Roman Polanski

Roman Polanski

Infobox Actor

caption = Roman Polanski with a Crystal Globe
birthdate = birth date and age|1933|8|18
birthplace = Paris, France
birthname = Rajmund Roman Liebling
spouse = Barbara Lass (1959-1962)
Sharon Tate (1968-1969)
Emmanuelle Seigner (1989-)
yearsactive = 1953 - present
occupation = director, actor, producer, screenwriter
academyawards = Best Director
2002 "The Pianist"
baftaawards = Best Direction
1974 "Chinatown"
2002 "The Pianist"
Best Film
2002 "The Pianist"
goldenglobeawards = Best Director - Motion Picture
1974 "Chinatown"
Best Motion Picture - Drama
1974 "Chinatown"
Best Foreign Language Film
1979 "Tess"
cesarawards = Best Director
1979 "Tess"
2002 "The Pianist"
Best Film
1979 "Tess"
2002 "The Pianist"
goyaawards = Best European Film
2003 "The Pianist"
awards = Golden Bear
1966 "Cul-de-sac"
Golden Palm
2002 "The Pianist"
Career Golden Lion
1993 Lifetime Achievement
BSFC Award for Best Director
1980 "Tess"
2002 "The Pianist"
LAFCA Award for Best Director
1979 "Tess"
NSFC Award for Best Director
2002 "The Pianist"
Bavarian Film Awards
2002 Honorary Award [ [] ]

Roman Raymond Polanski (born August 18, 1933) is an Academy Award-winning and four-time nominated Polish film director, writer, actor, producer and Holocaust survivor. After beginning his career in Poland, Polanski became a celebrated arthouse filmmaker and Hollywood director of such films as "Rosemary's Baby" (1968) and "Chinatown" (1974). Polanski is considered one of the world’s great film directors. [ [ Roman Polanski: wanted and desired. ] ]

He is also known for his tumultuous personal life. He lived in Nazi-occupied Poland during WWII. In 1969, his pregnant wife, Sharon Tate, was murdered by the Manson Family. In 1978, after pleading guilty in a plea bargain with the Los Angeles district attorney, to "unlawful sexual intercourse" with a 13-year-old girl, [ [ Victim's Grand Jury Testimony ] ] Polanski fled to France before sentencing. He now lives there and has French citizenship (France has limited extradition with the United States). He is considered by U.S. authorities to be a fugitive from justice.

He has continued to direct films from Europe, including "Frantic" (1988), "Death and the Maiden" (1994), "The Ninth Gate", the Academy Award-winning and Cannes Film Festival Palme d'Or-winning "The Pianist" (2002), and "Oliver Twist" (2005).


Early life

Polanski was born Rajmund Roman Liebling in Paris, France, the son of Bula (née Katz-Przedborska) and Ryszard Liebling (aka Ryszard Polański), who was a painter and plastics manufacturer. [ [ Roman Polanski Biography (1933-) ] ] Polanski's parents were agnostics; his father was a Polish Jew and his mother, a native of Russia, was raised Catholic as she had a Jewish father and a Roman Catholic mother. [ [,,1528830,00.html The Guardian profile: Roman Polanski | The Guardian | Guardian Unlimited ] ] [ [ The religion of director Roman Polanski ] ] [ [ Roman Polanski | UXL Newsmakers | Find Articles at ] ] [ [ Crisis Magazine ] ]

The Polański family moved back to Poland in 1937. Thereafter, in 1939, Poland was invaded and occupied by Germany and the Soviet Union, in accordance with the Nazi-Soviet Pact. On November 13, 1939, the Polish city of Kraków became the seat of office of Hans Frank. The General Government comprised those parts of the Polish state which had not been annexed to Germany. The declared goal of the German occupiers was to make the General Government "judenfrei", and expel the Poles so Germans could settle there.

The Polański family was a target of Nazi persecution and forced into the Kraków Ghetto, along with thousands of other Polish Jews. Roman Polański's mother was subsequently gassed in the Auschwitz-Birkenau concentration camp. His father barely survived the Austrian concentration camp Mauthausen-Gusen. Polański himself escaped the Kraków Ghetto, surviving the war with the help of a Polish Roman Catholic farmer, on whose farm he had to sleep in a cow stall. After the war he learned from his sister that his mother had been killed by the Nazis.

He was educated at the Polish film school in Łódź, Poland, from which he graduated in 1959. Polański speaks six languages: his native Polish, Russian, English, French, Spanish, and Italian.

