July 07, 2006

Rosemary's Baby

Last night I filled one of the gaping holes in my knowledge of English-language cinema. I'd never seen Roman Polanski's Rosemary's Baby, one of the most respected films ever made dealing with evil, the occult, a pervasive creepiness, and the dangerous consquences that can result when you make friends with the neighbors. I'm always a little nervous when I watch a really well-regarded old movie. I'm afraid it won't live up to expectations, or it will have been stolen from and improved upon in later works to such a degree that it's lost its impact. I can happily say that that is not the case with this film. If you are into watching something disturbing or creepy (or if you have a thing for Mia Farrow, which could be related), that sort of cold, something's off or wrong brand of horror - this film still packs a punch. It's well acted of course (Ruth Gordon even won an Oscar for her work), but the real star is Polanski. The way it's shot, the way the camera and characters move, the lighting, the score, it's all put together brilliantly. It even ends better than I would have guessed. So if you like this sort of thing and you've never seen it, check it out.

It's actually gotten me in the mood to see more Ruth Gordon too, so I'm going finally watch Harold and Maude sometime in the next few days.

Posted by armand at July 7, 2006 10:44 AM | TrackBack | Posted to Movies


Harumph. I've never seen either one of those, and I seem to recall a conversation about watching them together. Harumph.

Posted by: binky at July 7, 2006 11:27 AM | PERMALINK

Uh, if you know they are at my house (btw, H&M should get there today) - and Rosemary's Baby had been there for well over a week - feel free to call if you feel like watching something. After all, it's just me and Maddalena, and especially in the summer our nights tend to be free. :)

Posted by: Armand at July 7, 2006 11:31 AM | PERMALINK

Hmmm, so, this means I get to just show up at any time?

Posted by: binky at July 7, 2006 11:49 AM | PERMALINK

Polanski rocks. Check out his version of Macbeth -- the first film he made after the Manson murders -- sometime. It's fantastic in all the same kinds of ways.

Posted by: jacflash at July 7, 2006 11:50 AM | PERMALINK

I have to say my favorite McBeth is Scotland PA. Walken.

Posted by: binky at July 7, 2006 11:51 AM | PERMALINK

Well you might want to call first, but quiet evenings at home tend to be the norm in July.

The Polanski MacBeth is seriously messed-up stuff. Interesting though. And interesting that you'd recommend that and not mention The Pianist or Chinatown (both of which are magnificent - but I presume you just assume that's implied).

And I looooove Scotland PA. Such a fun movie.

Posted by: Armand at July 7, 2006 12:13 PM | PERMALINK

pretty much every movie mentioned above is great. scotland PA was especially fun. as much as i loved walken, though, i thought what's her name from ER, on whom i've always had a girl-next-door crush, was so damned sultry that smoke was coming off the screen. she completely stole the show for me.

Posted by: moon at July 7, 2006 01:03 PM | PERMALINK

Maura Tierney - and yes, she was GREAT.

Posted by: Armand at July 7, 2006 01:42 PM | PERMALINK

Armand: it's just that Macbeth is a) a less-obvious choice and b) one of my favorites.

Posted by: jacflash at July 7, 2006 02:32 PM | PERMALINK

So I watched The Ninth Gate yesterday. Definitely the worst Polanski movie I've ever seen - but still not terrible. Why? B/c even though the script had major problem in it's last half hour or so, the man is such a craftsman! Everything looks great and is shot terribly well - all the "craft" is so well done. How he creates so much movement in scenes that are basically just people sitting around in rather dark rooms - he's a huge talent. When it comes to the camera. In this, yeah, I wasn't happy with the script, with the way Langella was costumed, and to a degree with the way Depp approached the role - but like I said, on a technical level it was very well done. And it was cool to see him play around with modern technology (from the very cool opening credits to having one man play two characters in one scene).

Posted by: Armand at July 14, 2006 09:11 AM | PERMALINK
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