Tag: memory

March 11, 2011 / / Main Slate

Repulsion – 1965 – dir. Roman Polanski

Looking over Roman Polanski’s career, I feel his strength as a director lies in creating psychological suspense and dread out of confined spaces, and the casual way in which he shows you the horror that was always right next to you. His best work happens to be in the early to middle period of his career, and is roughly bracketed by two events: Polanski’s recent past as a Holocaust survivor, and the murder of Sharon Tate. (There really is no late period, save in the academic and chronological sense. After Chinatown Polanski never made a truly outstanding film, with the exception of Death and the Maiden. Never mind the noise made over the Oscar-winning The Pianist. Only with the recently released The Ghostwriter has Polanski come back to something like top form.) His films of special mention reveal the second life pulsing below the apparent one, the dark desires or fears hiding under a veneer of “normality” and respectability. (As seen in Knife In The Water, Cul-de-Sac, The Tenant, Rosemary’s Baby, Chinatown and the aforementioned Ghostwriter.)

August 17, 2010 / / Main Slate

Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind – 2004 – dir. Michel Gondry

In Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind (dir. Michel Gondry, 2004), Jim Carrey plays against his quirky, impulsive type as subdued, quiet Joel, who has either just met, or really wants to forget, Kate Winslet’s quirky, impulsive Clementine. In this inside-out romance, the point-of-view zips around from future to past, and from imagined to real, in a race between the persistence of memory, and the true cost of forgetting.