The Revue Cinema and the Rendezvous With Madness Film Festival present an ongoing series examining significant films in the history of madness and movies.
The feature will be followed by a panel discussion on the film's depiction of mental illness.
FRA 1976 126min.
Directed by Roman Polanski
Starring Roman Polanski, Isabelle Adjani
Although frequently designated as the third entry — after Repulsion and Rosemary’s Baby — in his so-called ‘Apartment Trilogy’, Roman Polanski’s urban nightmare movie The Tenant stands all on its own as a perverse exercise in unadulterated dread. Not insignificantly starring the director — who also co-wrote the script with Gerard Brach — as a timid bureaucrat who rents an apartment where the previous occupant committed suicide, the movie plays upon just about every fear that can visit the alienated and isolated soul. Lonely, struggling to be taken seriously and slipping down a steep precipice of delusion, Polanski’s Trelkovsky is like a Kafka character cast in the bleakest of existential comedies. Prowling the shadowy interiors of the flat to maximum paranoid effect, cinematographer Sven Nyqvist creates a kind of self-contained universe where the madness piles up in tandem with the disarray of Trelkovsky’s mind. Coming to believe not only that the previous tenant was driven to suicide but that the building’s other occupants are conspiring to dispatch him to the same fate, Trelkovsky is caught like a terrified mouse in a diabolical maze. It seemed easy enough to get in, but is there only one way out? - Geoff Pevere, Program Director, Rendezvous With Madness