Annette managed to survive Auschwitz , where her mother died, and left Poland forever for France. That initiative was soon followed by the requirement that all Jewish children over the age of twelve wear white armbands with a blue Star of David imprinted for visual identification.
After he was expelled, he would not be allowed to enter another classroom for the next six years. He remembers from age six, one of his first experiences of the terrors to follow: I had just been visiting my grandmother At first I didn't know what was happening. I simply saw people scattering in all directions. Then I realized why the street had emptied so quickly. Some women were being herded along it by German soldiers.
Instead of running away like the rest, I felt compelled to watch. One older woman at the rear of the column couldn't keep up. A German officer kept prodding her back into line, but she fell down on all fours, Suddenly a pistol appeared in the officer's hand. There was a loud bang, and blood came welling out of her back. I ran straight into the nearest building, squeezed into a smelly recess beneath some wooden stairs, and didn't come out for hours.
I developed a strange habit: I also woke up one morning to find that I had wet my bed. His mother was taken to Auschwitz and was killed soon after arriving. Polanski, who was then hiding from the Germans, remembered seeing his father being marched off with a long line of people.
Polanski tried getting closer to his father to ask him what was happening, and managed to get within a few yards.
His father saw him, but afraid his son might be spotted by the German soldiers, whispered in Polish , "Get lost! His efforts to blend into a Catholic household failed miserably at least once, when the parish priest visiting the family posed questions to him one-on-one about the catechism: Polanski recalls the villages and families he lived with as relatively primitive by European standards: They were really simple Catholic peasants. This Polish village was like the English village in Tess.
The kids with whom I lived didn't know about electricity Then you will appreciate capitalism. He recalls this period in an interview: Even as a child, I always loved cinema and was thrilled when my parents would take me before the war.
And there was one particular corner where you could see the screen through the barbed wire. I remember watching with fascination, although all they were showing was the German army and German tanks, with occasional anti-Jewish slogans inserted on cards. Polanski writes, "Most of this went on the movies, but movie seats were dirt cheap, so a little went a long way.
I lapped up every kind of film. Movies were becoming an absolute obsession with me. I was enthralled by everything connected with the cinema—not just the movies themselves but the aura that surrounded them. I loved the luminous rectangle of the screen, the sight of the beam slicing through the darkness from the projection booth, the miraculous synchronization of sound and vision, even the dusty smell of the tip-up seats.
More than anything else though, I was fascinated by the actual mechanics of the process. I always dreamt of doing things of this sort or that style. To a certain extent I must say that I somehow perpetuate the ideas of that movie in what I do. Polanski's directorial debut was also in with a short film Rower Bicycle. Rower is a semi-autobiographical feature film, believed to be lost, which also starred Polanski. In real life, the offender was arrested while fleeing after fracturing Polanski's skull, and executed for three murders, out of eight prior such assaults which he had committed.
He graduated in Scripted by Jerzy Skolimowski , Jakub Goldberg , and Polanski,  Knife in the Water is about a wealthy, unhappily married couple who decide to take a mysterious hitchhiker with them on a weekend boating excursion.
A dark and unsettling work, Polanski's debut feature subtly evinces a profound pessimism about human relationships with regard to the psychological dynamics and moral consequences of status envy and sexual jealousy.
Knife in the Water was a major commercial success in the West and gave Polanski an international reputation. Leon Niemczyk , who played Andrzej, was the only professional actor in the film. Jolanta Umecka, who played Krystyna, was discovered by Polanski at a swimming pool. The Fat and the Lean and Mammals. The Beautiful Swindlers in He has since had the segment removed from all releases of the film. Repulsion is a psychological horror film focusing on a young Belgian woman named Carol Catherine Deneuve , who is living in London with her older sister Yvonne Furneaux.
Cul-de-sac Cul-de-sac is a bleak nihilist tragicomedy filmed on location in Northumberland. The plot concerns a buffoonish professor and his clumsy assistant, Alfred played by Polanski , who are traveling through Transylvania in search of vampires. The ironic and macabre ending is considered classic Polanski. The Fearless Vampire Killers was Polanski's first feature to be photographed in color with the use of Panavision lenses, and included a striking visual style with snow-covered, fairy-tale landscapes, similar to the work of Soviet fantasy filmmakers.