=Early short films in Poland and "Knife in the Water" (1962)=

Several short films made during Polański's study at Łódź gained him considerable recognition, particularly "Two Men and a Wardrobe" (1958) and "When Angels Fall" (1959); the latter starred Polanski's first wife, Barbara Lass.

Polanski's first feature-length film, "Knife in the Water", was also the first significant Polish film after the war that did not have a war theme. Made from a script by Jerzy Skolimowski, Jakub Goldberg and Polański himself, "Knife in the Water" is a dark and unsettling psychological thriller which subtly evinces the cruel, amoral power dynamics of material and sexual jealousy suffused with a profound pessimism about human relationships. The film is an intense, claustrophobic three-handed potboiler — with the austere, desolate quality of a chamber drama — about a wealthy, unhappily married couple who decide to take a mysterious hitchhiker with them on a weekend boating excursion.

Although not well-received by the Polish cultural authorities on account of its lack of a socially redeeming message, "Knife in the Water" was nevertheless a major commercial success in the west and gave Polanski an international reputation. The film also earned its director his first Academy Award nomination (Best Foreign Language Film, 1963).

British films made in collaboration with Gérard Brach during the mid-1960s

Polanski then made three feature films in England, based on original scripts written by himself and regular collaborator, Gérard Brach.

"Repulsion" (1965)

A psychological horror film focusing on a young Belgian woman named Carol (Catherine Deneuve), who is living in London with her older sister (Yvonne Furneaux). While working as a beautician's assistant at a salon, Carol is often disturbed by the physical decrepitude of her elderly clients, and throughout the course of the film, she becomes increasingly distressed by sexual advances from the men around her.

Her sister departs for a holiday in Italy with a boyfriend, and Carol is left alone in their shared apartment flat. Carol's disordered mind finally breaks from reality as actual threats of domestic and sexual invasion blend into grotesque paranoid hallucinations, causing her to respond with desperate, deadly acts of violence.

="Cul-de-Sac" (1966)=

A bleak nihilist tragicomedy filmed on location in Northumberland. The general tone and the basic premise of the film owes a great deal to Samuel Beckett's "Waiting for Godot", along with aspects of Harold Pinter's "The Birthday Party". Indeed, the original title for the film was "When Katelbach Comes", and among the cast was Jack MacGowran, a veteran of Beckett's stage productions.

The film's setup concerns two gangsters, Dickie and Albie (Lionel Stander and MacGowran), who are on the run after a heist gone bad. The film opens with Dickie pushing their broken-down car along the tidal causeway of Lindisfarne island. It is implied that the shootout which occurred during the heist had left Albie bleeding and paralyzed, and Dickie, who is also wounded but still mobile, now seeks to contact their underworld boss, Katelbach. (Like Beckett's Godot, Katelbach is frequently alluded to throughout the course of the film, but never actually appears).

As he searches the island, Dickie discovers that the famous medieval castle is inhabited by an effete, neurotic middle-aged man (Donald Pleasence) and his nymphomaniacal young French wife (Françoise Dorléac, Catherine Deneuve's older sister). A series of grotesque mishaps, both farcical and tragic, ensues when Dickie decides to take the couple hostage in their castle as he waits (in vain) for further instructions from the mysterious Katelbach.

"The Fearless Vampire Killers" (1967)

A charming, light-hearted spoof of vampire movies (particularly those made by Hammer Studios) which was filmed using elaborate sets built on sound stages in London with additional location photography in the Alps (particularly Ortisei, an Italian ski resort in the Dolomites).

The plot concerns a buffoonish professor named Abronsius (Jack MacGowran, the only actor to appear in two consecutive Polanski films until Emmanuelle Seigner, two decades later) and his clumsy assistant, Alfred (played by Polanski himself), who are traveling through Transylvania in search of vampires.

The two of them arrive in a small village near a vampire-infested castle, which they plan to examine. While taking lodgings at the village tavern, Alfred falls in love with Sarah, the local innkeeper's daughter (played by Polanski's future wife, Sharon Tate). Shortly after, Sarah is abducted by the vampires and taken to the castle. The rest of the film concerns Abronsius and Alfred's madcap efforts to penetrate the castle walls and rescue the girl. The unexpected and grimly ironic ending is classic Polanski.

=Relationship with Sharon Tate, "Rosemary's Baby" (1968), and the Manson murders=

Polanski met rising star Sharon Tate shortly before filming The Fearless Vampire Killers (she was known to producer Martin Ransohoff), and during the production the two of them began dating. On January 25, 1968, Polanski married Sharon Tate in London. In his autobiography, Polanski described his brief time with Tate as the best years of his life. During this time period, he also became friends with martial-arts master and actor Bruce Lee.

