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Nóz w Wodzie

Knife in the Water
Das Messer im Wasser

Poland 1962
produced by
Stanislaw Zylewicz for Zespol Filmowy Kamera
directed by Roman Polanski
starring Leon Niemczyk, Jolanta Umecka, Zygmunt Malanowicz
written by Jakub Goldberg, Roman Polanski, Jerzy Skolimowski, music by Krzysztof Komeda

review by
Mike Haberfelner

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Andrzej (Leon Niemczyk) and Krystyna (Jolanta Umecka), a couple that seems to have been married just a tad too long, want to spend their weekend on their yacht, when on a whim, Andzej picks up a young hitchhiker (Zygmunt Malanowicz) who likes to play with his knife just a little bit too much to join them. Once on the yacht, Andzej misses no opportunity to humiliate the young man, who's never been on a boat before and has thus no yachting experience at all. But the more Andrzej humiliates him, the keener the youngster gets to fight back, and soon the two seem to be fighting for the position of the alpha male, a fight that gets more serious by the minute and culminates in Andrzej stealing the young man's knife and throwing it into the water - and in a fight he pushes the young man into the water as well, even though he claimed he can't swim ... and it looks as if the youngster has drowned.

Andzej and Krystyna get into a fight over the young man's death which ultimately makes Andrzey bail out and swim ashore on his own - which is when the young man shows up at the yacht again, and in no time he has seduced Krystyna.

A few hours later, Krystyna arrives ashore (she has since dropped the young man somewhere else) to find Andrzej waiting for her. She confesses everything to Andrzej, but he refuses to believe her, believing the young man to be dead. For a moment there, he even thinks about giving himself up to the police, but ultimately decides not to and continue his unhappy married life with Krystyna just like before - which might be punishment enough.


Roman Polanski's first feature film seems like a routine thriller only in writing, as a movie it shows Polanski already at the top of his game, him being a master of filming at confined spaces to reflect his characters' psychology, to put suspense into very ordinary situations via clever camerawork, and to turn a simple game of cat and mouse into an intellectual challenge - and this all makes Knife in the Water the first of his many masterpieces.



review © by Mike Haberfelner


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Robots and rats,
demons and potholes,
cuddly toys and
shopping mall Santas,
love and death and everything in between,
Tales to Chill
Your Bones to

is all of that.


Tales to Chill
Your Bones to
a collection of short stories and mini-plays
ranging from the horrific to the darkly humourous,
from the post-apocalyptic
to the weirdly romantic,
tales that will give you a chill and maybe a chuckle, all thought up by
the twisted mind of
screenwriter and film reviewer
Michael Haberfelner.


Tales to Chill
Your Bones to

the new anthology by
Michael Haberfelner


Out now from




On the same day
a Burglar wants to kill you
and your Ex wants
to make up ...
... and for the life of it,
you can't decide


A Killer Conversation

produced by and starring
Melanie Denholme
directed by
David V.G. Davies
written by
Michael Haberfelner
Ryan Hunter and
Rudy Barrow

out now on DVD