Last night, I finally got around to watching Knife in the Water, which I've had from Netflix for about a week now. It was really good. Simple and good. Strange though. For a number of reasons. It's a lot like Rashomon in that when it's all over, you ask "So what does it mean?", but the only answer is the one that you choose.
There's only three characters, (husband, wife, hitch-hiker)and there's some funny stuff going on with how they manipulated that. The wife is played by a non-actress who apparently had to be coached how to do every little thing, from how to pick up a cup to how to move her hair. They found her at a swimming pool and gave her the job. I guess they didn't like her voice because they dubbed another woman's voice for her. Roman Polanski wanted to play the role of the young hitch-hiker, but the producers wouldn't let him. They did, however, have Polanski dub over the voice. So out of the three characters, only one actor speaks with his own voice.
The cinematography and editing are fantastic. The bulk of the film takes place on a sailboat out on the water. So many things could go wrong to make it a nightmare to film. Changes in wind direction and cloud cover from take to take could cause so many continuity problems, but I didn't notice any on first viewing. One thing that leaves a bit to be desired was the subtitling. There wasn't a ton of dialog, and there didn't need to be, but early in the film there was a significant section of dialog that wasn't subtitled.
Anyway, it's a really nice and really simple film. Well worth a rental.
I'm on a big foreign film kick. Up next is The Bicycle Thief. I'm too much of a dunce to figure out how to post my Netflix queue to this blog, so I'll just write about them as I see them.
The Wedding Present Bizarro