Tiny Terror: Roman Polanski

Roman PolanskiOne of my favorite movie-going experiences of 2012 was spending four Saturday and Sunday afternoons watching Mark Cousins’ The Story of Film: A 15-hour history of cinema that A.O. Scott of The New York Times called  “a semester-long film studies survey course compressed into 15 brisk, sometimes contentious hours…stands as an invigorated compendium of conventional wisdom.”

Before taking on such an ambitious project, Cousins had established his reputation as a film critic as well as the host of the BBC show Scene by Scene. The program found Cousins in coversation with some of the world’s best film directors, discussing their most iconic images and sounds.

This episode of Scene by Scene features Cousins in a bristly interview with Roman Polanski. Besides Polanski’s personal horrors, the gifted director has made important contributions to the horror/thriller/supernatural genres including: Knife in the Water, The Fearless Vampire Killers, The Tenant, The 9th Gate and the classic, Rosemary’s Baby.

Here is Roman Polanski, Scene by Scene:

What’s your favorite Polanski film? Leave a comment and share your thoughts. 

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  • http://joenolan.com/blog Joe Nolan

    Rosemary’s Baby’s daddy

  • echar

    Thanks for sharing. I had to stop watching, because I’ve yet to see Chinatown.

    • http://joenolan.com/blog Joe Nolan

      Great call! Chinatown is pretty fantastic.

      • echar

        I’ll watch it soon.

        • http://joenolan.com/blog Joe Nolan

          Share some thoughts here if you think of it. For me, everything Polanski has done is worth viewing. Polanski missing is better than most director’s bullseyes.

          • echar

            No promises. I have to be in the right frame of mind to watch a movie. I’ve had the Tenant in my library for a few months and have yet to watch that as well.

            My impression of the video you shared. I expected Polanski to be an asshole, but even when he asserted how easy camera placement was, he came off as matter of factly. He didn’t seem to take himslf too seriously.

            I felt awkward when the murders were mentioned. Like I was listening in on a conversation on accident. I found it interesting how he spoke about the actors in Chinatown, and how he chose to deviate from the script.

          • http://joenolan.com/blog Joe Nolan

            I hear you! I’m moody with my movies too. Luckily Chinatown will likely just cast its spell and pull you in regardless. Glad you enjoyed the video I posted!

  • specialtasks

    THE GHOST WRITER took me by surprise when I saw it – definitely the work of someone who knows how to create tension out of the small details (strolls on a windy, overcast beach, random bodyguards, mysterious neighbors, an unnamed protagonist) and ratchet it all up to a great ending.

    • http://joenolan.com/blog Joe Nolan

      Yeah! I really enjoyed that one as well. Thanks for the comment!

  • gregjons

    What was that one movie where Roman Polanski raped a 13 year old girl? Oh wait my bad that happened in real life. I can’t wait till we stop lionizing pedophiles.

    • http://joenolan.com/blog Joe Nolan

      I’ve never confused the work of artists with their personal lives.

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