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Description - Polanski by Christopher Sandford

Born in Paris to Polish-Jewish parents, Polanski dealt with the terrors of his childhood - including internment in Auschwitz - by creating an elaborate fantasy world in which he lived as a film star. He would go on to become one of the very best and most infamous directors in Hollywood's history - with a backlist that includes "Repulsion", "Rosemary's Baby", "Macbeth", "Chinatown", "Tess", "Frantic" and, more recently, the Oscar- and Golden Globe-winning "The Pianist". Yet, it is within his own personal life that the most dramatic story unfolds - he's been at the centre of two of the most lurid crimes ever committed in Hollywood. In August 1969 his wife Sharon Tate, eight months pregnant, and seven of the couple's friends were butchered by the Manson family; Polanski himself, who was in London at the time, was the intended target. Eight years later he was arrested by LA police on charges of drugging and raping a 13-year old model and aspiring actress. He fled the country and has since lived in exile in Paris, where he complains of continual harassment by the US authorities. Polanski's latest film was the hit "Oliver Twist" and, "Variety" insists, he promises to follow it with his long-awaited version of the Tate killings. Both projects, dealing with child exploitation and murder, can only fuel the controversy that surrounds him. This biography is the first chance his fans and detractors will have to read about him in real depth. It will reveal the brilliant invention, self-destruction, talent, self-destruction, sex, drugs and wild excesses, with names and stories told for the first time. Fascinating, flawed, wildy creative, this is the full, uncut story of one of the greatest directors of our time.

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Book Details

ISBN: 9780099486848
ISBN-10: 0099486849
Format: Paperback
(198mm x 129mm x 32mm)
Pages: 496
Imprint: Arrow Books Ltd
Publisher: Cornerstone
Publish Date: 5-Feb-2009
Country of Publication: United Kingdom

Book Reviews - Polanski by Christopher Sandford

US Kirkus Review » The tumultuous story of a director whose signature movies - dark, bleakly funny, shot through with perversity and paranoia - reflect the sensibility of an artist shaped by circumstances more harrowing, unpredictable and absurd than any Hollywood melodrama.Roman Polanski's troubles began in 1939, when the Nazis invaded his native Poland. The family was confined to Krakow's Jewish ghetto, and in 1943 his parents were sent to concentration camps, leaving their ten-year-old son to fend for himself. (After the war, reunited with his father, he learned that his pregnant mother had been gassed at Auschwitz.) Cunning and possessed of a ferocious drive, Polanski eventually attended film school in Lodz, where he quickly became the star pupil and developed a reputation for lavish spending, partying and prodigious sexual conquests. In slyly playful prose, Sandford (McCartney, 2007, etc.) limns the young artist as a mercurial changeling, alternately arrogant, tender, hilarious, boorish and charming, always striving for (and coming thrillingly close to) technical perfection in his cinematic technique. After he emigrated to America, Rosemary's Baby and Chinatown helped define a new era in movies and cemented their director's status as one of the greats. Polanski's personal life remained gothic: In 1969 his pregnant wife, Sharon Tate, was horrifically murdered by the Manson Family; eight years later, the director pled guilty to the charge of "unlawful intercourse" with a 13-year-old girl, fled the country before sentencing and has lived in Europe since. Sandford admirably extracts all of the salient information from the maelstrom of controversy and urban myth surrounding Polanski's often lurid personal history, neither damning nor exonerating him. When he won the Academy Award for Best Director in 2002 for his Holocaust drama The Pianist (obviously, he could not attend), the driven, 69-year-old director was in Paris, preparing his next film.Engrossing, lucid presentation of a uniquely complicated and productive life. (Kirkus Reviews)

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Author Biography - Christopher Sandford

Christopher Sandford has reviewed and written about film and music for over twenty years. A regular contributor to titles on both sides of the Atlantic, himself profiled in Rolling Stone magazine, he's published acclaimed biographies of Mick Jagger, Eric Clapton, David Bowie, Keith Richards, Paul McCartney and Steve McQueen. His bestselling life of Kurt Cobain is currently in development as a feature film. His biography of Imran Khan will appear in 2009. A dual national, Christopher Sandford divides his time between Seattle, Surrey and Lord's cricket ground. He's married, with one son.

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