dog named Bullseye. This all leads to a plot between Sykes and Fagin to kill poor little Oliver, but that proves to be pretty difficult.

Continue reading: Oliver Twist (2005) Review

The Pianist Review


Excellent
Roman Polanski is said to have turned down the opportunity to direct Schindler's List because he felt it would be too painful. Himself a survivor of the Holocaust, Polanski's connection to the Krakow ghetto made the story all too personal. But with the release of The Pianist, it seems the director has finally come to terms with his pain.

Set amidst the ruins of another infamous ghetto -- Warsaw's Jewish district -- The Pianist recounts the horrors that Polanski could not face a decade ago. The movie tells the true story of pianist Wladyslaw Szpilman's escape from Nazi persecution and his subsequent struggle to survive. Unlike other mainstream Holocaust movies, though, this one doesn't try to portray heroism and selflessness as much as it does the actual process of surviving. In other words, it is about the constant act of searching -- for food, for water, for a new place to hide, and for a way out.

Continue reading: The Pianist Review

Tess Review


Good
Hunkering down with any movie adaptation of a Thomas Hardy novel (Jude, The Claim) invariably means you're in for a long, depressing look at life. Tess stands as one of the longest and saddest of the lot -- this one offered up by Roman Polanski as one of a handful of adaptations of Tess of the d'Urbervilles, one of those famous high school assignments that you didn't get around to reading.

Tess Durbeyfield (Nastassja Kinski) is a naive English country girl sent to do good by her family. She's not two feet out of her cottage when she encounters the aristocratic Alec d'Urberville (Leigh Lawson). Legend has it the similarity in names is no coincidence -- the two families descended from the same royals centuries ago. Never mind the incest, though, here comes the lovin', and before you know it, Tess isn't just taking care of chickens at d'Urberville manor, she's pregnant to boot.

Continue reading: Tess Review

Macbeth Review


Very Good
Roman Polanski has seen his share of violence in the real world, so it's not too surprising that the Shakespearian play he opted to direct was Macbeth, which follows a series of bloody murders and a rapidly descent into madness. Made shortly after the Sharon Tate murders, there's a disturbing resonance when Macbeth's gang of wild-eyed assassins butchers noble MacDuff's wife and children.

The production design is murky, as though everything were taking place after a storm, with the actors wearing drab brown under heavy, tangled hair and beards. Everyone looks grim and unhappy, and they don't emote very much. The killers, including Jon Finch's Macbeth, stumble semi-moronically into their choices -- even would-be good guy MacDuff (Terence Bayler) comes off as less of a heroic avenger than an ignorant thug.

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The Tenant Review


Excellent
Another classic Roman Polanski freak-out, new to DVD. It's The Tenant, the ultimate look at paranoia and real estate.

In the film, Polanski plays a quiet man who moves into a small apartment recently vacated by a woman who committed suicide by jumping out of the window -- for unknown reasons. Polanski's Trelkovsky quickly becomes embroiled in mysterious goings-on, including a dalliance with a stranger (Isabelle Adjani) he encounters at the hospital while visiting the former tenant's death bed, endless creepy apartment-mates, and a slow descent into insanity as he becomes obsessed with the life of the former tenant.

Continue reading: The Tenant Review

Rosemary's Baby Review


Excellent
Hopelessly trapped in its late-'60s look, Rosemary's Baby is nonetheless a watershed movie in the horror genre. It takes an eternity to get moving, sure, but once this story of Mia Farrow's possessed belly gets moving, watch out, for there's no stopping the horror, the horror. The faces of cinema legend (Ruth Gordon, Ralph Bellamy) dot the movie throughout, but it's the smarmy John Cassavetes who steals the show, beating out even Farrow as the ultimate soft-spoken housewife who gets caught up in a world of hell. Er, literally.

