Roman Polanski and “the dead certainty of doubt”

Roman Polanski and “the dead certainty of doubt” October 4, 2011

The phrase in quotes comes from Jim Emerson, the Chicago Sun-Times film critic and blogger at (the wonderful) Scanners. He’s writing in the comments section of Press Play‘s video essay on Roman Polanski, entitled “Polanski’s God.” (The essay is the first of a new series on Polanski.)

Emerson is responding to one of the main claims of the essay, which is that for a filmmaker very concerned with the subject of evil (and one whose life has been attended by so much of it, both from without and from within), it’s difficult to locate the source of evil in his work and to understand how that evil works in relationship to God–if God is anywhere to be found at all in Polanski’s films. (Rosemary’s Baby famously contains a shot of the famous cover of Time magazine from 1966: “Is God Dead?”) Emerson’s comment pretty much sums up my own sense of these matters: “I don’t see much room for god in the universe of Polanski—BUT (and this is a big ‘but’) there is always the dead certainty of doubt.”

You can watch the video essay below, but get thee to the comments thread at Press Play. Much of interest there.


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