Mexico Barbaro Directed by Isaac Ezban, Laurette Flores Bornn, Jorge …
Featuring a closely-coiffed Mia Farrow as the soft-spoken, childlike Rosemary Woodhouse, potential mother to the devil; John Cassavetes, post-Shadows, and just about to truly kick off his great directorial run; and the inimitable Ruth Gordan as a sort of Grace Zabriskie-precursor: the creepy neighbor next door, heavily made-up and eerily meddlesome, Rosemary’s Baby picks up the paranoid thread of 1965’s Repulsion. The film also anticipates the similarly – though more political – claustrophobic suspicion of Alan Pakula’s 1970’s films.
What is art if not an artist’s fiction translated into reality? A fiction wrought from fear, self-loathing and prejudice that escapes the confines of a sonnet and burrows its way into the collective consciousness. Now it is reality. Now it has power. Now it’s an idea, and ideas are poisonous. Rather than dispelling the poisonous reality, Polanski’s Venus in Fur toys with the delicate fiction lying beneath. It’s a study in role-playing, where the players and creators are equally baffled by the game. More importantly, this is the intensely personal work of an artist who understands that only by blurring the lines between fiction and reality can he approach what Herzog calls, “the ecstatic truth.”
Film noir comes full circle in Roman Polanski’s Chinatown (1974). Thirty years before its release, crime dramas saw the birth of a fundamental character – the noir hero. From Dashiell Hammett to Raymond Chandler, The Maltese Falcon (1941) to The Big Sleep (1946), the noir hero inhabits a world of hopelessness and dark tragedy. The Maltese Falcon saw Humphrey Bogart’s inaugural portrayal of this amoral anti-hero and began film noir as we know it.