Since his breakthrough film "Knife in the Water", Polanski has been investigating the darker aspect of co-existence: sociopath neurosis. His core themes are centered around an antagonism between the self and the other. His protagonists are often frail, neurotic individuals fighting against a real or perceived threat from their milieu and a fear of impending loss: loss of offspring in "Rosemary's baby", of identity in "The Tenant", of virginity in "Tess", or rationality in "Chinatown" etc. In this struggle, they find themselves isolated, trapped, unable to trust or forge alliances with anyone. Through voyeurism, ambiguous sexuality, Satanism and obsession, Polanski creates a cyclical world where the end is often worse than the beginning, where accepting and being accepted rarely come to completion, where the frustrated self finds its nightmares spring to life. While not horror films per se, Polanski's works often probe the same territory with creativity and precision, leaving behind them a long-lasting, horrifying discomfort.

Suggested Reading

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Roman Polanski
by Daniel Bird

Roman Polanski Website

 Director - Feature filmography and Review links:

Venus in Fur (2013),  Carnage (2011), The Ghost Writer (2010),  Oliver Twist (2005), The Pianist (2002), The Ninth Gate (1999), Death and the Maiden (1994), Bitter Moon (1992), Frantic (1988), Pirates (1986), Tess (1979), The Tenant (1976), Chinatown (1974), What? (1972), The Tragedy of Macbeth (1971), Rosemary's Baby (1968), The Fearless Vampire Killers (1967), Cul-de-sac (1966), Repulsion (1965), Knife in the Water (1962)