Yes, I know that Roman Polanski is a very controversial figure today, and what he did in mid to late 1970s was incredibly wrong on every single level. However, sometimes you can separate the art from the artist, and Polanski is a true artist. From his stunning 1962 feature-length debut Knife in the Water, to his thrilling 2011 effort The Ghost Writer, he has proved that he can be a filmmaker of incredible eclecticism and sheer craft.
In 1976, he concluded his 'Apartment trilogy' with perhaps his most underrated, but still creepy as hell, The Tenant, which takes paranoia to an all-time high. Polanski himself stars as a meek and timid clerk in Paris, who moves into a new apartment, where his new neighbors are not so friendly. From there, he discovers that the previous tenant, a beautiful woman, had tried to kill herself, and he finds himself relating to her in increasingly weird ways, from dressing up in her clothes and putting on her makeup. In even worse terms, he believes that all the neighbors are driving him to the same fate.
In true Polanski style, he created a film with a somewhat absurd premise into something could actually happen. There's obviously a mixture of fantasy and reality where you're not exactly sure of what's going on. As a viewer, you have to wonder is Polanski's character's fears justified, or he is just going batshit insane? Like Repulsion (1965) and Rosemary's Baby (1968), The Tenant is definitely a slow burner, where the scares are delicious and subtle, and if you're willing to be patient, then you'll be rewarded with some nasty twists and turns.
The folks at Scream Factory have rescued this almost forgotten gem with many new and vintage special features, including a new commentary with film historians Troy Howarth and Nathaniel Thompson; a new interview with Polanski; a new audio essay by Samm Deighan; theatrical trailer, and more. If you happen to be a fan of Polanski's work, or looking for something really good to watch during quarantine, then The Tenant is definitely a must-have! You won't be disappointed.
Other interesting releases:
Pride and Prejudice: The acclaimed 1940 adaptation of the Jane Austen novel starring Greer Garson as Elizabeth Bennett, the spirited and independent woman, who falls for Laurence Olivier's enigmatic Mr. Darcy, much to the chargrin of everyone, especially her mother.
Wonder Woman: The Complete Collection: A ten-disc set of the entire classic '70s TV series with the great Lynda Carter playing our favorite iconic butt-kicking superwoman.
Lorenzo's Oil: Susan Sarandon and Nick Nolte star in this heartbreaking true story of Augusto and Michaela Odone, a couple whose five-year-old son, Lorenzo, is inflicted with a rare and uncurable disease. But with their faith and determination, they find the cure to save him and change medicine forever.
The Sin of Nora Moran: A new, restored Blu-ray release of the Poverty Row, pre-Code classic that shocked audiences in 1933, starring Zita Johann as a young woman with a difficult past, who is sentenced to death for a crime she didn't commit.
Raggedy Man: The great Sissy Spacek stars a mother of two who struggles to make ends meet as a telephone operator in Texas, who also suffers from ridicule because of her divorce. Her loneliness comes to a halt in the form of a handsome sailor (Eric Roberts), who may provide her with the key to moving on with her life.