Setting aside the more controversial aspects of him fame/infamy – and his headline-baiting personal life - there’s no denying Polish director Roman Polanski is a maverick and a visionary. Even if his dossier included only Rosemary’s Baby and Chinatown, Polanski would be a force.
That it also includes Knife in the Water, Cul-de-sac, Repulsion, The Tenant and the weirdly underrated Ghost Writer is proof positive that Polanski’s oeuvre is pretty well cemented as legendary.
So it makes perfect sense that programmers at Toronto’s TIFF Bell Lightbox are teeing up the December 30 opening of Polanski’s new flick, Carnage with a career retrospective running December 17 - December 25 and featuring all the above-mentioned films.
As for the black comedy Carnage - which looks 10 kinds of wicked - I simply cannot wait. The film stars John C. Reilly, Jodie Foster, Kate Winslet and Christoph Waltz as two sets of parents who drunkenly square off after their kids have a schoolyard brawl. Even the trailer is clever… check out the countdown and how quickly things deteriorate.
Clearly an actor’s movie – and based on the play God of Carnage by French playwright Yasmina Reza - Carnage is the kind of film that requires a director as capable of wrangling personalities as ordering specific camera angles. Polanski can do both (witness Jack Nicholson and Faye Dunaway in Chinatown).
The Polanski retrospective is appointment viewing; write it down in pen. WARNING: The Carnage trailer contains salty language.