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Sep 20 2015 18:00 - 20:00
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A special appointment with two of the more controversial works of this well know director.


"Every film I make represents a departure for me. You see, it takes so long to make a film. By the time you get to the next one you’re already a different man.”

Known for his claustrophobic atmospheres, precise shot composition, and diving into the psyche of characters; Polanski has become one of the greatest filmmakers in cinematic history. Anyone who harbors an interest in cinema should dip his or her toes into the filmography of this director.

We chose two of the most controversial and original movies of his first period as director.


18h00 "Cul-de-sac" (1966)

Dwarfed by Polanski's other 60s films and unavailable until Criterion released it a few years ago, "Cul-de-sac" is a transitional film for Polanski, but a memorable effort in its own right. A sort of "Waiting for Godot" meets "Little Caesar," the film is a power-play between brash American gangster Lionel Stander, who’s waiting for a colleague that never shows, and ineffectual Brit Donald Pleasence, whose castle Stander stumbles upon. Stander dominates and emasculates Pleasence in front of his oversexed wife (Francoise Dorleac) as Polanski uses the castle to striking effect, turning an battle of wits into an outsized look at male dominance. If the final moments of this black comedy are more disturbing than funny, it's because it's comedic in the nastiest sense of the word, pushing Polanski’s bleak worldview to its most jaundiced.

20h30 "Repulsion" (1965)

Polanski's films often deal with innocents driven mad by the world, but there's something terribly wrong with Catherine Denueve's character in "Repulsion" from the beginning. When she hears her sister's orgasms, she looks like she's being tortured. All sexuality is rape to Denueve – her dreams of men dominating her and visions of walls grabbing at her breasts are just stepping-stones to her descent into insanity. It's the rare horror movie where the surreal elements are almost comforting compared to the realistic ones – Deneuve's cold stare, her vivid dreams of sexual violation, and the frankness of the murder scenes. Polanski plays with the idea that she's a woman out of place – a repressed European girl dealing with the sexual permissiveness of swinging London – but a puzzling final shot leaves it open as to whether or not this fear comes from past experience or general repression. That's part of what makes "Repulsion" so effective and disturbing – there’s no answer.

One movie 3 euro
Two movies 5 euro



OT301, Overtoom 301, 1054 HW Amsterdam


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