In addition, the richly textured color schemes of the settings evoke the magical, kaleidoscopic paintings of the great Belarusian-Jewish artist Marc Chagall , who provides the namesake for the innkeeper in the film. Polanski met Sharon Tate while the film was being made, where she played the role of the local innkeeper's daughter. They were married in London on 20 January He wrote the page screenplay for the film in slightly longer than three weeks.
The film, a horror-thriller set in trendy Manhattan, is about Rosemary Woodhouse Mia Farrow ,  a young housewife who is impregnated by the devil. Polanski's screenplay adaptation earned him a second Academy Award nomination. On 9 August , while Polanski was working in London, his wife, Sharon Tate, and four other people were murdered at the Polanskis' residence in Los Angeles.
The film is a rambling shaggy dog story about the sexual indignities that befall a winsome young American hippie woman hitchhiking through Europe. Chinatown Polanski was an outstanding director. There was no question, after three days seeing him operate, that here was a really top talent. The film is widely considered to be one of the finest American mystery crime movies, inspired by the real-life California Water Wars , a series of disputes over southern California water at the beginning of the 20th century.
Robert Towne won for Best Original Screenplay. In , the film was selected by the Library of Congress for preservation in the United States National Film Registry as being "culturally, historically or aesthetically significant" and it is frequently listed as among the best in world cinema.
In addition to directing the film, Polanski also played a leading role of a timid Polish immigrant living in Paris. Together with Repulsion and Rosemary's Baby, The Tenant can be seen as the third installment in a loose trilogy of films called the "Apartment Trilogy" that explore the themes of social alienation and psychic and emotional breakdown. Tess He dedicated his next film, Tess , to the memory of his late wife, Sharon Tate.
It was Tate who first suggested he read Tess of the d'Urbervilles , which she thought would make a good film; he subsequently expected her to star in it. He offered her the starring role, which she accepted. Her father was Klaus Kinski , a leading German actor, who had introduced her to films.
Because the role required having a local dialect, Polanski sent her to London for five months of study and to spend time in the Dorset countryside to get a flavor of the region. He was strict with me, but in a good way. He made me feel smart, that I could do things. Nastassja Kinski  Tess was shot in the north of France instead of Hardy's England and became the most expensive film made in France up to that time. Ultimately, it proved a financial success and was well received by both critics and the public.
The film received three Oscars: At the time, there were rumors that Polanski and Kinski became romantically involved, but she says the rumors are untrue; they were never lovers or had an affair. There could have been a seduction, but there was not.
He had respect for me. He introduced me to beautiful books, plays, movies. The film is about a rebellion the two led on a ship called the Neptune, in the seventeenth century. The film was shot on location in Tunisia,  using a full-sized pirate vessel constructed for the production. It was a financial and critical failure, recovering a small fraction of its production budget and garnering a single Academy Award nomination. The film follows an ordinary tourist in Paris whose wife is kidnapped.
He attempts, hopelessly, to go through the Byzantine bureaucratic channels to deal with her disappearance, but finally takes matters into his own hands. Polanski followed this with the dark psycho-sexual film Bitter Moon , followed by a film of the acclaimed play Death and the Maiden starring Sigourney Weaver. In , Polanski directed a stage version of his film The Fearless Vampire Killers , which debuted in Vienna  followed by successful runs in Stuttgart , Hamburg, Berlin, and Budapest.
The movie's plot is based on the idea that an ancient text called "The Nine Gates of the Kingdom of Shadows", authored by Aristide Torchia along with Lucifer, is the key to raising Satan. While Szpilman and Polanski escaped the concentration camps, their families did not, eventually perishing.
When Warsaw, Poland , was chosen for the premiere of The Pianist, "the country exploded with pride. Because Polanski would have been arrested in the United States, he did not attend the Academy Awards ceremony in Hollywood. After the announcement of the Best Director Award, Polanski received a standing ovation from most of those present in the theater.
Actor Harrison Ford accepted the award for Polanski, and then presented the Oscar to him at the Deauville Film Festival five months later in a public ceremony. Harris and Polanski had previously worked for many months on a film of Harris's earlier novel Pompeii, a novel that was actually inspired by Polanski's Chinatown.