Monday, July 23, 2007
A Few Words For Roman
I have been debating on what to do with Nastassja'a directors here. Since she has worked with some of my all time favorite filmmakers it seems more fitting to save full tributes to them for my main blog, Moon In The Gutter.
I did want to say a few words about Roman Polanski though and recommend some of his films and books that are out about him.
Roman Polanski is one of the most written about directors in screen history, although often for the wrong reasons, and one of my five all time favorite directors. If you see the credit 'Directed by Roman Polanski" you can rest assured that you are viewing a very special film. For the uninitiated the clear starting points, along with TESS, are KNIFE IN THE WATER (1962), REPULSION (1965), ROSEMARY'S BABY (1968), CHINATOWN (1974) and THE PIANIST (2002). These five films are among his most popular and acclaimed and are all unquestionable great works by a great director.
Equally rewarding are lesser known films like CUL DE SAC (1966), FEARLESS VAMPIRE KILLERS (1967), THE TENANT (1976), and the three striking films he has made with his talented wife, Emmanuelle Seigner, FRANTIC (1988), BITTER MOON (1992) and especially THE NINTH GATE (1999).
Even the small handful of films that Polanski has made that have been widely considered as disappointing like WHAT (1972) and PIRATES (1986) have more great moments than most acclaimed films by lesser directors.
Of the dozens of books out on Roman may I recommend his own autobiography ROMAN BY POLANSKI. Also well worth searching out are ROMAN POLANKI INTERVIEWS, Barbara Leaming's POLANSKI and the recent Taschen book ROMAN POLANSKI by F.X. Feeney.
Roman and Nastassja shared a very special connection and he remains probably the finest director she ever worked with. When asked about Roman's legal troubles and forced exile from America in a 1982 interview with David Letterman, Nastassja stated very strongly, "It's America's loss."
I agree with her.