The Devil in the Magic City
For American audiences, Roman Polanskis directorial abilities have largely been obscured by the ongoing legal mess he created when he was arrested in 1977 for drugging and sexually abusing then-13-year-old Samantha Geimer, and subsequently fleeing the country before the trials sentencing. Further tarnishing his image was the far lesser crime of 1999s The Ninth Gate, a shoddy return to the subject matter of his first great U.S. film, 1969s Rosemarys Baby.
But before all of that, when he was a recent graduate of the Lodz film school in Poland, Polanski made what is possibly the single greatest directorial debut in the history of cinema: 1962s Knife in the Water. The films deeply pessimistic story of a wealthy couple that takes a young stranger on a sailing trip unfolds in sharp contrast to the breathtaking cinematography, one of the last exquisite manipulations of monochrome in cinema. The version showing this Thursday is a new high-definition transfer that re-creates the feeling of the original 35mm.
Thu., May 7, 8:30 p.m., 2009
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