The Ninth Gate Review


Very Good
What is The Ninth Gate? Judging from the cryptic marketing campaign, you might be likely to dismiss it as another ridiculous action movie, with big fireballs and car chase scenes. Or worse, maybe you'll shun it as a metaphysical adventure -- yet another End of Days.

Fortunately, The Ninth Gate is neither of these. In actuality, it's a mystery with Johnny Depp as the unlikely hero, Frank Langella as the perfectly-cast antagonist, and Lena Olin and Emmanuelle Seigner as the femmes fatale. Under the direction of Roman Polanski, you can rest assured that these characters get mixed up quite a bit en route through a serpentine plot that is far more interesting than its subject matter would imply: The search for a couple of rare books.

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Bitter Moon Review


Excellent
Certainly a case of deja vu for Hugh Grant, Bitter Moon finds the big Hugh playing hide the little Hugh with a girl he meets on a ship to Istanbul (Emmanuelle Seigner). The only problem is that the wife (Kristin Scott Thomas) doesn't really approve. And then there's the matter of the girl's husband (Peter Coyote), who sends Grant on the chase to start with.

Why is he bound to a wheelchair? How did the innocent couple turn so perverted? Coyote's story talks about bondage, golden showers, and even ends up with Coyote crawling around on the floor, grunting while he wears a pig mask.

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The Magic Christian Review


Very Good
The video cover of The Magic Christian features Ringo Starr sitting on Peter Sellers' lap. Starr has on his usual shit-eating grin, and Sellers' expression can only be described as one of sheer horror.

Sellers may very well have had no idea what he was getting into with this movie, an adaptation of the cult novel by the same name from author Terry Southern. The film concerns Sellers' business magnate Guy Grand, who adopts a homeless man (Starr) and presents him to the board as his son.

Continue reading: The Magic Christian Review

Knife In The Water Review


Extraordinary
Before he got all famous with movies like Rosemary's Baby and The Pianist, Roman Polanski created Knife in the Water, his first feature film.

Water is a small but incredibly engaging movie, taking place during a day trip on a Polish lake. In the film, upscale couple Andrzej and Krystyna (Leon Niemczyk and Jolanta Umecka) drive out to the marina to take a little ride on the water, picking up a tenacious, beefcake hitchhiker (Zygmunt Malanowicz, whose character is unnamed in the film) and letting him go along on the trip. Andrzej goes to outrageous lengths to belittle his passenger, as the two men obliquely battle for the attention of Krystyna. It all comes to a head with Andrzej pushing the non-swimming blonde kid into the water, right after tossing his beloved knife into the drink. And there's more to come after that.

Continue reading: Knife In The Water Review

Roman Polanski

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Roman Polanski

Date of birth

18th August, 1933

Occupation

Filmmaker

Sex

Male

Height

1.65


Roman Polanski Movies

Venus in Fur Movie Review

Venus in Fur Movie Review

Expert writing, directing and acting help this offbeat drama discover some powerful new themes in...

Seduced and Abandoned Movie Review

Seduced and Abandoned Movie Review

Anyone interested in how movies get made will love this feisty behind-the-scenes documentary, which uses...

Carnage Movie Review

Carnage Movie Review

Based on Reza's play God of Carnage, this claustrophobic film features only four characters in...

Carnage Trailer

Carnage Trailer

Penelope and Michael Longstreet are horrified when their son, Ethan, comes home from school one...

The Ghost [aka The Ghost Writer] Movie Review

The Ghost [aka The Ghost Writer] Movie Review

Tightly wound and told without much fuss, this political thriller is captivating and often quite...

The Ghost Trailer

The Ghost Trailer

Watch the trailer for The Ghost When the agent of a ghostwriter informs him of...

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Oliver Twist (2005) Movie Review

Oliver Twist (2005) Movie Review

At the end of a good year, I will have read three books. This has...

The Pianist Movie Review

The Pianist Movie Review

Roman Polanski is said to have turned down the opportunity to direct Schindler's List because...

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