Shortly after, in 1968, Polanski went to the United States, where he established his reputation as a major commercial filmmaker with the success of his first Hollywood film, "Rosemary's Baby". The film is a horror-thriller set in New York about Rosemary (Mia Farrow), an innocent young woman from Omaha, Nebraska, who is impregnated by the devil after her narcissistic actor husband, Guy (John Cassavetes), offers her womb to a coven of local witches in exchange for a successful career. "Rosemary's Baby" was based upon the recent popular novel of the same name by Ira Levin, which Polanski adapted as a screenplay, earning him a second Academy Award nomination.

In April 1969, Polanski's friend and collaborator, the composer Krzysztof Komeda (1931-1969), died from head injuries sustained from a skiing accident. Komeda had been a popular jazz artist in Poland when the director first approached him to score "Two Men and a Wardrobe" in 1958. He went on to score all of Polanski's feature films of the 1960s (with the exception of "Repulsion"), and is probably best known in the U.S. for his final collaboration with the director: the haunting soundtrack to "Rosemary's Baby".

On August 9 1969, Tate, who was eight months pregnant with the couple's first child (a boy), and four others (Abigail Folger, Jay Sebring, Wojciech Frykowski, and Steven Parent) were brutally murdered by members of Charles Manson's "Family", who entered the Polanskis' rented home at 10050 Cielo Drive in the Hollywood Hills intending to "kill everyone there". Previous resident Terry Melcher had angered Charles Manson because he had declined to record some of his music. Melcher and his girlfriend at the time, actress Candice Bergen, had been living at the house but had moved out in February of 1969. In March, Polanski and Tate moved in.

When Manson ordered members of his group to go to the property and kill everyone, they obeyed. After Parent, Sebring, Frykowski, and Folger had been murdered, Tate pleaded for the life of her unborn son. Susan Atkins replied that she felt no pity for her and began stabbing her. She soaked up some of Tate's blood with a towel and wrote "PIG" on the front door with it.Bugliosi, Vincent with Gentry, Curt. "Helter Skelter". 1974. Arrow Books. ISBN 0-09-997500-9.

Polanski was at his house in London at the time of the murders and immediately traveled to Los Angeles, where he was questioned by police. As there were no suspects in the case, police checked on the past history of Polanski and Tate to try to determine a motive. After a period of months, Manson and his "family" were arrested on unrelated charges, which revealed evidence of what came to be known as the Tate-LaBianca murders. Polanski returned to Europe shortly after the killers were arrested. He later said that he gave away all his possessions as everything reminded him of Tate and was too painful for him, and that the greatest regret of his life was that he was not in Los Angeles with Tate on the night of her murder.

Films of the 1970s

="Macbeth" (1971) =

Polanski's first feature following Sharon Tate's murder was a bleak and violent film version of Shakespeare's "Macbeth", which was mostly made on location in the rugged environs of Snowdonia National Park in North Wales; Jon Finch and Francesca Annis appeared in the lead roles. Polanski adapted the script into a screenplay with celebrated British playwright and theater critic, Kenneth Tynan, and gained financing for the film through his friendship with Victor Lownes, who was an executive for "Playboy" magazine in London at the time.

A number of critics were disturbed by the relentless violence in the film as well as the unsparing bleakness of Polanski's modernist interpretation of Shakespeare's tragedy (influenced by the writings of Polish drama critic and theoretician, Jan Kott). Pauline Kael commented that the slaughter of Lady Macduff and her household appeared to have been staged in an especially lurid manner that was clearly intended to evoke the Manson killings.

="What?" (1972)=

Written by Polanski and his old partner Gérard Brach, "What?" is a mordant absurdist comedy made in the spirit of Roger Vadim and Terry Southern and loosely based on the themes of "Alice in Wonderland" and Henry James. The film is a rambling, shaggy-dog story about the sexual indignities that befall Nancy (Sydne Rome), a winsome young American hippie hitchhiking through Europe. After escaping a farcical rape attempt in the back of a truck, she soon finds herself stranded in the hothouse atmosphere of a remote Italian villa inhabited by a band of decadent, lecherous grotesques — the main three are played by Marcello Mastrioanni, Hugh Griffith and Polanski himself.

"What?" is also significant in that it is Polanski's only film to date in which a character breaks the fourth wall. The film was a failure with audiences and critics, although in the years since its release "What?" has attracted a minor cult following and a modicum of critical notice.

