films seen
average score
France - 90 years old
Alive and kicking
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Contested director, whose private life may be even more famous than his films. That's not a knock on the quality of his oeuvre, which contains a number of true classics that are impossible to pass by for any passionate cinephile.


The Ninth Gate

1999 / 133m - USA
Mystery, Thriller
The Ninth Gate poster


2011 / 80m - France
Comedy, Drama
Carnage poster

The Ghost Writer

2010 / 128m - UK
Drama, Mystery, Thriller
The Ghost Writer poster

Bitter Moon

1992 / 139m - UK
Romance, Thriller
Bitter Moon poster

A very strange Polanski. I still can't quite grasp what he was trying to accomplish with this film. In a way Bitter Moon tries very hard to be sensual and dark, at the same time it's so incredibly cheesy and daft that it was hard to take serious. That may be by design, somehow I don't really buy that though.

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An uptight Hugh Grant meets a rather unique couple on a cruise. A slightly older man in a wheelchair is very keen on informing him on how he met his younger, quite dashing wife. So keen in fact that he keeps tricking Grant in listening to his story, where he spares no details, not even when it comes to his sexual affairs.

The film is relatively explicit, but Polanski fails terribly at the sensual scenes. It's almost a mockery, I just couldn't discover any explicit winks or nods, so I assume it was meant to be truly steamy. That kills the film, which is a shame as there was quite a lot of positive energy there to make something out of it.

Knife in the Water

Nóz w Wodzie
1962 / 94m - Poland
Drama, Thriller
Knife in the Water poster

Polanski's first feature film. It's a bit clumsy and unsubtle, a conceptual film where the characters are extremely one-dimensional, and the narrative is purely functional. Everything is shaped around a rather simple premise: the battle between a young free spirit who has nothing and a frustrated older man who has everything.

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Andrzej and Krystyna are on their way to spend the weekend on their boat. On the way there they almost run into a young hitchhiker. They decide to ask the young man along on their trip, but it doesn't take long before tensions start to flare up between the two men, with Krystyna stuck in the middle.

The black and white cinematography feels a bit obligatory, the soundtrack is tacked on, and the performances are pretty static. I wasn't too interested in the premise of the film either, but Polanski does know how to build up tension and because the film is relatively short, it was still somewhat entertaining.

The Pianist

2002 / 150m - Poland
The Pianist poster


1965 / 105m - UK
Horror, Thriller
Repulsion poster


1974 / 130m - USA
Mystery, Crime
Chinatown poster

Rosemary's Baby

1968 / 137m - USA
Rosemary's Baby poster