Thursday, June 28, 2012

Polanski's inner Hitchcock meets Grace Jones

Frantic movie 1988
Polanski during the filming of Frantic
Roman Polanski's films span the gamut of genres: lush epics, engrossing dramas, suspenseful thrillers, clever comedies, and even horror. Despite that, in the decade of the 80s, Polanski directed only two films (or three, if you include his 1979 film Tess, which was released in the United States in 1980 and was nominated for Best Picture at the 1981 Academy Awards). In 1988, Polanski seemed to have channeled his inner Hitchcock by making the suspense movie Frantic.

Frantic movie poster
Set in Paris, the movie deals with a doctor (played by Harrison Ford) who goes on a search for his wife after she mysteriously goes missing from their hotel room. In his quest, the doctor crosses paths with a beautiful young female smuggler (played by Emmanuelle Seigner, Polanski’s wife in real life) whom he was inadvertently led to due to a suitcase mix-up. Eventually, she agrees to help him find his wife. Along the way, he discovers that the reason his wife was kidnapped was that a group of Middle Eastern gangsters were looking for a nuclear detonating device that was hidden in the suitcase that his wife mistook for her own.

Frantic movie 1988

Unlike the director of this film, Harrison had a well-rounded filmography during the 80s, what with his turns as Han Solo and Indiana Jones, as well as the other films he was in.

Frantic movie 1988

One notable detail about this film is that Grace Jones' hit song I've Seen That Face Before (Libertango)” can be heard playing in the background in a couple of different scenes. Here's a clip of one of those scenes, featuring Ford and Seigner dancing to the song.

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