Roman Polanski‘s career over the past decade has been marred by various legal entanglements that have stopped audiences from looking past the politics and solely focusing on the art. Following a documentary in 2008, Polanski’s past has caught up with him and last year while he had The Ghost Writer in theatres, he was under house arrest in Switzerland with a threat of extradition to the US. However, he still manages to work in Europe and he keeps making films to this day.
Today, we can bring a new image from his next film Carnage. Based on acclaimed stage play God of Carnage, it is a simple 4 hander that focuses on a discussion between two couples following a schoolyard incident where the child of one couple hits another child of the other couple.
It was originally written in French by Yasmina Reza but then translated by Oscar winning screenwriter and playwright Christopher Hampton into English for the West End and then for Broadway. With that, the location changed from Paris to New York, and for his film Polanski retains the Brooklyn setting.
It is however set all in one room and plays out for around 90 minutes, centering around that discussion which rapidly descends into heated disagreement and hatred. I’ve neither seen nor read the play but it sounds like a collision of Christos Tsiolkas recent controversial novel The Slap (which dealt with violence against children) and the Cormac McCarthy play The Sunset Limited (which was a staged discussion set in one room).
For me, that mix of taboo breaking discussion is something that I find really watchable and interesting. As a film, it will take a lot of work for Polanski to make it cinematic. It’s a tough feat, just look at The Sunset Limited. Tommy Lee Jones failed to make the similar one room setting a watchable experience in his HBO adaptation, despite two great performances.
3 of them are Oscar winners, Reilly an Oscar nominee and all four together should be dynamite, even if the visuals don’t turn out to be.
Carnage will tour the festival circuit in the fall and then released on November 18th.
Source: Sony Pictures Classics