Introduces select Eastern European film directors from the 1950s to the present day. Focuses on a single filmmaker and studies his/hers opus in depth, both in his/her Eastern European country of origin and abroad. Pays special attention to Eastern European filmmakers in Hollywood and the mark they made there.
From the early experimental films of the 1950s that are still being studied in film schools all over the world, such as the famous Two Men and a Wardrobe (1958) — which Roman Polanski directed as a second-year-student — to the 2002 The Pianist, a winner of the Academy Award for the Best Director, and his newest The Ghost Writer (2010) andCarnage (2011), the films of Roman Polanski have attracted a world-wide audience and made Polanski himself one of the most well known and best regarded contemporary directors. This course will explore Polanski’s remarkable and cosmopolitan oeuvre which by now spans more than five decades. We will focus on Polanski’s most successful films, starting with his experimental Polish shorts, proceeding to his highly acclaimed English productions such as Repulsion, his Hollywood classics like Rosemary’s Baby and Chinatown, his post-Hollywood multinational productions which include films such as The Tenant and Frantic, his 1990s’ Bitter Moon and Death and the Maiden, his acclaimed The Pianist, and his most recent films. The course will look into how Polanski’s movies adopt a number of different genres and different aesthetic approaches to deal with some of Polanski’s recurrent themes, such as solitude, victimization, the separation from the society, and the idiosyncratic worldview of an isolated individual.