Cinema of Roman Polanski
Professor Gordana Crnković,
Office Hours: T,Th 10:30-11:20, Padelford A-212,
Teaching Assistant: Matt Boyd,
Office Hours: T, Th 2:30-3:30 A210B Padelford
THE CINEMA OF ROMAN POLANSKI Professor Gordana Crnković Teaching Assistant: Matt Boyd C LIT 397 B, Special Topics in Cinema Studies SLAV 223 A, East European Cinema TTh 12:30-2:20, AU 2015, SIG 134, 5 credits, VLPA COURSE DESCRIPTION The films of Roman Polanski have attracted a world-wide audience and made him one of the most well-known and best-regarded contemporary directors. His acclaim spans from the early films of the 1950s, such as Two Men and a Wardrobe (1958)—directed while he was a student—to 2002’s The Pianist, winner of the Academy Award for Best Director, to the present day. This course will explore Polanski’s remarkable cosmopolitan, decades-spanning oeuvre. We will focus on Polanski’s most successful films, starting with his experimental Polish shorts, proceeding to his highly acclaimed English production Repulsion, then onto such Hollywood classics as Rosemary’s Baby and Chinatown. We’ll move from there to his post-Hollywood, multinational productions, including such films as The Tenant and Frantic, his 1990s films Bitter Moon and Death and the Maiden, and then his lauded The Pianist, provocative The Ghost Writer, hyper-intense Carnage, and his newest, Venus in Fur (2013). The course will look into how Polanski’s movies adopt a number of different genres and aesthetic approaches to deal with the recurrent themes of solitude, victimization, and the idiosyncratic worldview of an isolated individual. Requirements: film viewing, readings, three quizzes.
NOTE ON THE USE OF LAP-TOPS AND CELL PHONES
No lap-top or cell phone use is allowed during the class, regardless of whether we are having a
discussion, a lecture, or viewing a film clip. Please put away your laptops and turn off your cell
phones when in class, and do not disturb the class by leaving the room to make or take your texts or calls.
REQUIREMENTS 1) Viewing the Films Unless we have an in-class viewing of the film, you are required to view the film on your own before the class in which we are discussing it. All of the films for this class are on reserve in the Media Center, as well as available as streaming video. Instructions on how to access films online will be given in the first class. 2) In-class quizzes Three in-class quizzes, the first two for 35% of the final grade and the third one for 30% of the final grade. 3) Written Responses We shall have a few in-class or at home writing assignments, to be announced in the class. These will be optional and not graded. They are intended to help focus your viewing responses and to help you improve your writing and articulation of thoughts on the films and subjects we tackle, as well as to get more comprehensive feedback on your work. 4) Readings Relevant articles or book chapters are available on our class site, providing additional ways of approaching Polanski’s films. Some of these are required and noted as such in the syllabus, and some are optional. We shall review the main points of these articles in the class as well.
READINGS FOR THIS CLASS, AVAILABLE ON CANVAS IN THE "COURSE DOCUMENTS MODULE" AND/OR ON WEB SITES BELOW.
General Humanities Readings:
1) William Deresiewicz, “The Neoliberal Arts: How college sold its soul to the market”
2) The Ancient Greeks’ 6 Words for Love (And Why Knowing Them Can Change Your Life), Roman Krznaric
General Film Readings
3) Matt Boyd’s Comprehensive Film Terminology
4) Beyond Narrative: The Future of the Feature Film (1978), required
5) Prof. Michael Goldberg 's "Some Suggestions on How to Read a Film":
6) Jean-Luc Godard, The Future(s) of Film: Three Interviews 2000-01
7) Herbert Eagle, “Polanski”, required
8) Gordana Crnkovic, “Death and the Maiden” (review essay), required
9) Gordana Crnkovic, “From the Eye to the Hand: the Victim’s Double Vision in the Cinema of Roman Polanski.” http://www.kinoeye.org/04/05/crnkovic05.php
10) Polanski interview, 2009, required
11) David Walsh: “An evaluation of Roman Polanski as an artist”, required
FILMS ON RESERVE FOR THIS CLASS, at the Media Center All Directed by Roman Polanski
- Nóż w wodzie / Knife in the Water, Roman Polanski, 2-disc Criterion ed., DVD CRIT 710
- Repulsion, Roman Polanski, DVD CRIT 439
- Rosemary's Baby, Roman Polanski, DVD CRIT 673
- Macbeth, Roman Polanski, DVD CTHV 280
- The Tenant, Roman Polanski, DVD PARA 145
- Tess, Roman Polanski, DVD CRIT 749
- Frantic, Roman Polanski, DVD WHV 1066
- Bitter Moon, Roman Polanski, DVD SOUTHH 073
- Death and the Maiden, Roman Polanski, DVD AA 010
- The Ninth Gate, Roman Polanski, DVD AA 020
- The Pianist, Roman Polanski, DVD UNIV 075
- Oliver Twist, Roman Polanski, DVD SONYHE 011
- The Ghost Writer, Roman Polanski, DVD SUMME 007
- Carnage, Roman Polanski, DVD SONYHE 213
- Venus in Fur, Roman Polanski DVD EUR 305
Course Reserves can be searched for in the UW Libraries Catalog by course number or instructor name:http://www.lib.washington.edu/types/course
All media course reserves should be returned directly to the Media Center Desk to avoid fines.
Also available the following streaming link. You will need your UW NetID to access this and other UW Libraries licensed streaming media titles.
Knife in the Water
The films of Roman Polanski have attracted a world-wide audience and made him one of the most well known and best regarded contemporary directors. His acclaim spans from the early films of the 1950s, such as <Two Men and a Wardrobe> (1958)—directed while he was a student—to 2002’s <The Pianist>, winner of the Academy Award for Best Director, and most recently the controversial <The Ghost Writer> (2010) and claustrophobic <Carnage> (2011). This course will explore Polanski’s remarkable cosmopolitan oeuvre, which spans more than five decades. We will focus on Polanski’s most successful films, starting with his experimental Polish shorts, proceeding to his highly acclaimed English production <Repulsion>, then onto such Hollywood classics as <Rosemary’s Baby> and <Chinatown>. We’ll move from there to his post-Hollywood, multinational productions, including such films as <The Tenant> and <Frantic>, his 1990s films <Bitter Moon> and <Death and the Maiden>, and then! his lauded <The Pianist>, provocative <The Ghost Writer>, hyper-intense <Carnage>, and his newest, <Venus in Fur> (2013). The course will look into how Polanski’s movies adopt a number of different genres and aesthetic approaches to deal with the recurrent themes of solitude, victimization, and the idiosyncratic worldview of an isolated individual.