Roman Polański

French-Polish director, screenwriter, producer and actor

Rajmund Roman Thierry Polański (born 18 August 1933) is a French film director, producer, writer and actor.

It's easy to direct while acting—there’s one less person to argue with.

Quotes edit

There are less and less independent producers or independent companies and an increasing number of corporations who are more interested in balance sheets than in artistic achievement … Even young directors — for most of them, their only standard of achievement is how well their films do on the first weekend or whatever. It worries me.
If you continue to hate, you are entering into the same philosophy that began the war. You have to look forward at people and new times.
  • It's weird. I always had the premonition that Sharon belonged to me just for a little while.
    • On his murdered wife, Sharon Tate, in an interview in Telecran magazine (25 January 1970)
  • She was the least hypocritical woman you could ever meet: once, when an executive told her that we should ask for single cabins in the transatlantic that brought us to the United States, she simply said, "Why? Everybody knows that we live together."
    • Interview in Telecran magazine (25 January 1970)
  • I'm forced to mix with people of this industry and I can swear that is really difficult to meet people with her nature and her spirit. Generally, everybody is opportunistic here. Sharon had grace and charm; she knew how to make anybody's life easier. When somebody was busy, she was there in a discreet manner to serve you a drink or a coffee.
    • Interview in Telecran magazine (25 January 1970)
  • Without her I feel lost, I can't explain this in words. However there are things that I just can't stand thinking of; the way she and our son died.
    • Interview in Telecran magazine (25 January 1970)
  • I don't know that you can speak of shock … Nothing is too shocking for me. I don't really know what is shocking. When you tell the story of a man who is beheaded, you have to show how they cut off his head. If you don't, it's like telling a dirty joke and leaving out the punch line.
    • As quoted in Atlas magazine, Vol. 20 (1971), p. 56, and The Book of Hollywood Quotes (1979) by Gary Herman, p. 26
  • I see Macbeth as a young, open-faced warrior, who is gradually sucked into a whirpool of events because of his ambition. When he meets the weird sisters and hears their prophecy, he's like the man who hopes to win a million — a gamble for high stakes.
    • Interview in Playboy magazine (February 1972); also quoted in Make It Again, Sam : A Survey of Movie Remakes (1975) by Michael B. Druxman, p. 105
  • It's easy to direct while acting — there’s one less person to argue with.
    • The New York Times (22 February 1976)
  • You have to show violence the way it is. If you don't show it realistically, then that's immoral and harmful. If you don't upset people, then that's obscenity.
    • As quoted in Shakespearean Criticism : Excerpts from the Criticism of William Shakespeare's Plays and Poetry, from the First Published Appraisals to Current Evaluations (1985) by Laurie Lanzen Harris, p. 11
  • If you have a great passion it seems that the logical thing is to see the fruit of it, and the fruit are children.
    • The Independent (12 May 1991)
  • Cinema should make you forget you are sitting in a theater.
    • As quoted in Values of the Wise : Aspiring to "The Life of Value" (2004) by Jason Merchey, p. 330
  • My films are the expression of momentary desires. I follow my instincts, but in a disciplined way.
    • As quoted in The Everything Cryptograms Book (2005) by Nikki Katz
  • It's already getting more and more difficult to make an ambitious and original film. There are less and less independent producers or independent companies and an increasing number of corporations who are more interested in balance sheets than in artistic achievement. They want to make a killing each time they produce a film. They're only interested in the lowest common denominator because they're trying to reach the widest audience. And you got some kind of entropy. That's the danger; they look more alike, those films. The style is all melting and it all looks the same. Even young directors — for most of them, their only standard of achievement is how well their films do on the first weekend or whatever. It worries me. But then, from time to time, you have a film like The Usual Suspects or.... I'm trying to think of something American with some kind of originality... Pulp Fiction.
  • You know, whenever you do something new and original, people run to see it because it's different. Then, if it happens to be successful, the studios rush to imitate it. It becomes commonplace right away. But it's been like that before, I think. Now, the stakes are so gigantic that they cut each other's throats. So if most of the films are failures, then those that succeed so spectacularly, so commercially, become the norm. It's like a roulette for the studios. The problem with it is that it becomes more and more of a committee. Before, you dealt with the studio. It had one or two persons and now you have masses of executives who have to justify their existence and write so-called "creative notes" and have creative meetings. They obsess about the word creative probably because they aren't.
    • "Roman Polanski: An Exclusive Interview" by Taylor Montague
  • Whenever I get happy, I always have a terrible feeling.
    • As quoted in The Cinema of Roman Polanski : Dark spaces of the World (2006) by John Orr and Elżbieta Ostrowska, p. 146

