Jakub Goldberg, Roman Polanski, and Jerzy Skolimowski (writers), Roman Polanski (director), Nóz w wodzie (Knife in the Water) / 1962
Tension is perhaps the operative word in describing Roman Polanski's 1962 amazing debut film, Knife in the Water. From the first scene in the film, where Andrzej and Krystyna are driving down an unpaved lane on their way to a boating trip, to the last image of the car at a crossroad, Andrzej undecided upon which direction to take, the movie permeates a sense of dread—sexual anxiety and fear of death.
At sunrise, as the young man and Krystyna sit upon the deck, the predicted violence erupts, Andrzej having pocketed the young man's knife and desperate to reclaim his sexual virility, reveals that he has the taken the weapon, daring the young man to come forward and "get" it. When the handsome boy, himself a vision of the knife on the water, attempts to do so, the knife falls into the lake, Andrzej pushing the young man unto a rig that juts over the water, as the boy follows the path of his treasured "tool."
Los Angeles, July 26, 2009