Roman Polanski
Roman Polanski


Plakatmotiv; Gestaltung: h neun, Berlin
Roman Polanski - Director and Actor
Exhibition (starting 19 November 2010) Photos
Roman Polanski is one of the world’s most influential directors. To date, he has shot two films at Studio Babelsberg: In 2002, "The Pianist" premiered. The film in which the director first worked through the traumatic experiences of his childhood days was honoured with the Golden Palm Award at Cannes Film Festival and three Oscars. Eight years later, in February 2010, "The Ghost Writer" came to the cinemas, shortly after Polanski had won the Silver Bear for Best Director at the 60th Berlinale with his film. Over the past decades, the media have been particularly interested in the dramatic blows of fate and the well-known, momentous lapse that have cast a shadow on his private life. Although the exhibition also includes some information on these events, its focus is on the artist Roman Polanski and his films. Based on a concept that Filmmuseum Düsseldorf developed in cooperation with the Lodz Museum of Cinematography, Filmmuseum Potsdam now presents an entirely reworked version of the exhibition. Its makers collected photos from Polanski’s childhood and adolescent days as well as film and production stills from his feature films. The museum’s collections department added film posters, props from "The Ghost Writer", and a model from "The Pianist". The costume workshop Theaterkunst Kostümausstattung provided two costumes from its collection that were used for "The Pianist", set designer Sebastian Krawinkel contributed location photos, sketches, and drawings. Among the exhibition’s highlights are scripts, storyboards, and numerous production documents issued by Sylvette Baudrot, a close colleague of Polanski, from the collections of the Paris-based Cinémathèque Française.
Roman Polanski was born in Paris in 1933 and emigrated to Poland with his parents in 1937, where he experienced the persecution of the Jewish population, the German invasion, and the forced resettlement of his family to the Krakow Ghetto. His mother was murdered in Auschwitz; Polanski himself managed to escape and went into hiding. After the war, his performances in children’s radio plays and on the stage soon gained him the status of a young star. During his teenage years, Polanski had a keen interest in all forms of art. The remarkable short films he made as a student of Lodsz Film School can be viewed in full length in the exhibition. His first feature film "Knife in the Water" (1962) formed the starting point of his international career: The 19 features films he has made so far show that Polanski, who has worked in Great Britain, the US, and France, is one of the most versatile filmmakers of our time. His early film "Repulsion" (1965) is a psychological thriller with an existentialist undertone. "Cul-de-Sac" (1965) or "The Fearless Vampire Killers" (1967), in contrast, are fast-paced genre parodies. "Rosemary’s Baby" (1968), "Chinatown" (1974), and, last but not least, "The Ghost Writer" (2010) are suspense masterpieces. Besides being a filmmaker, Polanski has repeatedly contributed his acting and screenwriting skills to both his own projects and the films of other directors.