Polanski : His Life and Films (1982) edit

Quotes of Polanski from Polanski : His Life and Films (1982) by Barbara Leaming
  • I never made a film which fully satisfied me.
  • I want people to go to the movies. I am the man of the spectacle. I'm playing.
  • People like Truffaut, Lelouch and Godard are like little kids playing at being revolutionaries. I've passed through this stage. I lived in a country where these things happened seriously.
  • In Paris, one is always reminded of being a foreigner. If you park your car wrong, it is not the fact that it's on the sidewalk that matters, but the fact that you speak with an accent.
  • I can only say that whatever my life and work have been, I'm not envious of anyone — and this is my biggest satisfaction.

Roman by Polanski (1984) edit

an autobiography

  • ‘What’s wrong?’ I asked. She said her asthma was playing her up.… She was wheezing quite audibly by now. She picked up my towel and said, ‘I’d better rest awhile; otherwise I might pass out.’
  • We dried ourselves and each other. She said she was feeling better. Then, very gently, I began to kiss and caress her. After this had gone on for some time, I led her over to the couch.
  • There was no doubt about Sandra's experience and lack of inhibition. She spread herself and I entered her. She wasn't unresponsive. Yet, when I asked her softly if she was liking it, she resorted to her favorite expression: ‘It’s all right.’

I can remain silent no longer (2010) edit

  • 33 years ago I pleaded guilty, and I served time at the prison for common law crimes at Chino, not in a VIP prison. That period was to have covered the totality of my sentence. By the time I left prison, the judge had changed his mind and claimed that the time served at Chino did not fulfil the entire sentence, and it is this reversal that justified my leaving the United States.
  • On February 26 last, Roger Gunson, the deputy district attorney in charge of the case in 1977, now retired, testified under oath before Judge Mary Lou Villar in the presence of David Walgren, the present deputy district attorney in charge of the case, who was at liberty to contradict and question him, that on September 16, 1977, Judge Rittenband stated to all the parties concerned that my term of imprisonment in Chino constituted the totality of the sentence I would have to serve.
  • Gunson added that it was false to claim, as the present district attorney’s office does in their request for my extradition, that the time I spent in Chino was for the purpose of a diagnostic study.

Quotes about Polański edit

Sorted alphabetically by author or source.
  • Oh, the little man wanted me—Roman Polanski. Very dwarfish creature with a high giggle. After a take, he wouldn't say, "Cut." One would just hear a "Tee hee hee." [...] Roman presented everything in [such] a calm, matter-of-fact way that the creeping terror just builds. It's sheer genius on his part. It's a very quiet movie where a door creaking can unnerve one. There's a lot of dark comedy in there, too. he was a very careful director—explained everything, multiple takes, very demanding, very appreciative when one got it right. Loved to talk old movies with me.
    • Ralph Bellamy, speaking with James Bawden in either 1978, 1983 or 1988, on how he landed his part in Rosemary's Baby; as quoted in Classic Film Stars: Interviews from Hollywood's Golden Era (2016) by Bawden and Ron Miller, p. 39
  • He sees things from every point of view. He's an extraordinarily hard worker. I think he's worked for a long time, in every field. He's talented, passionate and has had an incredibly hard and full life that I'm sure you know about. I can not imagine myself having some of his experiences. You either swim or drown, but some like him go on and make every moment important. I think that's what he does.

External links edit

Wikipedia has an article about: