October 1st, 2009


I never liked Polanski's work. I saw his early films as they came out- Knife in the Water, Repulsion, Cul-de-Sac. There was something about them that made me feel queasy- migrainey, sick to the stomach.  It was weird.  Art doesn't usually hit me that way. It was as if  they beamed out negativity. 

The last thing of his I saw in sequence was The Fearless Vampire Slayers- the one with Sharon Tate in the bubble-bath. It's Polanski's idea of a romp- self-indulgent, unfunny, really rather tiresome. After that I avoided him.

More recently- because they came my way- I've watched Rosemary's Baby and Macbeth. They didn't make me feel ill-  maybe because my powers of resistance are stronger- maybe because Hollywood didn't give him the absolute control he'd had in Europe.  I liked Macbeth more than I thought I would, though artistically it's a bit of a mess. Rosemary's Baby was undone for me by the absurdity of its ending. They're schlocky films, both of them, a little silly and immature.  It would be nice to think Francesca Annis' nude scene had nothing to do with Hugh Hefner being sat in the producer's chair.

I haven't seen Chinatown. I don't suppose one should come to a final judgement without seeing Chinatown.