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Le Locataire

The Tenant
Der Mieter

France 1976
directed by Roman Polanski
starring Roman Polanski, Isabelle Adjani, Melvyn Douglas, Shelley Winters, Jo Van Fleet, Bernard Fresson
based on Le Locataire Chimerique by Roland Topor, cinematography by Sven Nykvist, music by Philippe Sarde

review by
Mike Haberfelner

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Always make sure of DVD-compatibility !!!
Polanski himself stars as a Polish imigrant in Paris who, out of desparation to find a place to live, rents the appartment of a woman who attempted suicide but isn't quite dead yet (though seriously injured). Visiting her in hospital, he meets Isabelle Adjani for the first time. As the woman - in heavy bandages - makes out the 2 of them at her hospital bed, she cries out in desparation ... Back at the appartment, Polanski's neighbours leave little doubt that they don't like his kind, complaining about the littlest noises he makes but on the other hand not interfering when his appartment is broken into - instead complaining to him, too, about the noises the burglar made. His paranoia growing, he starts to believe his neighbours have driven the previous tenant (she has since died) to suicide, thus identifying with her more & more - to a point when he starts wearing her cloths. He meets Isabelle Adjani again & falls in love with her, her being the only one to care for him. Soon, he decides to move in with her until he sees his own landlord (Melvyn Douglas) knocking at her door (for whatever reason), convincing him she's in league with the neighbours too, also wanting to drive him to suicide. Fleeing her appartment in panic, he is run over by a car and - unconsciously - brought back to his own appartment. No sooner back, his paranoia takes the better of him, making him believe his neighbours are finally closing in on him. To him, the only escape-route is out of the window - the very same window his predecessor leaped out of - so he jumps out, but is only injured slightly, so he climbs back up the stairs & jumps again ...

In hospital, he awakes again, heavily bandaged. Leaning over him he sees Isabelle Adjani & ... himself. He cries out in despair ...

Shelley Winters plays the concierge, by the way.

 

A great tale of paranoia that at least borders the absurd sometimes, done with style & vision. Up to the mid 70's, director Polanski did a great many truly great movies (with the exception of What ? of course), often absurdist psycho-dramas, often not all that dissimilar to Le Locataire (Repulsion & Cul-de-Sac spring to mind for example). Curiously, this one was the last in Polanski's series of masterpieces, as he somehow seems to have decided to spend the remainder of his career doing relatively unremarkable fare (such as Tess, Frantic or Pirates), all this culminating in getting an Oscar - that medal of honour for mediocrity - as best director for The Pianist in 2003.

 

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
Amazon!!!

 

 

 

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
WHICH IS WORSE!!!

 

A Killer Conversation

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

out now on DVD