Wednesday, October 22, 2008

Reading POLANSKI book

Am reading a bio of Roman Polanski by Jonh Parker that I got from the library.

Very surprised to learn how difficult the guy was. He was apparently the walking paradigm of a termmperamental artist, who'd throw tantrums and start screaming on the set.

I hadn't seen that many Polanski films.

In the past, I'd seen only the following Polanski films, in this order:

THE LAMP (early short film Polanski made at Lodz National Film School)

I loved CHINATOWN, I'd attributed a lot of the film's impact to Jack Nicholson's performance and Robert Towne's screenplay. I remmeber being completely blown away by the picture the first time I saw it.

I thought KNIFE IN THE WATER was very impressive, especially considering that it was a debut feature film.

ROSEMARY'S BABY seemed campy to me. My wife and I kept thinking how great the apartment in the film was.

THE TENANT seemed interesting, but definitely too much like a derivative of ROSEMARY'S BABY, but set in Paris.

THE LAMP was a 3-4 minute short that was very creepy and seemed to be signature Polanski. We saw this at the MOMA when they had a screening of many great films from Lodz.

Anyway, reading the book, it reminds you just what struggle and difficulty even such successful directors like Polanski went through. You forget that they, too, were struggling artists at one point.

As ruthless and self-centered as Polanski must have been, he did manage to make some excellent films, as well as, of course, like everyone, some real duds.

I have yet to see REPULSION. I wonder if I can even find that film here in Hong Kong.

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