The Tenant

Friday, June 13 - Wednesday, June 18, 2014

35mm print

“Polanski stars as Trelkovsky, a Polish-born French citizen who moves into an apartment whose previous tenant committed suicide. Over the course of the film, Trelkovsky comes to believe that his tenants are engaged in a conspiracy to drive him to suicide by forcing him to take on the personality of the dead woman. Unlike Catherine Deneuve’s Carole Ledoux from Repulsion, the timid Trelkovsky remains somewhat of a cipher. But THE TENANT isn’t so much a psychological portrait of grief as it is an unnerving acknowledgement of the ambiguous nature of the world. Unlike Rosemary Woodhouse’s all-of-them-witches nightmare fulfillment, Trelkovsky really is a victim of his own paranoiac fantasies.

“When a man comes to visit the previous tenant, Trelkovsky mentions her suicide. The man discusses the woman’s fascination with Egyptian culture and how upset he is that she passed into the realm of the dead without her ever knowing about his affections for her. Between this scene and a series of philosophical ruminations about grief, it’s clear that Polanski is still dealing with Tate’s death. When Trelkovsky and the man stop at a restaurant, two drunkards offer free drinks to everyone in the room except the man who yearns for the dead tenant. Via this absurd and seemingly simple exchange, Polanski brilliantly evokes an evil society’s almost supernatural ability to recognize weakness in others and to punish all that is good.” – Slant Magazine

  • Country France
  • Rating R
  • Year 1976
  • Running Time 125 minutes
  • Director Roman Polanski