="Chinatown" (1974)=

In 1973, Polanski returned to Hollywood to make "Chinatown" for Paramount Pictures. Legendary Paramount boss Robert Evans, who had previously hired Polanski to direct "Rosemary's Baby" in 1968, served as producer. The film originated from a screenplay by Robert Towne, and starred Jack Nicholson, Faye Dunaway and John Huston in the principal roles. Towne's extensively researched and meticulously plotted detective yarn was in fact inspired by the historical disputes over land and water rights that had raged in southern California during the 1910s and 20s.

Produced at the height of the Watergate scandal, "Chinatown" accurately reflects the prevailing mood of cynicism and disillusionment that marked American life by the mid-1970s. The ingeniously constructed "film noir" narrative becomes an existential and historical parable which significantly transcends the traditional conventions of the detective genre. As such, "Chinatown" offers a profound and disturbing (albeit fictional) critique of American civic institutions and their hidden machinations — ultimately attributing the rapid economic development and urban expansion of Los Angeles in the 1930s to a nefarious conspiracy involving corruption, fraud, murder and incestuous rape.

Polanski has a memorable cameo appearance midway through the film as a knife-wielding hoodlum who slits open the nostril of the muckraking detective-protagonist, Gittes, after the latter makes an insulting remark about the thug's diminutive stature.

The film was nominated for 11 Academy Awards, and won for Best Original Screenplay. "Chinatown" proved to be Polanski's greatest commercial and critical success, and many believe it to be his single greatest work. Today, the film's reputation as a classic of New Hollywood cinema — and an exemplary work of the revisionist "neo-noir" genre — is unassailable.

"The Tenant" (1976)

Polanski returned to Europe for his next film, "The Tenant", which was based on a 1964 novel by Roland Topor, a French writer of Polish-Jewish origin. In addition to directing the film, Polanski also played the lead role of Trelkovsky, a timid Polish immigrant living in Paris who seems to be possessed by the personality of a young woman who committed suicide by jumping out of the window from her apartment - the very apartment that Trelkovsky now occupies.

Many have noted the similarities with "Repulsion" and "Rosemary's Baby", and together with these two earlier works, "The Tenant" can be seen as the third installment in a loose trilogy of films exploring the theme of urban alienation and social anomie "vis-à-vis" the psychic and emotional breakdown of an isolated individual personality. For "The Tenant", Ingmar Bergman's regular cinematographer, Sven Nykvist, served as cameraman, and Isabelle Adjani and Shelley Winters both appeared in supporting roles.

Indictment on charge of rape and other sex offenses

In 1977, Polanski, then aged 44, became embroiled in a scandal involving 13-year-old Samantha Geimer (then known as Samantha Gailey). It ultimately led to Polanski's guilty plea to the charge of unlawful sexual intercourse with a minor. [ "Personalities Column",] Roman Polanski Media Archive]

According to Geimer, Polanski asked Geimer's mother if he could photograph the girl for the French edition of "Vogue", which Polanski had been invited to guest-edit. Her mother allowed a private photo shoot. According to Geimer in a 2003 interview, "Everything was going fine; then he asked me to change, well, in front of him." She added, "It didn't feel right, and I didn't want to go back to the second shoot."

Geimer later agreed to a second session, which took place on March 10, 1977 at the Mulholland area home of actor Jack Nicholson in Los Angeles. "We did photos with me drinking champagne," Geimer says. "Toward the end it got a little scary, and I realized he had other intentions and I knew I was not where I should be. I just didn't quite know how to get myself out of there." Geimer alleged that Polanski sexually assaulted her after giving her a combination of champagne and quaaludes. [ [ Grand Jury Testimony Regarding Drugging of Minor for Sex] ] In the 2003 interview, Geimer says she resisted. "I said no several times, and then, well, gave up on that," she says. [ "Roman Polanski gets Oscar support from unlikely source"] , "Honolulu Star Bulletin", 20 March 2003.]

Polanski was initially charged [ California v Roman Raymond Polanski (PDF)] grand jury indictment] with rape by use of drugs, perversion, sodomy, lewd and lascivious act upon a child under 14, and furnishing a controlled substance (methaqualone) to a minor, but these charges were dismissed under the terms of his plea bargain, and he pleaded guilty to the lesser charge of engaging in unlawful sexual intercourse with a minor. [ "Polanski Named in Rape Charge"] , Roman Polanski Media Archive]

In his autobiography, "Roman by Polanski", [cite book
last = Polanski
first = Roman
title = Roman by Polanski
publisher = William Morrow & Co.
year = 1984
isbn = 978-0688026219
] Polanski alleged that Geimer's mother had set up her daughter as part of a casting couch and blackmail scheme against him.

