THE CINEMA OF ROMAN POLANSKI
Professor Gordana Crnković
CMS 397 C with SLAV 223 A
COURSE DESCRIPTION: The films of Roman Polanski have attracted a world-wide audience and made him one of the most well-known and best-regarded contemporary directors. His acclaim spans from the early films of the 1950s, such as Two Men and a Wardrobe (1958)—directed while he was a student—to 2002’s The Pianist, winner of the Academy Award for Best Director, to the present day. This course will explore Polanski’s remarkable cosmopolitan, decades-spanning oeuvre. We will focus on Polanski’s most successful films, starting with his experimental Polish shorts, proceeding to his highly acclaimed English production Repulsion, then onto such Hollywood classics as Rosemary’s Baby and Chinatown. We’ll move from there to his post-Hollywood, multinational productions, including such films as The Tenant and Frantic, his 1990s films Bitter Moon and Death and the Maiden, and then his lauded The Pianist, provocative The Ghost Writer, hyper-intense Carnage, and his newest, Venus in Fur (2013), Based on a True Story (2017), and An Officer and a Spy (2019). The course will look into how Polanski’s movies adopt a number of different genres and aesthetic approaches to deal with the recurrent themes of solitude, victimization, and the idiosyncratic worldview of an isolated individual. Requirements: film viewing, readings, three quizzes.
Image: Roman Polanski in The Tenant