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Knife in the Water
     

Knife in the Water

5.0 1
Director: Roman Polanski

Cast: Leon Niemczyk, Jolanta Umecka, Zygmunt Malanowicz

 

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To those who love DVDs, it goes without saying that the name Criterion Collection is virtually synonymous with top quality. Their tireless efforts to release the most comprehensive versions of important, historical films has earned them a reputation as the best in the business, and their release of director Roman Polanski's Knife in the Water is certainly no

Overview

To those who love DVDs, it goes without saying that the name Criterion Collection is virtually synonymous with top quality. Their tireless efforts to release the most comprehensive versions of important, historical films has earned them a reputation as the best in the business, and their release of director Roman Polanski's Knife in the Water is certainly no exception. Presented in the original aspect ratio of 1.33:1, the image is virtually flawless. At the time of this Criterion release, the film was over 40 years old, though the transfer bests other company's releases of films that are only half that age. The crisp, black-and-white cinematography stands as strong as the day it was filmed, with solid blacks and no artifacting and a remarkably clean transfer. Of course, Knife in the Water was filmed long before recent advances in sound technology, but the solid, well-balanced soundtrack presented in Polish Dolby Digital Mono (with English subtitles) is full bodied and free of any hiss or distortion. Criterion truly has done an exceptional job in presenting this film in the best possible form. As good as the presentation of the film itself is, however, the aspect of this release that is likely to truly peak interest in film fans is the inclusion of Polanski's much sought-after short films. As with the presentation of the feature itself, these films look nothing less than remarkable considering their age. Filmed in black-and-white for the most part, the images as presented offer pitch-perfect contrast, with the rare color segments well balanced and vivid. A video introduction by Polanski and co-screenwriter Jerzy Skolimowski, while on any other release would likely only skim the surface, goes on for nearly 20 minutes, offering minute detail on every aspect of the production from location to casting to the film's jazzy score. Rounding out the disc is an impressively comprehensive collection of rare publicity and production stills. The only possible omission that fans may fault this release for is the lack of a commentary track by the director; given that Polanski has such a rich history in film, it would have been great to hear him talk about the production. This said, it should be noted that the director hesitates to participate on such tracks for almost any DVD release of his films, so the inclusion of his extended introduction and some great liner notes make this omission one that is easily overlooked. A fantastic release and another score for Criterion.

Editorial Reviews

All Movie Guide - Michael Hastings
After directing a string of acclaimed shorts, the young Roman Polanski assembled a small crew and mostly unprofessional cast in his native Poland to shoot this full-length thriller. The spare, tense film remains one of Polanski's most striking efforts, a cool, detached character study with stark, high-contrast black-and-white visuals to match. Polanski may have seen himself in the character of the cunning, disaffected drifter, a possibility bolstered by the fact that he dubbed his own voice over Zygmunt Malanowicz's for the film's final cut. Though Polanski was obviously taking cues from the late 1950s/early 1960s work of Michelangelo Antonioni and even Ingmar Bergman, the movie retains a hip, modern feel all its own; throughout his career, Polanski would revisit the concept of the disaffected anti-hero and his tortured relations with women. Knife in the Water brought Polanski to the attention of the European film community, as well as the American Motion Picture Academy, who nominated the film against Federico Fellini's 8 1/2 for Best Foreign Language Film in 1964.

Product Details

Release Date:
09/16/2003
UPC:
0037429149324
Original Release:
1962
Rating:
PG
Source:
Criterion
Presentation:
[B&W]
Sound:
[Dolby Digital Mono]
Time:
1:34:00
Sales rank:
43,857

Special Features

New high-definition digital transfer; video interview with director Roman Polanski and co-screenwriter Jerzy Skolimowski; a collection of rare publicity and production stills; English subtitle translation by Roman Polanski; monaural.

Cast & Crew

Scene Index

Side #1 -- Knife in the Water
1. The Hitchhiker [7:37]
2. The Dock [7:44]
3. "Are We Moving?" [6:20]
4. The Reeds [2:32]
5. Noon [6:30]
6. Lunch [5:04]
7. In Circles [5:22]
8. Sailing [6:17]
9. Aground [3:20]
10. Forfeit [11:43]
11. Light Sleepers [7:44]
12. Overboard [6:40]
13. "You're Just Like Him" [9:09]
14. "Where Are We Going?" [8:16]

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Knife in the Water 5 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 1 reviews.
Guest More than 1 year ago
I saw this movie yrs, ago and I never liked it, but there was something in the back of my mind, like I was a little young and might have fallen asleep, that kept nagging for me to give it another chance. So I finally did and it was interesting about Polish machismo and socioeconomic classes and meaning and something.