The Tenant

Directed by Roman Polanski.
With Roman Polanski, Isabelle Adjani, Shelley Winters.
US/France, 1976, 35mm, color, 125 min.
Print source: HFA

P is for Polanski

Polanski casts himself in the role of a Polish office clerk working in Paris who sets up residence in a new apartment only to find the elderly tenants of the building inexplicably hostile toward him. After discovering that the previous renter, a woman, had hurled herself out a window, he becomes obsessed with unearthing her story and increasingly convinced his neighbors are trying to kill him. At once terrifying and funny, the film asks us to ponder whether the tenant is experiencing a mysterious, Kafkaesque persecution or is simply stark raving mad. Sven Nykvist’s cinematography gives this psychological thriller its stunning visual realization.

Part of film series

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Cinema A–Z: Treasures from the Harvard Film Archive

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Sven Nykvist