October 1, 2023

National Gallery’s CineClub

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Shari Wilson, who introduced the film.

The National Gallery’s CineClub, held every second and fourth Monday each month at their new building, is just the place for foreign and art-film lovers who want an experience of great movies from around the world.

The movies begin at 7.00 pm, and admission is CI$5.00. This week’s offering was Roman Polanski’s debut film Knife in the Water, – part of a series of movies by one of the most influential international film directors ever.

Before the film began, Shari Wilson who studied film at Loyola University, gave a brief introduction to Mr. Polanski and his movies: “Roman Polanski was born in Paris in 1933. He is a Polish film director, producer and writer and actor. He is regarded as one of the few truly international film makers, having made films all over the world: France, Germany, America, and many other places and he’s inspired many diverse directors,’ she said.

“After his move from France to Poland his parents were later captured and sent to two different concentration camps. He survived the war by wandering the Polish countryside from the age of seven onward, pretending to be a Roman Catholic visiting his relatives. This lifestyle forced him to live like a tramp, hiding out and foraging for food, being mistreated and encountering Nazi forces. But, throughout all of this, he developed a cultural mindset, and while others were deterred from going to the theatres because of the German propaganda, Roman Polanski saw beyond that, and went to the theatres anyway and developed his love for film,” Ms Wilson said.

“The film that we are going to see tonight was done in 1962 and in 1963 was nominated for an Oscar for best foreign-language film.

“It is his debut; and it’s the first Polish post-war film not associated with the war theme. The effect of the camera work is always cinematic rather than theatrical. Roman Polanski, if you notice throughout the series, deals with a lot of very small, tight spaces; that is one of his fortés as a film maker,” Ms Wilson continued.

“Knife in the water is about a wealthy, unhappily married couple who decide to take a mysterious hitchhiker with them on a weekend boating excursion, and it’s regarded as rather dark and unsettling so as we watch the film perhaps you will get that feeling also.”

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