In 2008, a documentary film of the aftermath of the incident, , premiered at the Sundance Film Festival. Following review of the film, Polanski and his attorney, Douglas Dalton contacted the Los Angeles district attorney's office about prosecutor David Wells' role in coaching the judge, Laurence J. Rittenband. Using Wells' own claims from the film, Polanski and Dalton are investigating whether the prosecutor acted illegally and engaged in malfeasance in interfering with the operation of the trial. [cite news | url= |title=Polanski Asks Prosecutor to Review Film’s Claims |accessdate=2008-07-16 |date=2008-07-18 |author=Michael Cieply]

A fugitive

Following the plea agreement, according to the aforementioned documentary, the court ordered Polanski to report to a state prison for a 90-day psychiatric evaluation, but granted a stay of ninety days to allow him to complete his current project. Under the terms set by the court, he was permitted to travel abroad. Polanski returned to California and reported to Chino State Prison for the evaluation period, and was released after 42 days.

On February 1, 1978, Polanski fled to London, where he maintained residency. A day later he traveled on to France, where he held citizenship, in order to avoid extradition to the U.S. by Britain. Consistent with its extradition treaty with the United States, France refuses to extradite its own citizens. As a consequence, an extradition request later filed by U.S. officials was denied. The United States government could have requested that Polanski be prosecuted on the California charges by the French authorities, [ "A Roman in Paris"] , Roman Polanski Media Archive] but this option has not been pursued.

Polanski has never returned to Britain, and later sold his home "in absentia". Since the United States could still request the arrest and extradition of Polanski from other countries should he visit them, Polanski has avoided visits to countries that are likely to extradite him (such as Britain) and mostly travels between France and Poland.

In a 2003 interview, [ "Roman Polanski gets Oscar support from unlikely source"] , "Honolulu Star Bulletin", 20 March, 2003] Samantha Geimer said, "Straight up, what he did to me was wrong. But I wish he would return to America so the whole ordeal can be put to rest for both of us." Furthermore, "I'm sure if he could go back, he wouldn't do it again. He made a terrible mistake but he's paid for it".

In 2008, Geimer stated in an interview that she wishes Polanski would be forgiven, “I think he's sorry, I think he knows it was wrong. I don't think he's a danger to society. I don't think he needs to be locked up forever and no one has ever come out ever - besides me - and accused him of anything. It was 30 years ago now. It's an unpleasant memory ... (but) I can live with it." ["Polanski Victim Wants Him to be Forgiven",1036,polanski-victim-pleads-forgiveness,30539 First Post, UK - Jun 5, 2008]

"Vanity Fair" libel case

In 2004, Polanski sued "Vanity Fair" magazine in London for libel. A 2002 article in the magazine written by A. E. Hotchner recounted a claim by Lewis Lapham, editor of "Harper's", that Polanski had made sexual advances towards a young model as he was travelling to Sharon Tate's funeral, claiming that he could make her "the next Sharon Tate". The court permitted Polanski to testify via a video link, after he expressed fears that he might be extradited were he to enter the United Kingdom. [ "Polanski takes appeal to Lords"] , BBC News, 17 November, 2004] [ Polanski v Condé Nast Publications Ltd. [2003] EWCA Civ 1573] ]

The trial started on July 18, 2005, and Polanski made English legal history as the first claimant to give evidence by video link. During the trial, which included the testimony of Mia Farrow and others, it was claimed that the alleged scene at the famous New York restaurant Elaine's could not have taken place on the date given, because Polanski only dined at this restaurant three weeks later. Also, the Norwegian model disputed accounts that he had claimed to be able to make her "the next Sharon Tate". In the course of the trial, Polanski did admit to having been unfaithful to Tate during their marriage. [ [ BBC NEWS | Entertainment | Film | Polanski 'in shock' over article ] ]

Polanski was awarded £50,000 damages by the High Court in London. Graydon Carter, editor of "Vanity Fair", responded, "I find it amazing that a man who lives in France can sue a magazine that is published in America in a British courtroom". According to the British tabloid The Daily Mirror, Samantha Geimer commented, "Surely a man like this hasn't got a reputation to tarnish?" ["Polanski raped me when I was 13 .. he is a creep ; EXCLUSIVE: WE FIND GIRL DIRECTOR DRUGGED AND ABUSED" From RYAN PARRY US Correspondent on Kauai Island, Hawaii. "The Daily Mirror". London (UK): July 25 2005. pg. 25]

Later career

"Tess" (1979)

Polanski dedicated his next film, "Tess" (1979), to the memory of his late wife, Sharon Tate. According to the director, after spending time with him in London in the summer of 1969, Tate left a copy of Thomas Hardy's "Tess of the d'Urbervilles" on Polanski's nightstand, along with a note suggesting that it would make a good film. It was the last time he would see her alive.

