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Roman/300044 [Hardcover]

Roman Polanski
4.3 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (3 customer reviews)

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Book Description

January 1984
Roman Polanski reveals in detail the mosaic of his life. He talks of his childhood in Nazi-occupied Poland; Lodz Film School in the 1950s; Paris in his early struggles to become recognized as a director; and London and Hollywood in the 60s when he first won international acclaim. We follow him through his marriages and friendships; and with him we experience the full force of the tragedy that struck when his wife Sharon Tate and several close friends were brutally murdered by the Manson family. There followed years of disenchantment and self enquiry; arrest and imprisonment on charges alleging the rape of a minor, and finally his professional and personal resurgence in France.
--This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.

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Most helpful customer reviews
Format:Mass Market Paperback
This is a must for fans of the great director! This was written by him in 1984 as a memorial to his late wife Sharon Tate and to help get him out of the trouble he was embroiled in at the time....
From the inside flap of the dustjacket:
Includes 59 never previously published photographs of personal memorabilia and cinematic works from Roman Polanski's collection.
Cinematic genius- international playboy- tragic victim- immoralist. Which is the real Roman Polanski?
The world press has called him this and more. Now , for the first time, and "to set the record straight" , the brilliant director of such films as Knife in the Water, Repulsion, Cul de Sac, Rosemary's Baby, Chinatown and Tess tells his own Roman, his own story revealing- in fascinating detail that only he could ever know- the mosaic of his life.Excusing nothing, being brutally honest about his transgressions from convention, Polanski deals with everything here, giving us remarkable insight into the schemes and intrigues that lie in wait for anyone living in the high-powered world in which he does.
Among the many doors that are locked for us are those that lead back to his frightening buy not joyless childhood in Nazi- occupied Poland, both inside the ghetto and on the run; to Lodz film school in the fifties, where he worked and played with equal intensity, to Paris and his early struggles to become established as a director, to London and Hollywood in the "swinging " sixties, where he first won international acclaim. We follow him through his marriages, his love affairs, his freindships with people as diverse as hisown wide ranging intersts- filmamkers, artists, talented celebrities, bizarre unknowns.
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4.0 out of 5 stars Paradoxical Roman - by Polanski March 15 2001
Format:Mass Market Paperback
The myriad and often contradictory superlatives that define Roman Polanski are evident in his 1984 autobiography. A man of immense dichotomy: by turns exquisitely sensitive and dazzlingly brilliant yet capable of staggering insensitivity and cruelty; a singularly gifted filmmaker who has sometimes betrayed that talent completely; a man blessed with the reciprocal love and devotion of three of the world's most beautiful women (most notably Sharon Tate) and yet easily capable of sexist and loutish behavior, etc. The parade of paradoxes attendant to Polanski's life make for fascinating reading, evoke extremes of admiration and disdain on the part of the reader, and ultimately remind us that the author, like life itself, is not easily defined nor pigeonholed by a pool of platitudes.
As this tome lacks the direct input of anyone other than Polanski himself, much of the director's foibles and missteps are congealed in the inevitable patina of celebrity and privilege. But that's not the whole story - by far. Polanski's appalling childhood and the Manson murders of 1969 (Polanski's pregnant wife and unborn child were murdered by disciples of the would-be messiah) undoubtedly contributed to the self-destruction that is too frequently an underlying theme in his life.
The passages in which the author pays noble tribute to Tate provide a touching - and fitting - legacy to the lovely actress whose abundant goodness - her superior heart and her abiding selflessness - are manifest in Polanski's memories. It is, ultimately, this aspect of the book that remain in the reader's memory - long after the last page has been turned.
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5.0 out of 5 stars Polanski is a genius. May 4 2000
Format:Mass Market Paperback
Polanski has led one of the most interesting lives of anyone in the film industry, and it was great to read about his many misadventures, misfortunes, and mistakes, as viewed from the director's perspective. I'd recommend this book to anyone who likes the Polanski's films or has been intrigued by his sensationalized history.
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews on Amazon.com (beta)
Amazon.com: 4.6 out of 5 stars  16 reviews
16 of 17 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars A Life Characterized by Accomplishments and Extremes. June 7 2008
By mirasreviews - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Mass Market Paperback
When Roman Polanski wrote this autobiography, he was still under a pall of pessimism following the murder of his wife, Sharon Tate, 15 years earlier. I imagine that a lot has changed in his life since 1984, considering his remarriage and new family. But "Roman by Polanski" is a very readable, articulate, and seemingly candid account of Polanski's childhood in German-occupied Poland, his youth under communism, his professional struggles and emergence as a coveted talent in the 1960s, when he took up a bohemian lifestyle in Hollywood and London. That was shattered, of course, by the murder of 5 people, including his wife, as his L.A. home by the Manson "Family" in August 1969, an event which is often cited as the end of the freewheeling '60s. Polanski later fled the United States over sentencing irregularities in a statutory rape case, and he offers his view of that situation as well.

