Yet another year with yet another update.
2012 version can be found here.
2013 version can be found here.
A quiet and inconspicuous man (Trelkovsky) rents an apartment in France where the previous tenant committed suicide, and begins to suspect his landlord and neighbors are trying to subtly change him into the last tenant so that he too will kill himself.
Part of Hoop-Tober
“What if she gets better?” “Don’t worry, she won’t get better.”
Nature, it is said, abhors a vacuum. If my cat’s reaction to my Dyson is any indication, this axiom is unimpeachably true. The maxim is usually attributed to Aristotle (in the appealingly macabre form of “horror vacui”), who believed that any theoretical void would be filled by surrounding material, instantly wiping it out. Nothing—the absence of something—cannot really exist, for something will always take nothing’s place.
This ancient principle underlies Roman Polanski’s The Tenant, the third and final entry in his so-called “Apartment Trilogy” (after Repulsion and Rosemary’s Baby). Each of the trilogy's films brilliantly explores the disadvantages and incipient paranoia of close-quarters city dwelling (paranoia…
Roman Polanski's The Tenant builds a myriad of psychological layers around the director cast in the central role of Trelkovsky. It is a film often grouped together with Rosemary's Baby and Repulsion under the 'apartment trilogy' banner although this film develops into far more mysterious and complicated film than the other two.
His decision to cast himself as the films protagonist is an odd one given his lack of prominence infront of the lens previously. Only twelve months later he would face a life defining moment with accusations of rape reshaping his artistic approach. As such it is suggested that The Tenant is heavily autobiographical.
Polanski makes it crystal clear that this timid newcomer to the building is struggling to…
I'm so tired of crossdressing being depicted as a sign of insanity. How would you like it if every fucking film you watched had, I dunno what you are, but whatever you are as a sign of insanity? Fucking hell.
October count: 26/31.
This review reportedly contains spoilers. I can handle the truth.
I tried to watch this once, years ago but I fell asleep and had no interest in watching it again after that initial attempt. Fast forward years later and I've finally watched it in it's entirety, especially after the urging of some friends to give it another chance.
I was mildly disappointed by The Tenant, the slow start was a little on the sluggish side for my tastes. The second hour really picked up in the bizarre and often creepy area that I expected from the first hour of the film. I'm not opposed to the random inserts of comedy we experience, that wasn't my problem at all with the first half, I think I just wanted more development when…
The Tenant, Roman Polanski's last film in his Apartment Trilogy must be the craziest of them all. It's a very strange film I think. It hops from a fun and whimsical tone to a truly bizarre and psychologically twisted one. Trelkovsky (played by Roman Polanski) slowly by slowly finds out that his neighbours in his new apartment building are extremely unaccommodating, very creepy and occasionally awkward. He is being assaulted mentally and tries to play them at their own game. Without spoiling it, this has a various results. Anyway, for me The Tenant reinforced the fact Roman Polanski is not just a master behind the camera, but that he's also a solid and good actor on his own. I thought…
I have never, in my life, seen a horror movie that was so representative of the director's own phobias and insecurities. The Tenant, directed by Roman Polanski and starring the man himself, is part of his "apartment trilogy," a cinematic depiction of the horrors of urban living. I would assume that Polanski's neighbors once creeped the hell out of him, and vice versa. In this, he plays Trelkovsky, a meek bureaucrat that rents out an apartment whose last owner committed suicide, It's not long before Trelkovsky begins to feel the same urban paranoia that afflicted Mia Farrow in Rosemary's Baby.
This movie has a very slow pace, quietly ratcheting up the unsettling imagery until it reaches a climax of horrific…
This review reportedly contains spoilers. I can handle the truth.
Wonderfully bizarre and surreal film. It should play in a triple feature with Orson Welles' "The Trial" and Kubrick's "The Shining". One of my favorite things about the film is the little odd awkward moments that Polanski so effortlessly captures. It has a good deal of his dark, dark humor as well.
I think one of the major important things to note about this film is the numerous times Tarkovsky has to explain he's "a french citizen". Perhaps Polanski is making a light commentary on racism or nationalism here.
The visual perspective work on display here is truly astounding. Sven Nyquist does an excellent job capturing it all. It definitely has some over Kafka-esque moments here (hence referring to "The…
Polanski at his most Hitchcockian. Casting himself seems a little narcasistic but in an odd way it works and adds to the surreal vibe.
The Tenant follows the same theme of paranoia as Rosemary's Baby and Repulsion but brutally emphasizes the protagonist's irrationality. Rosemary is perfectly logical in her pursuit, whereas Carole's fear purportedly stems from some unresolved personal issue. Trelkovsky, however, is the perfect protagonist for this motif, given his personality. He is a foreigner, generally reclusive, and hardly enjoys the same life pleasures as his peers. This seems to convince him that his stubborn neighbours are actually plotting against him, using the suicide of his predecessor as his reasoning.
Polanski's acting as Trelkovsky makes the film extra surreal, as it doesn't seem he's really acting but rather experimenting with his own persona, trying to jam it into the story abrasively. It is…
"What right does my head have to call itself me?"
Best viewed by switching between French and English dubbing and enjoying Roman Polanski's accent in both. It's clear most of it was dubbed over in English which makes all of the Parisians sound like bit parts in a Bruce Lee movie. Watching it only in English would be tough as that terrible dubbing is at odds to how true it is to life in Paris. I'm not an expert on the timeline of Polanski's exile from L.A. in Paris but I saw this film as an abstraction of that experience. The experience of moving to a new city that is quite old, with very specific and seemingly arbitrary customs that place a lot of importance on how you fit in…
Through its first half, Roman Polanski's 1976 film is a cruel and painfully funny black comedy, following a timorous Polish expatriate (played by Polanski himself) as he tries, overpolitely, to negotiate the intricacies of social contact in his adopted Paris. But the second part tapers off into a routine psychological thriller, riddled with overwrought shock effects. The end result is somewhere between Franz Kafka and William Castle, but still worth seeing. With Isabelle Adjani, Melvyn Douglas, Jo Van Fleet, and Shelley Winters.
As for Polanski, I prefer the director over the actor. He might have the wimpy aura for the part, but he's never entirely convincing. Maybe I'm too familiar with him to drown alongside his character here, as he descends into paranoia. It's the meat of the film, that uses a somewhat lengthy, but neat build-up and results in an eerie execution with a dark comic touch to it. Not the best one in the Apartment Trilogy, but hey, it's got Shelly Winters.
For a film labelled as a psychological thriller, it's surprising how much humor is in it. By the end it made me consider if it was just a comedy in disguise.
I really want to see the Seinfeld version of this film, except with George Costanza as the lead. Laugh track and all.
I liked the kafkaesque atmosphere and Roman Polanski acted very well.
Originally a list made prior to Cannes 2014, now updated every mid-April.
This is every Palme d'Or nominee since the…