The Tenant (1976)

The Tenant (1976) movie poster

director  Roman Polanski
viewed: 07/29/2018

Fear thy neighbor.

“The previous tenant threw herself out of the window. Ha!” (I love Shelley Winters more every day.)

The Tenant takes personal alienation from society to new precipitous heights and then throws them out the window. Not once, but at least twice.

Roman Polanski’s 1976 movie was first recommended to me by a colleague from grad school who had a penchant for disturbing movies. And I had to agree, it out-paranoided Rosemary’s Baby in its portrayal of dissociation from one’s neighbors, right in one’s very building, right on one’s very floor.

The reason for the tenant’s fears, real or imagined, or real and imagined, brought on by alcoholism or the supernatural, this is societal dysphoria, pan-dysphoria.

“What right has my head to call itself me?”

Was Sven Nykvist’s claustrophobic cinematography an influence on the Coen Brothers’ Barton Fink (1991)?

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