Roman Polanski

Bring on the Oscar movies! And the Oscar fatigue!

Article: Bring on the Oscar movies! And the Oscar fatigue!

The season of grossout comedies and screechy animated romps is spewing to an end as we brace ourselves for the period when actual quality films might come out of the darkness. And these films know they’re quality.

In fact, the releases from now till December 31 have been aggressively devised to win Oscars and will be prestigiously rammed down our throats until someone votes for them!

The top choices:

* Ages ago, George Clooney went from TV star to Oscar bait, and his new one will hardly stop his pedigree parade from marching on. It’s The Ides of March, directed by Clooney (who costars with Ryan Gosling), and seeing as it examines dirty politics from the inside, it couldn’t be any more tawdrily topical. Opens October 7

* Leonardo DiCaprio gets a star role—and hopefully some nice gowns—as FBI head J. Edgar Hoover in Clint Eastwood’s J. Edgar. It doesn’t take an investigator to smell Oscar potential here. October 21

FILM – looking back at KNIFE IN THE WATER

Article: FILM – looking back at KNIFE IN THE WATER

“One must not put a loaded rifle on the stage if no one is thinking of firing it.” Those are Anton Chekhov’s wise words from 1889, but they still ring true today. And it goes not just for theater but for literature and film – and knives, namely the sharp one brandished early on in Roman Polanski’s KNIFE IN THE WATER (1962). Shot in black and white with just three actors, two of whom had never acted before, Polanski’s first feature film is often referred to as one of the best directorial debuts in history, right alongside Orson Welles’ CITIZEN KANE and Jean-Luc Godard’s BREATHLESS.

Mel Gibson Out of The Hangover 2

Article: Mel Gibson Out of The Hangover 2

So after the rumors of Mel Gibson’s cameo in the upcoming HANGOVER 2 hit the interwebs last week, word comes out of Hollywood this morning that director Todd Phillips has decided not to use Gibson in the film.  As reported in the New York Post a week ago, Gibson was given the role of a…

THE GHOST WRITER

Article: THE GHOST WRITER

Set in Martha’s Vineyard and shot off the coast of northern Germany, all is grey and grim and perpetually drizzly in Roman Polanski’s latest directorial effort, THE GHOST WRITER. We never learn the name of The Ghost (Ewan McGregor), who’s hired to finish the memoirs of Adam Lang, the former British Prime Minister, after the first ghost writer is found washed up on the beach, the first in a series of suspicious events that seem to hover around Lang’s house like the dense cloud of fog outside.

Criterion releases DOWNHILL RACER

Article: Criterion releases DOWNHILL RACER

Most sports movies will try to convince you that it’s not about winning, it’s about how you play the game. Not DOWNHILL RACER (1969). In fact, one of the primary reasons Robert Redford struggled to get this film made was because no one had made a sports movie with a protagonist whose amorality and arrogance had no effect on his winning streak. He chose to center the narrative around downhill racing pretty much because baseball and football were already taken.

Jay Smooth vs. Roman Polanski

Article: Jay Smooth vs. Roman Polanski

Jay Smooth, who created the hip hop music blog and founded NYC’s hip-hop radio show, WBAI’s Underground Railroad, recently took on Roman Polanski on his blog. Roman Polanski on a hip-hop blog? Ok, I’ll listen. The rant, clocking in at over seven minutes, is hard to look away from. He presents his case against Polanski, and…

Criterion releases REPULSION

Article: Criterion releases REPULSION

The first of Polanski’s “Apartment Trilogy” (ROSEMARY’S BABY, THE TENANT), REPULSION remains one of the scariest movies I have ever seen. The new Criterion release, out July 28th, includes a funny, candid, and refreshingly unpolished 1964 French TV on-set documentary along with the Polanski-approved hi-def digital transfer.

People Who Need People: Bio Docs At The Fest

Article: People Who Need People: Bio Docs At The Fest

“I guess, I’m a people person,” jokes Marina Zenovich trying to explain why she makes films that focus on complex, fascinating individuals. Her documentary ROMAN POLANSKI: WANTED AND DESIRED [www.sundance.org] is not exactly a bio-doc, but rather an attempt to understand a particular historical moment, in this case, the 1977 arrest of Polanski for sexual assault, and his subsequent flight from the United States…