Born in Paris on August 18, 1933 French film director.
Two years before the start of the second world war, the family of Roman Polanski returned to Poland from France. Later, the director would do the opposite journey to move away from a past that included the imprisonment of their parents in a concentration camp. Cinema in Poland was then necessarily by German propaganda, but even so the young Polanski took advantage of those lessons, which made him opt definitively for his vocation of filmmaker. It was in the 1950s, first appearing as an actor in some movies and after studying at the school of Lodz, as Polanski was starting slowly in the short film. There were already the features of its future cinema: the black humor and the more surreal side of human relationships.
Knife in the water (1962), his first feature film, made him an internationally recognized figure. It was the first Polish film of postwar which did not speak of the contest. The appearance of nudity, peculiar study of the characters and the dramatic tension that subjected them contributed to unmark its cinema which had become in the East up to that time. Knife in the water would serve as reference to other subsequent titles, such as total calm (1989), Philip Noyce.
Despite having already become a renowned director in Poland, Polanski decided to go to France. There known to his most frequent collaborator, screenwriter Gérard Brach, with whom he would share your international success in two emblematic titles: Repulsion (1965) and Cul-de-sac (1966), winners, respectively, bear silver and gold at the Berlin Festival. Both were made in England, both isolated the characters in a home that was becoming increasingly hostile and both confirmed the disturbed psychology of its protagonists. The dance of the vampires (1967) came clearly to the classic horror but without abandoning the sense of humor that allowed him to place a Jewish vampire, who do not affect crucifixes, next to the erotic story that accompanies the genre. Here Polanski worked together with his wife, Sharon Tate, who a year later would be brutally murdered by the Charles Mansoncult, just after that Polanski had led the seed of the Devil (1968), his most charismatic title, shot in the apartment building where John Lennonwould be murdered. The seed of the devil, whose papers were offered initially to Robert Redford and Jane Fonda, had as its main success put a demonic history in the heart of New York City, surrounded by absolutely everyday actions.
As I had previously felt the urge to get out of Europe, following the murder of his wife, Polanski left United States. In Europe completed two projects: Macbeth (1971) and what? (1973). the first, starring John Finch and Francesca Annis, ended up being funded by Playboy, after unsuccessful dealings with Allied Artists and Universal, which earned him quite a few reviews and an X rating. The second, with Marcello Mastroianni and Sydney Rome, returning to a House (in this case a villa) as a neuralgic Center of the blunders of a group of characters, and for some is the second part of a trilogy which would have its other two vertices in Repulsion and the chimerical tenant.
In 1974, Polanski returned to Hollywood. There you were waiting the birth of one of the classics of film noir: Chinatown (1974), and a trial for sexual intercourse with a minor, reason why he was expelled from the country. It has in fact not able to return to United States at the risk of being jailed. Chinatown, based on a fact that took place at the end of the thirties, won an Oscar for best original screenplay, written by Robert Towne, besides other ten nominations. Back in Europe, Polanski returned to plunge as actor in a claustrophobic script, changing the gender of the protagonist was much like Repulsion. The most brilliant film is the game in which the spectator is immersed trying to find out if such is the paranoia of the character played by Polanski, or if it is really threatened. The chimerical tenant (1976), which also featured in the cast Isabelle Adjani and Shelley Winters, had one of his best punches of effect in the soundtrack composed by Philippe Sarde. In 1980, adapted the classic Thomas Hardy, Tess, starring Nastassja Kinski. Visually, the film is a masterpiece, but lacks the passion that dominates the work of Hardy; Even so, won three Oscar.
From that moment, Polanski work would find different ups and downs. Against commercial titles like frantic (1988), starring Harrison Ford and Emmanuelle Seigner (couple of Polanski), are resounding commercial failures as pirates (1986). Death and the maiden (1994) again placed the tension in an enclosed space and deep for the first time in the field of political aspiration. Moons of Gall (1994), however, returned to the maritime scenarios (at least in part), as did the knife in the water, and moves by the swampy terrain of characters from changing behavior so passionate to the Director and his screenwriter, Richard Brach. Years later shot the ninth gate (1999), filmed partly in Spain and starring Johnny Depp. The adaptation of the novel by Arturo Pérez Reverte El Club Dumas did Polanski to return to be with psychological terror and the demonic, but, despite expectations, the film did not enjoy critical acclaim. Yes, the pianist, won unanimous recognition masterpiece of the Polish filmmaker who managed the Palme d'Or at the Festival de Cannes 2002, Goya Award of cinema Spanish for best European film, seven awards César of the French Academy, two British Bafta awards and three Oscar, including best adapted screenplay and the best work of the year address. The tape also received the David of Donatello, Italian cinematography award.
Polanski has become, forced by their ban on return to the United States, in a touring director for Europe. His themes are recurrent, but tied to a wide enough spectrum to allow you to take turns in his career. It is perhaps this European "seclusion" which allowed it to stay as an author and save themselves from being converted into one more piece of American commercial gear, where once thought to have a promising career.
In January 2004 was distinguished with the title of doctor honoris cause from the National University of theatrical art and film in Bucharest, while in May of the same year he was invested with the same award in literature from the Roman University of La Sapienza.
September 28, 2009 the famous film director was arrested in Zurich, Switzerland, in the framework of a legal process initiated in the United States, over accusations of a minor having been abused by the director in 1977.
Short films: 1955: Rower (also an actor and scriptwriter). 1957: Usmiech zebiczny (and screenwriter); Rozbijemy zabawe; Morderstwo (and screenplay). 1958: Dwaj ludzie z szafa (and screenplay). 1959: Lampa (screenplay); Gdy spadaja anioly (and actor). 1961: Gruby i chudy.1962: Ssaki (and screenplay). 1972: Weekend of a champion.
Feature films: (Polanski is scriptwriter of all his films) 1962: knife in the agua.1964: "Amsterdam" (episode of the world's most famous scams). 1965: Repulsion (and actor). 1966: Cul-de-sac/dead salida.1967: Dance of the vampires (and actor). 1968: the seed of the diablo.1971: Macbeth.1972: what? 1974: Chinatown (and actor). 1976: the chimerical tenant (and actor). 1979: Tess.1986: Piratas.1988: frenetico.1992: moons of Gall (and producer). 1994: death and the doncella.1999: the ninth gate (and producer). 2002: the pianist.
As an actor: 1953: Trzy opowiesci.1955: Pokolenie; Zacza Rowany Rower.1956: Koniec nocy.1957: Kanal; Wraki.1959: Lotna.1960: Zezowate szczescie (and Assistant Director); Niewinni czarodzieje; Do widzenia, do jutra; Ostroznie, Yeti! 1961: Samson.1969: The Magic Christian.1972: Afternoon of Guffroy; Back in the U.S.S.R.1994: A pure formica; Grosse fatigue.2002: revenge.
As a screenwriter: 1964: Aimez-vous les femmes? 1970: A day at the beach (and producer).
As a producer: 1972: Afternoon of a Champion.1999: Castelnuovo.