Polanski recounts the making of his films in varying degrees of detail, from his student productions in Poland through "Tess". At the time he wrote this book, he was burned out on filmmaking and had returned to the stage to play the part of Mozart in Peter Schaffer's play "Amadeus". Polanski lays out the events of his personal and professional life plainly. He has had an interesting life, accentuated by the stark contrasts between communism and capitalism, poverty and wealth, freedom and persecution. Readers may be more curious about Polanski's character, though. He relished his lifestyle, was accused of rape, and so became the libertine that everyone loves to bash. His driving ambition in everything he attempts and his social values, from his reckless generosity to his many lovers, come across as having shaped his life. And they gave him many interesting stories to tell.
31 of 37 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Paradoxical Roman - by Polanski March 15 2001
By Annette L. Munson - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Mass Market Paperback
The myriad and often contradictory superlatives that define Roman Polanski are evident in his 1984 autobiography. A man of immense dichotomy: by turns exquisitely sensitive and dazzlingly brilliant yet capable of staggering insensitivity and cruelty; a singularly gifted filmmaker who has sometimes betrayed that talent completely; a man blessed with the reciprocal love and devotion of three of the world's most beautiful women (most notably Sharon Tate) and yet easily capable of sexist and loutish behavior, etc. The parade of paradoxes attendant to Polanski's life make for fascinating reading, evoke extremes of admiration and disdain on the part of the reader, and ultimately remind us that the author, like life itself, is not easily defined nor pigeonholed by a pool of platitudes.
As this tome lacks the direct input of anyone other than Polanski himself, much of the director's foibles and missteps are congealed in the inevitable patina of celebrity and privilege. But that's not the whole story - by far. Polanski's appalling childhood and the Manson murders of 1969 (Polanski's pregnant wife and unborn child were murdered by disciples of the would-be messiah) undoubtedly contributed to the self-destruction that is too frequently an underlying theme in his life.
The passages in which the author pays noble tribute to Tate provide a touching - and fitting - legacy to the lovely actress whose abundant goodness - her superior heart and her abiding selflessness - are manifest in Polanski's memories. It is, ultimately, this aspect of the book that remain in the reader's memory - long after the last page has been turned. In Polanski's relationship with his late wife - we are allowed to observe the director's vulnerability, tenderness and love - qualities that are all too frequently sublimated in his own overweening arrogance, pride and machismo.
"Roman by Polanski" is a satisfying and compelling read for those of us who, though incensed by some of the director's sophomoric actions, still find a commonality with the chaotic and passionate aspects of his personality. For this reason, the loss of his filmmaking genius in America is very unfortunate indeed.
16 of 19 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars One of the most impressive books ever read Dec 30 2004
By C. E. Lo - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Hardcover|Verified Purchase
I lost my copy of this book years ago and am so glad to have it back. Anyone who admires Polanski's work will love this book. Anyone who questions Polanski's love of life, Sharon, and the World he lives in should read this book. You will understand him in a whole new light. He's amazing. Read this before any other about him. Please!!!!!!
11 of 14 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars a sinner and a genius ... Aug. 16 2005
By FrizzText - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Hardcover
Roman Polanski, born on august 18, 1933, has written a fascinating autobiography. He is a sinner and a genius, a chaotic man and a passionate, he is a machismo and a vulnerable human being, he overcame the WWII, the Polish ghettos and the Holocaust as a resilient child and he lost his wife Sharon Tate and an unborn child in 1969 by the Manson Group massacre, and on the other hand he overcame (as an adult) a special pattern of machismo-self-destruction (with 13 year old girl accusing him of sexual contact). He had lived a lousy life in Nazi-surpressed Polish ghettos and he had lived with too much pride and arrogance in Hollywood, he was arrested in the United States and nevertheless now he releases movies in Paris (presently married with French actress Emmanuelle Seigner). He is a gifted filmmaker and indeed: a writer, better than any crime-author I know; his book, published in 1984, is not a larmoyant, self-pitiful autobiography alike 1001 others - it is an absorbing story about a personality-mixture-hybrid of a Robin Hood mixed with Mac Beth, an Idi Amin mixed with a Mother Theresa, it is the story of "Roman" P., who started his life 1933 in Paris as "Raymond" P.; the first sentence of his autobiography: "For as far back as I can remember, the line between fantasy and reality has been hopelessly blurred." That became his helping trick to survive some struggles and tragedies, downfalls and comebacks ...
4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars a life changer April 9 2012
By Susan Harris - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Hardcover
I review a book in terms of how it affected me. I have no interest in recapping the book or doing a book report as a 'review'. Who doesnt know the ins and outs of the Manson murders and the involvement of Polanski? I couldnt put it down. I felt an intimate connection to the story because of the murders and Helter Skelter and that time standing still sensation of when you first heard about it. What I learned about him touched me so deeply I can remember almost everything about his life all these many years later. Because of this book and this book alone I have come to understand and believe that there are certain individuals that through no fault of their own are so damaged they can never truly park in a legal space or color within the lines and yet shimmering aspect of their mind heart and soul remain and they need to be embraced for the good of mankind not cast into a pit because of acts and events beyond one's control. I now call the Polanskis of the world "rubber room types' ...where they should be housed in gracious and lovely surroundings enabling them to produce their works and live out their sad devastated lives with as much compassion as society can afford. This man never should have been punished for anything. This was a great lesson to learn. Some people are beyond punishing. They have come to use brimming with the worst horrors and punishment the world can mete out and they are walking among us and we must accept this not condemn them for our good and the good of the world. People who expect anything rational from a human who has endured what he has endured even before the butchering of his wife and child are the ones who need punishment. If Polanski has found any happiness or joy in this life it is the greatest example of true redemption anyone can ever hear. I only wish him the best.
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