Knife in the Water
Directed by Roman Polanski
Running time: 94 minutes
Considered by many to be his greatest work, Knife in the Water (1962) is director Roman Polanski's first full length feature and a brilliant psychological thriller. A simple story with profound implications, it traces themes that Polanski would return to later in his career and is a masterclass in directorial technique. Middle-aged bourgeois couple Andrzej (Leon Niemczyk) and Krystyna (Jolanta Umecka) pick up young hitchhiker (Zygmunt Malanowicz) on the way to their weekend yachting trip. The couple invite the hitch-hiker along with them, principally, it seems, so that Andrezej can assert his ego and prove his own masculine worth. Set over 24 hours amid the isolated and highly claustrophobic atmosphere of the boat, Polanski's probing, yet naturalistic camera follows the two men as they vie for Krystyna's attention. Barbed dialogue and macho sparring turns into full psychological warfare, culminating in a violent crescendo when a storm forces the crew to retreat below deck. With its stunning black and white compositions – and cinematography by Jerzy Lipman – its an artistic tour de force, a cryptic drama and a disturbing study of fear, humiliation, sexuality and aggression. A remarkable directorial debut, it earned Polanski worldwide acclaim as well as his first Oscar nomination.
Reservation is not necessary, but places are limited. Please arrive early to avoid disappointment.