Movies »Knife in the Water

knife in the water roman polanskiIn 1962, Roman Polanski made the pessimistic, subtle thriller, Knife in the Water, which earned him an Academy Award nomination and an international name in cinema.

Nearly entirely set on a boat, a wealthy married couple takes a young hitchhiker with them sailing. The music by Krzysztof Komeda is dreamy, jazzy and very of it's time hip and the cinematography is memorable – particularly the shot of the young man asleep on the bow. But, in a way, it's still somewhat surprising that the movie manages to keep your interest. Very little happens, yet it's more compelling than most action films shot today.

The action is in the tension. Tension between youth and age, the sea and land, wealth and poverty, men and women. The two men, Andrzej the wealthy boat owner, and the young man played by acting novice Zygmunt Malanowicz, spend most of the film at odds in a strange newly formed friendship/rivalry. They cock block their way around the claustrophobic boat with the titular knife and many boasts, bets, and snide remarks. Krystyna, however, played by the lovely and curvy Jolanta Umecka (who also had no previous acting experience) is comparatively calm, seemingly the only adult surrounded by machismo boys.

It's recently been released by those dear people at Criterion and the print looks great.

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Posted on July 14, 2008

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