Emphasizes international cultural, artistic, and historical diversity by introducing select contemporary Eastern European film directors. Focuses on a single filmmaker and studies his/her opus in depth, both in his/her Eastern European country of origin and abroad. Special attention paid to Eastern European filmmakers in Hollywood.
From the early experimental films of the 1950s that are still being studied in film schools all over the world, such as a 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), Carnage (2011) and Venus in Fur (2014), 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 onto his highly acclaimed English productions such as Repulsion, his Hollywood classics like Rosemary’s Baby and Chinatown, his post-Hollywood multi-national 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.