"Tess" was Polanski's first film since his 1977 arrest in Los Angeles, and because of the American-British extradition treaty, "Tess" was shot in the north of France instead of Hardy's Dorset and Wiltshire. The film became the most expensive ever made in France up to that time, causing producer Claude Berri considerable anxiety when there was difficulty finding a North American distributor for the picture, which was nearly three hours long.

The film was eventually released in North America by Columbia Pictures, which had also distributed Polanski's earlier "Macbeth". Ultimately, "Tess" proved a financial success and was well-received by both critics and the public. For "Tess", Polanski won French César Awards for Best Picture and Best Director and received his fourth Academy Award nomination (and his second nomination for Best Director). The film received three Oscars: best cinematography, best art direction and best costume design. In addition, "Tess" was nominated for best picture (Polanski's second film to get nominated) and best original score.

"Pirates" (1986), "Frantic" (1987), and relationship with Emmanuelle Seigner

Nearly seven years passed before Polanski completed his next film, "Pirates" (1986), a lavish period piece starring Walter Matthau, which the director intended as an homage to the beloved Errol Flynn swashbucklers of his childhood — particularly "Captain Blood". Upon its release, the film was a major commercial and critical disaster and ultimately stood as the biggest flop of Polanski's career.

The debacle of "Pirates" was followed by "Frantic" (1987), starring Harrison Ford and the actress/model Emmanuelle Seigner, whom the director married in 1989. She would go on to star in two more of his films, "Bitter Moon" (1992) and "The Ninth Gate" (1999). Polanski and Seigner have two children, Morgane and Elvis, the latter named after Polanski's favorite singer, Elvis Presley.

Recent work and honours

In 1997, Polanski directed a stage version of "The Fearless Vampire Killers", a musical, which debuted on October 4, 1997 in Vienna as "Tanz der Vampire", the German title of the film version. After closing in Vienna, the show had successful runs in Stuttgart, Hamburg and Berlin (2007-8) Germany.

On March 11, 1998 Polanski was elected a member of the Académie des Beaux-Arts. [ [ BBC News | ENTERTAINMENT | Polanski joins French elite ] ]

In May 2002, Polanski won the "Palme d'Or" (Golden Palm) award at the Cannes Film Festival for "The Pianist", for which he also took Césars for Best Film and Best Director, and later won the 2002 Academy Award for Directing. He did not attend the Academy Awards ceremony in Hollywood because he would have been arrested once he set foot in the United States. After the announcement of the "Best Director Award", Polanski received a standing ovation from most of those present in the theater . In 2004, he received the Crystal Globe award for outstanding artistic contribution to world cinema at the Karlovy Vary International Film Festival.

During the summer and autumn of 2004, Polanski shot a new film adaptation of the Charles Dickens' novel "Oliver Twist", based on Ronald Harwood's screenplay. The shooting took place at the Barrandov Studios in Prague, Czech Republic. The actors included Barney Clark (Oliver Twist), Jamie Foreman (Bill Sykes), Harry Eden (the Artful Dodger), Ben Kingsley (Fagin), Leeanne Rix (Nancy), and Edward Hardwicke (Mr. Brownlow). Besides the cast, the director gathered some collaborators from his previous movies: Ronald Harwood (screenplay), as noted, Allan Starski (production designer), Pawel Edelman (director of photography), and Anna Sheppard (costume designer).

In November 2007, Damian Chapa announced penning down and directing a biopic on Roman Polanski titled "Polanski".

Current projects

Polanski made a cameo appearance in "Rush Hour 3" as a French police official. Also he will direct an adaption of the novel "The Ghost", written by Robert Harris, which is about a story writer who stumbles on a secret that puts him in danger as he writes a story on the life of a former prime minister of the U.K.


Most of Polanski's films are intelligent psychological suspense thrillers, notable for their deliberate pacing, carefully established mood and atmosphere, and faintly Gothic treatment of settings and characters. As a stylist, Polanski favors long takes, deep-focus photography, and detailed pictorial "mise-en-scène"; jump cuts and montage very rarely appear in his work.

A recurring theme in his work is the relationship between victim and predator, and the unstable and shifting dynamics of power relations between characters often lead to sudden outbursts of absurd and grotesque violence (e.g., "Cul-de-Sac", "Macbeth", "Chinatown", "Bitter Moon", "Death and the Maiden"). Many of Polanski's films (especially his early works) deal with characters struggling for mastery over a hopeless situation and feature a circular plot structure — i.e., the action is framed by a bitterly ironic recurrence of events or reversal of fortunes at the end.



