Playing on pregnancy anxieties – from the efficacy of health regimens to the paternalistic over-reach of doctors and neighbours - Polanski orchestrates a sense of unease and ambiguity at every stylistic level: colour, framing (camerawork is by William Fraker), production design (Richard Sylbert) and not least, Krzysztof Komeda's haunting score. The ingenious casting of Farrow, actor/director Cassavetes and comedian Charles Grodin pay dividends dramatically in performances against type – Cassavetes plays Guy with a surface affability that masks a chilling ruthlessness – as does Ruth Gordon’s creepily effective turn as the fawning, insistent neighbour, Minnie Castevet, that earned Gordon a Best Supporting Actress Oscar. In a more understated register, Farrow utterly inhabits her role in a naturalistic performance as the increasingly vulnerable Rosemary who – not without cause – comes to fear that her own husband is among those conspiring against her.
6 Nov - 21 Nov
Polanski’s first American film is the genre-defining ‘mother’ of supernatural possession thrillers. A tale of Satanism and paranoia, adapted by Polanski from Ira Levin’s novel, the film is set in a deceptively serene old world New York Apartment. Guy (John Cassavetes) and Rosemary Woodhouse (Mia Farrow) are set to become parents but Rosemary’s pregnancy is marred by deepening fears that a demonic force may be at work.