Academic journal article Film & History

Roman Polanski Interviews

Academic journal article Film & History

Roman Polanski Interviews

Article excerpt

ROMAN POLANSKI INTERVIEWS. Paul Cronin, editor. University Press of Mississippi, 2005. 211 pages; $50.00.


Roman Polanski Interviews offers a tantalizing glimpse into the ambitions and drives of the enigmatic film director. The book is a collection of talks conducted by critics, magazine writers, and television hosts over a chronology that spans most of Polanski's prolific career. The interviews - which have appeared in magazines and on television - reprinted in this book showcase Polanski's unique perspectives on his life and his works.

After a brief introduction the editor provides a time span of Polanski's life followed by an extensive filmography. These tools help the reader to understand the chronology of the interviews. As a whole the interviews offer perspectives on Polanski's life, his filmmaking, and his philosophy of his art.

In a number of the interviews Polanski reflects upon events of his life and the readers are supplied with glimpses of a man whose international roots helped to shape his perspective on the art of filmmaking and influenced the films he produced. The early years of Polanski's life were spent in Poland and were shaped by the German occupation and the rise of communism in the country. Polanski was educated at the Lodz Film School. After his early filmmaking in Poland, Polanski traveled to France, England and the United States to make motion pictures. According to Polanski in a 1992 interview with Antoine De Baecques and Thierry Jousse for Cahiers du Cinema, "I like London and Paris too much to be able to detach myself totally from them. . .You can see it in the films I've made."

... Interviews is a chronicle of Polanski's most important films. Conversations centered around the current films as they were released. Polanski gives his interviewers intimate accounts of the visions he had for the films and insights into the filmmaking process. In an interview with Michel Ciment, Michel Perez, and Roger Tailleur for Positif Polanski details the creative process for Cul-de-sac: "Nobody told [Gerard] Brach and me which direction to go when we sat down to write the script. …

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