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Tuesday, October 17, 2006


Directed by Roman Polanski

In the 1960's there was a lot of drug taking and spiritual questing going on. Rejecting established conventions was the trend and a new breed of kooks were forgoing trips to their barbers in order to buy up books on Eastern mysticism and self discovery and shit like that. It was inevitable that all of this soul searching would churn up darker waters and while a famous headline proclaimed that God was dead, the Devil was enjoying quite a comeback. "Rosemary's Baby" was a movie that had perfect timing. Exploitation legend and king of gimmicks William Castle owned the rights to the novel penned by Ira Levin and originally planned on filming the story himself. Now I'd be the first to sing the praises of William Castle but I think it was a good thing that an enthusiastic Roman Polanski persuaded him to hand the project over. Polanski was so enthusiastic that he personally wrote the screenplay, following the novel note by note. The story is about a woman (played in the movie by Mia Farrow) who is chosen by a coven of witches to bear the child of Satan. Poor Rosemary is desperately trying to figure out what the hell is happening to her body and quickly running out of time as her pregnancy advances. It's intelligent, beautifully filmed and graced with a wonderfully surreal dream sequence. Ruth Gordon (who also starred in that other fave of the morbidly minded "Harold and Maude") ended up getting the Oscar for her supporting role as the busy body devil worshipping neighbor. Witches, all of them.


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