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Roman Polanski's photographs, drawings and other artifacts go on display in German museum

March 1, 2010 |  9:44 am


"The Ghost Writer" isn't the only Roman Polanski event to open to the public in the last month.

An exhibition of the controversial director's photographs, documents, scripts, props, costumes and more opened over the weekend at the Düsseldorf Film Museum in Germany. The show, which is scheduled to run through May 16, is intended to trace the filmmaker's career from his early student days as an actor to the present.

Polanski2A version of the exhibition opened last fall at a museum in Lodz, Poland. The current show is being organized by both museums as well as by the Polish Institute in Düsseldorf.

Among the items on display are drawings and sketches for Polanski films such as "Repulsion," starring Catherine Deneuve (seen above). 

Part of the exhibition is dedicated to photographs taken by friends and colleagues that show Polanski at work on movies sets and elsewhere. The photos come from the filmmaker's own collection as well as from those close to him.

The exhibition, which is titled "Roman Polanski, Director and Actor," gives special weight to the filmmaker's appearances in front of the camera. A selection of photographs in the exhibition show Polanski acting in a  variety of productions from Poland and France. The director, who has acted in a few of his own films, such as "The Tenant," is also an accomplished stage actor who has appeared in Peter Shaffer's "Amadeus" and an adaptation of Kafka's "Metamorphosis."

In addition, the show features a selection of international poster artwork created for Polanski's movies.

At the time of the exhibit's opening in Poland last year, a manager for the exhibition was quoted as saying that Polanski had given his approval for the show.

"The exhibit had from the beginning the consent of the artist," she said.

Polanski is currently under house arrest at his chalet in Gstaad, Switzerland. He faces possible extradition to the United States relating to a 1977 case in which he pleaded guilty to having sex with minor. In February, a Swiss official stated that the extradition process would be delayed indefinitely until Los Angeles courts have made a definitive ruling on whether Polanski can be sentenced in absentia.

The German museum exhibition also features a complete retrospective of Polanski's feature films, starting with "Knife in the Water" (1962) and ending with "The Ghost Writer," which recently opened in the United States and Europe.

Polanski filmed most of "The Ghost Writer" in Germany. The director used the German island of Sylt to stand in for a wintry New England resort where most of the film's action takes place.

-- David Ng

Photos (top): Scene sketches for the film '"Repulsion," directed by Roman Polanski, are on display at a museum in Dusseldorf, Germany. Credit: Martin Gerten / EPA.

(bottom): Polanski on the set of "The Ghost Writer." Credit: Guy Farrandis / Summit Entertainment

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