The News

Marie Therese Guirgis

“I looked at the three big bags of DVDs I was about to throw out in my great DVD purge of 2019. My rules were: Keep all foreign films, classic Hollywood, and smaller American independents because streaming services don’t carry most of them and keep all American/studio movies by major directors that feature director commentaries. I decided to keep most of my Woody Allen DVDs, even though they don’t have commentary tracks, just in case he gets totally canceled one day and his films erased from the culture. Polanski was different. I’d come to loathe him. He’d gone from someone whose sins, I believed, absolutely deserved to be behind him, to a hugely entitled narcissist whose extreme self-pity and misogynist rage rendered him indefensible. If I met him, I’d spit in his face. But I didn’t want to throw out his fucking movies. Polanski isn’t even in my top 10 favorite directors, not even my top 20 (I don’t really keep a list; more on that later). I admire his movies more than I love them. Knife in the WaterRosemary’s Baby and especially Chinatown are movies I’ve rewatched in the theater in every decade of my adult life. On a pure filmmaking level, they are masterpieces. Ever since I fell in love with film in my early twenties, I’ve believed that the greatest movies ever made are mostly behind us. I can’t count on the future providing masterpieces like Chinatown and I don’t trust the future distribution landscape to always make it available…”

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