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.


Rogue Spy 007 said...

I've always been a fan of his. I do agree with Nastassja. It's America's loss. He's a fine director. I think I've enjoyed every film of his that I've ever seen. He's a brilliant filmmaker. A movie of his that I really loved, but I find very few others that do, is "The Ninth Gate." There is just something about that movie that draws me in. I admire Polanski a lot. Plus he was married to a beautiful and wonderful actress at one time, Sharon Tate.

Jeremy Richey said...

I love "The Ninth Gate" and hope to do a longer piece on it at Moon In The Gutter. I think Seigner is really great.
Thanks for the kind words on Roman, he is a real favorite (as is Sharon)

Cinebeats said...

Polanski is one of my favorite filmmakers and you can count me in as a fan of The Ninth Gate as well. I own his autobiography but I really need to make some time to read it.

The only Polanski films I haven't seen are The Pianst, Cul De Sac, What and Bitter Moon, but I've found something to enjoy in all the others I've seen. I am really fond of his horror films and thrillers since I think he creates a wonderfully creepy atmosphere in his films when he wants to. Very few directors do dread and paranoia as well as Polanski.

Jeremy Richey said...

Thanks Kimberly,
I'm really excited to find other "Ninth Gate" fans...I loved that film when it came out and hated the reception it got...I think of the films of his you haven't seen you would really love "Cul De Sac"...thanks for commenting

Rogue Spy 007 said...

It's cool to find other fans of The Ninth Gate. Most people I've talked to either hate it or don't understand it. I think it was great. It had a great cast with Depp, Seigner, Langella, etc.

Jeremy Richey said...

I love "The Ninth Gate" and this has got me inspired to write about it over at Moon In The Gutter.
I think it's probably Polanski's most underrated film and one of my favorite performances Depp has ever given. Seigner kills me in it, I think it's such a sneaky and effective performance...thanks for commenting

Kai said...

Don't for get his version of "MacBeth", possibly the best film version of them all...& it's been tackled by some of the great directors...Welles, Kurosawa.

It's also the most realistic, as well as having some of the best duels in the history of film (specifically MacBeth/MacDuff, but also @ least two to three others). By the same guy who did the fight coreography for "The Duellists" & "Rob Roy".

Thanks for the site, it's interesting. Did you ever put up the vid of Kinski on the Letterman show?