Saturday, December 17, 2011

Roman Polanski retrospective at TIFF Lightbox

In anticipation of the new film Carnage, TIFF Bell Lightbox kicks off a retrospective series on the film of director Roman Polanski tonight with a screening at 9pm of Nóz w wodzie (Knife in the Water). It was his debut film which made a strong impression and won the FIPRESCI award at the Venice Film Festival.

The other films screening during at Lightbox are Chinatown, Cul-de-sac, Repulsion, The Tenant, Rosemary's Baby, and The Ghost Writer. Each of the films is excellent and well worth catching on the big screen. Of course he has directed 30 titles, so many fine works have unfortunately been omitted. The missing works include The Tragedy of Macbeth, Tess, Frantic, and his Oscar-winning The Pianist.

Polanski remains a controversial and misunderstood figure in the general public. His inexcusable acts with a minor that led to him fleeing the United States never to return have nonetheless been misrepresented and distorted. Those who wish to learn more about his situation would be well advised to watch Marina Zenovich's documentary Roman Polanski: Wanted and Desired.

I myself do not believe that great talent excuses heinous acts. Yet who among us is justified in casting stones when the victim herself has completely forgiven him? She has long ago moved on, and perhaps it's time that others including the U.S. Government did too.


Roman Polanski

In a career spanning more than fifty years, Roman Polanski has firmly established himself as one of the contemporary masters of cinema with his nerve-wrackingly suspenseful and darkly comic portraits of cruelty, violence, claustrophobia and madness. Often confining his characters within suffocatingly cloistered locations—a sailboat on a lonely lake, a crumbling castle, an isolated beach house and a succession of ominous apartment houses—Polanski observes with cynical, diabolical glee as the thin pretenses of civilization are quickly stripped away in the face of human vanities, anxieties, pettiness and weakness. Leading up to our run of Polanski's much-anticipated new film Carnage, we look back at some of the highlights of his career and trace the recurring themes and obsessions that have shaped his singular vision.


Knife in the Water
Saturday December 17
09:00 PM

Sunday December 18
03:00 PM

Tuesday December 20
09:00 PM

Sunday December 18
09:00 PM

Wednesday December 21
09:00 PM

The Tenant
Thursday December 22
09:00 PM

Rosemary's Baby
Friday December 23
09:00 PM

The Ghost Writer
Sunday December 25
04:00 PM

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