Roman Polanski’s name still stirs up controversy, but no matter how you feel about the man or his personal history…he is one hell of an international filmmaker. His films have been both influential as well as inspirational for generations of other directors. Many may not know that his very first full-length feature film, Knife in the Water (1962) was nominated for an Academy Award for best Foreign Film but lost to that Fellini flick 8½ . He has since gotten five more nominations and one win. Another incidental bit of trivia is that he is a holocaust survivor.
His name doesn’t always come up when fans talk about the horror genre. Sure they may know about Rosemary’s Baby, but that’s about it. I have included his Apartment Trilogy (of which Rosemary is one of the three along with Repulsion and The Tenant). The last flick I included is, to me, a hysterical vampire film called The Fearless Vampire Hunters.
Younger generations probably haven’t even heard of Polanski much less his connection to the Manson Family Murders, the loss of his wife Sharon Tate and their unborn child, or the reason he doesn’t make films in America any more. I won’t go into all that here because I’ll leave the sensationalism to his movies. Suffice it to say the victim who he confessed to raping has forgiven him publicly as well as accepted his apology and financial settlement. So it’s not my business.
I’m sure he will always be remembered for his direction of Chinatown for which he won the Director Oscar. He’s still directing, however. His most recent films were Carnage and Venus in Furs. Though Polanski’s films are as diverse as one can imagine, I feel he has certainly earned his place here at My Horrible Idea!