* "Trzy opowieści" (aka "Three Stories") as Genek 'The Little' (segment "Jacek") (1953)
* "Zaczarowany rower" (aka "Magical Bicycle") as Adas (1955)
* "Rower" (aka "Bicycle") as the Boy who wants to buy a bicycle (1955)
* "Pokolenie" (aka "A Generation") as Mundek (1955)
* "Nikodem Dyzma" as the Boy at Hotel (1956)
* "Wraki" (aka "The Wrecks") (1957)
* "Koniec nocy" (aka "End of the Night") as the Little One (1957)
* "Dwaj ludzie z szafa" (aka "Two Men and a Wardrobe") as the Bad boy (1958)
* "Zadzwońcie do mojej żony ?" (aka "Call My Wife") as a Dancer (1958)
* "Gdy spadają anioły" (aka "When Angels Fall Down") as an Old woman (1959)
* "Lotna" as a Musician (1959)
* "Zezowate szczęście" (aka "Bad Luck") as Jola's Tutor (1960)
* "Do widzenia, do jutra" (aka "Good Bye, Till Tomorrow") as Romek (1960)
* "Niewinni czarodzieje" (aka "Innocent Sorcerers") as Dudzio (1960)
* "Ostrożnie, Yeti!" (aka "Beware of Yeti!") (1961)
* "Gros et le maigre, Le" (aka "The Fat and the Lean") as The Lean (1961)
* "Samson" (1961)
* "Nóż w wodzie" (aka "Knife in the Water") voice of Young Boy (1962)
* "Repulsion" as Spoon Player (1965)
* "The Fearless Vampire Killers" as Alfred, Abronsius' Assistant (1967)
* "The Magic Christian" as Solitary drinker (1969)
* "What?" as Mosquito (1972)
* "Blood for Dracula" (Andy Warhol) as Man in Tavern (1976)
* "Chinatown" as Man with Knife (1974)
* "Locataire, Le" (aka "The Tenant") as Trelkovsky (1976)
* "Chassé-croisé" (1982)
* "En attendant Godot" (TV) as Lucky (1989)
* "Back in the U.S.S.R." as Kurilov (1992)
* "Pura formalità , Una" (aka "A Pure Formality") as Inspector (1994)
* "Grosse fatigue" (aka "Dead Tired") as Roman Polanski (1994)
* "Hommage à Alfred" (aka "Tribute to Alfred Lepetit") (2000)
* "Zemsta" (aka "The Revenge") as Papkin (2002)
* "Rush Hour 3" as Detective Revi (2007)


* "A Day at the Beach" (1970) after a novel by Simon Heere Heeresma from 1962.



* Cronin, Paul. (2005). "Roman Polanski: Interviews". Mississippi: University Press of Mississippi. 200p
* Farrow, Mia. (1997). "What Falls Away: A Memoir". New York: Bantam.
* Feeney, F.X. (text); Duncan, Paul (visual design). (2006). "Roman Polanski." Koln: Taschen. ISBN 3-8228-2542-5
* Polanski, Roman. (1975). "Three film scripts: Knife in the water [original screenplay by Jerzy Skolimowski, Jakub Goldberg and Roman Polanski ; translated by Boleslaw Sulik] ; Repulsion [original screenplay by Roman Polanski and Gerard Brach] . Cul-de-sac [original screenplay by Roman Polanski and Gerard Brach] ; introduction by Boleslaw Sulik". New York: Fitzhenry and Whiteside. 275p. ISBN 0064300625
* Polanski, Roman. (1984). "Knife in the water, Repulsion and Cul-de-sac: three filmscripts by Roman Polanski". London: Lorrimer. 214p. ISBN 0856470511 (hbk) ISBN 0856470929 (pbk)
* Polanski, Roman. (2003). "Le pianiste". Paris: Avant-Scene. 126p. ISBN 2847250166
* Polanski, Roman. (1985). "Roman". London: Heinemann. London: Pan. 456p. ISBN 0434591807 (hbk) ISBN 0330285971 (pbk)
* Polanski, Roman. (1984). "Roman". New York: Morrow. ISBN 0688026214
* Polanski, Roman. (1973). "Roman Polanski's What? From the original screenplay". London: Lorrimer. 91p. ISBN 0856470333
* Polanski, Roman. (1973). "What?". New York: Third press. 91p. ISBN 089388121X

