Polanski Weekend at THE EGYPTIAN in Hollywood

Polanski Weekend at THE EGYPTIAN in Hollywood
Roman Polanski films at the historic Egyptian Theater in Hollywood, CA. Jan 28 - 30, 2011. American Cinematheque.
Updated: 01-28-2011


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In the late 1960s and early 1970s, visionary director Roman Polanski turned out a seemingly unstoppable series of brilliantly paranoid dramas, thrillers and blacker-than-black comedies, including ROSEMARY’S BABY, CUL-DE-SAC, REPULSION, THE TENANT, KNIFE IN THE WATER and, arguably his greatest masterpiece, the epochal L.A. noir CHINATOWN. Despite losing his wife Sharon Tate to a brutal murder by the Manson Family, and a much-publicized absence from the U.S. due to ongoing criminal issues, Polanski has managed to weather the tastes of a changing public with nimble intelligence. The new millennium has proven to be a time of creative triumph for Polanski with the Oscar-winning THE PIANIST, a dark adaptation of OLIVER TWIST, and this year’s critically-lauded and award-winning THE GHOST WRITER.

Please join for a retrospective of Polanski’s work, including THE FEARLESS VAMPIRE KILLERS and MACBETH.

Official Roman Polanski Website



Friday, January 28 – 7:30 PM

Double Feature: CHINATOWN, 1974, Paramount, 131 min. Dir. Roman Polanski. Jack Nicholson gives his greatest performance as 1930s private eye J.J. Gittes, maneuvering through a nightmarish L.A. netherworld of cheating husbands, stolen water rights, incest and murder, as he desperately tries to save beautiful Faye Dunaway from her raptor-like father John Huston. Writer Robert Towne’s magnificent, labyrinthine portrait of Los Angeles has been widely hailed as the best script of its era. [35mm]

THE TENANT, 1976, Paramount, 125 min. Polanski at his best, and strangest. Here, the director stars in his own film as a mild-mannered tenant, Trelkovsky, who moves into an apartment where the last inhabitant committed suicide. He soon comes to suspect that his neighbors - including Isabelle Adjani, Melvyn Douglas and Jo Van Fleet - have a similar end in mind for him. [DVD]  


Saturday, January 29 – 7:30 PM

Double Feature: REPULSION, 1965, Sony Repertory, 104 min. Director Roman Polanski’s second film was his first shot in English and certifiable proof that he was the new wunderkind of the psychological suspense thriller, favoring a warped psychology and metaphysical anguish, as well as dark Bunuelian humor. Here, beautician Catherine Deneuve, pathologically revolted by men, goes off the deep end when her loving but worldly sister (Yvonne Furneaux) leaves for the weekend with her boyfriend (Ian Hendry). The men that interact with Deneuve over the ensuing hours - smitten young John Fraser and lecherous landlord Patrick Wymark - don’t have any idea what they’re in for. Still retains an astonishing wallop and remains one of Polanski’s most intense portraits of irrational fears triumphing in a climax of abject terror. [35mm]

New 35mm Print! ROSEMARY’S BABY, 1968, Paramount, 136 min. Dir. Roman Polanski. A young New York couple (Mia Farrow and John Cassavetes) move into a new apartment building, where they’re quickly befriended by lovable Ruth Gordon and husband Sidney Blackmer. All is not as it seems, though, and Farrow soon comes to suspect that her neighbors have truly sinister plans in store for her and her unborn baby. This eerie supernatural thriller builds shivery atmosphere through each successive scene, right up until the shattering climax. [35mm]


Sunday, January 30 – 7:30 PM

Double Feature: Long Version Archival Print! CUL-DE-SAC, 1966, MGM Repertory, 111 min. One of director Roman Polanski’s most fascinating and criminally underrated films of the 1960s, CUL-DE-SAC is by turns a surreal black comedy, existential arthouse drama and twisted thriller set in an isolated mansion cut off from the mainland, where a hen-pecked husband (Donald Pleasence) and his domineering French wife (the lovely Francoise Dorleac) are surprised by two fleeing criminals (Lionel Stander and Jack MacGowran). [35mm]

THE FEARLESS VAMPIRE KILLERS, 1967, Warner Bros., 108 min. Roman Polanski’s expertly balanced blend of humor and horror looks even better today than when it was released nearly 40 years ago. Phenomenal character actor Jack McGowran is perfectly cast as the ancient, screw-loose Professor Abronsius who, with his harebrained sidekick, Alfred (Polanski, doing double duty) is on the hunt for vampires in the snowy Carpathian mountains. Their pursuit shifts into high gear once Alfred’s admired-from-afar love interest, the inn-keeper’s daughter (Sharon Tate), is kidnapped by the undead Count von Krolock (Ferdy Mayne). With the beautiful, deeply rich color cinematography of Douglas Slocombe and a memorable score by brilliant Krzysztof Komeda. [35mm]


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