External links

* [ Roman Polanski] Official site
*imdb name|0000591|Roman Polanski
* [ Roman Polanski bibliography] (via UC Berkeley Media Resources Center)
* [ March, 1977 Grand Jury Testimony of Polanski's victim]
* [ Media coverage of the Polanski rape trial]
* [ Interview with Samantha Geimer]
* [ Roman Polanski site by French writer Alexandre Tylski]
* [ Interview with Roman Polanski]
* [ Watch Knife in the Water]
* [,3604,1528830,00.html The Guardian profile: Roman Polanski]
* [ Interview on the Charlie Rose Show at Google video.]
* [ Cinema Retro Presents a Polanski Guide to Urban Living]

* [ Roman Polandski UNauthorized]

###@@@KEY@@@### s-achsuccession box
title=BAFTA Award for Best Direction
for "Chinatown"
before=François Truffaut
for "Day for Night"
after=Stanley Kubrick
for "Barry Lyndon"
succession box
title=Golden Globe Award for Best Director - Motion Picture
for "Chinatown"
before=William Friedkin
for "The Exorcist"
after=Miloš Forman
for "One Flew Over the Cuckoo's Nest"
succession box
title=César Award for Best Director
for" Tess"
before=Christian de Chalonge
for "L'Argent des autres"
after=François Truffaut
for "The Last Metro"
succession box
title=Academy Award for Best Director
for "The Pianist"
before=Ron Howard
for "A Beautiful Mind"
after=Peter Jackson
for ""
succession box
title=BAFTA Award for Best Direction
for "The Pianist"
before=Peter Jackson
for ""
after=Peter Weir
for ""
succession box
title=César Award for Best Director
for "The Pianist"
before=Jean-Pierre Jeunet
for "Amélie"
after=Denys Arcand
for "The Barbarian Invasions"

NAME= Polanski, Roman
ALTERNATIVE NAMES= Liebling, Rajmund Roman
SHORT DESCRIPTION= Film director, producer, writer, actor
DATE OF BIRTH= August 18, 1933
PLACE OF BIRTH= Paris, France

Wikimedia Foundation. 2010.

Look at other dictionaries:

  • Roman Polański — (2011) Roman Raymond Polański[1] (* 18. August 1933 in Paris; eigentlich Rajmund Roman Liebling) ist ein polnischer[2] …   Deutsch Wikipedia

  • Roman Polański — Roman Polanski Pour les articles homonymes, voir Polanski. Roman Polański …   Wikipédia en Français

  • Roman Polanski — Roman Polański (* 18. August 1933 in Paris, Frankreich als Rajmund Roman Liebling) ist ein polnischer[1] Filmregisseur, Drehbuchautor und Schauspieler, der 1975 die französische Staatsbürgerschaft annahm.[2] …   Deutsch Wikipedia

  • Roman Polanski — Saltar a navegación, búsqueda Roman Polanski. Roman Polanski, en polaco Roman Rajmund Polański (nacido en París, Francia, 18 de agosto de 1933), es un director de cine, productor, guionista y ac …   Wikipedia Español

  • Roman Polanski — (18 de agosto de 1933) es un actor y director de cine polaco. Polanski nació en París bajo el nombre de Roman Liebling. Se crió en Cracovia, donde sus padres, judíos, fueron prisioneros de los campos de concentración, por lo que no pudo verlos… …   Enciclopedia Universal

  • Roman Polanski — Pour les articles homonymes, voir Polanski. Roman Polanski …   Wikipédia en Français

  • Roman Polanski — n. (born 1933) French born American film director (famous for directing the film Rosemary s Baby ) …   English contemporary dictionary

  • Roman Polanski: Wanted and Desired — Données clés Titre original Roman Polanski: Wanted and Desired Réalisation Marina Zenovich Scénario Marina Zenovich Joe Bini P.G. Morgan Sociétés de production Antidote Films B …   Wikipédia en Français

  • Roman Polanski sexual abuse case — In March 1977, film director Roman Polanski was arrested and charged with a number of offenses against Samantha Geimer, a 13 year old girl[1] – rape by use of drugs, perversion, sodomy, lewd and lascivious act upon a child under 14, and… …   Wikipedia

  • Roman Polanski: Wanted and Desired — Filmdaten Originaltitel Roman Polanski: Wanted and Desired Produktionsland USA, UK …   Deutsch Wikipedia

Share the article and excerpts

Direct link
Do a right-click on the link above
and select “Copy Link”

We are using cookies for the best presentation of our site. Continuing to use this site, you agree with this.