Roman Polanski has Directed a Short Film
starring Ben Kingsley and Helena Bonham-Carter
Take a look of this: A reading by Stefano Francia di Celle,
Film Critic A boîte à joujoux
which will explain more about the film
which features the sheer alluring and addictive
beauty of an exclusive fabulously soft
Prada lilac fur coat with fur collar.
Prada does indeed suit Everyone! Xx
Look at the film on YouTube Below.
Screenplay Roman Polanski and Ronald Harwood
Music Alexandre Desplat
Production Designer Dean Tavoularis
Director of Photography Eduardo Serra
Editor Hervé de Luze
Executive Producer Max Brun
Produced by Hi! Production and R.P. Productions
An Expert Eye
Regarding A Therapy by Roman Polanski
A reading by Stefano Francia di Celle, Film Critic A boîte à joujoux
'We are in the world of an intellectual: an opulent room,
which, as suggested by the views from New York windows,
seems to be in the same building as Carnage (2011),
which, in its own way, reminds us of Dakota Palace in Rosemary’s Baby (1968),
and thereby provokes reflections on
the relationships among human beings in today’s society.
Dean Tavoularis, Oscar winner and Polanski collaborator in The Ninth Gate (1999),
built the set inside the Pathé Studios in Paris,
where the characters of Carnage came to life: a boîte à joujoux
where we are invited to admire and watch the moves and actions
of two typically Polanskian figures who seem to hover,
in spirit if not in letter,
between puppets, physical phenomena, and pure thought.
We feel both bewildered and enchanted as
our attention is made to focus on the objects, which are rich in significance,
that populate the studio; works of art, antiques and books.
Sculptures of heads of all kinds and
from all historical periods, are scattered about;
on the shelves, tables and desks.
They look upon the important events taking place in the room
‐ we are only permitted to glimpse the final event
‐ with authoritative silence.
Strategically placed behind the main desk we see a skull,
a memento mori which in the context,
rather than eliciting fear or austere reflections
about the meaning of life and its transience,
becomes a symbol of the possibility of transforming today’s
chaos into a more live‐able and ordered state,
a state actualized and given concrete form in the doctor’s authority.
The room becomes a sort of museum house,
whose orderly and complex set of objects
we employ in grasping the sense of the situation and
searching for where to focus are attention:
whether it be the patient’s pace, her behavior, her words,
or rather the analyst’s reactions to the
stream of consciousness engendered by her session.
The persistent ticking of a clock increases the suspense:
a suspense in which everything has a heightened meaning.
The music, written by Alexandre Desplat
(an important part of Polanski’s team since The Ghost Writer ),
skillfully unmasks the essence of the situation,
rising and developing in intensity as the doctor’s
gaze is drawn to the fur coat.
The whole scene is marked by a backward camera movement that,
together with Kingsley’s irresistible expressive capacity,
channels the whole energy towards the final twist.
Skillfully dosed brushstrokes of cinema with a breadth
of classicism obtain a harmonic result in a flash, uncovering
an entire cosmos and the presences living in it.
The “cinema‐machine” is on stage.
In first place because the shining stars Ben Kingsley and
Helena Bonham Carter command their presence so admirably.
Kingsley is an unforgettable and creative performer of Polanskian roles
(the mean doctor Miranda in the Death and the Maiden 
and Fagin in Oliver Twist ).
Bonham Carter is one of the few professionals
who has found herself for the first time at the mercy
of the director’s legendary tenacity.
The situation is hardly unfamiliar to her,
given she is daughter of an important British banker
and of a psychoanalyst and has just played
the role of an alcoholic analyst in Tim Burton’s Dark Shadows (2012).
It is immediately clear what the film credits
will reveal at the end: for a short film of few seconds,
Polanski decided, with the support of his friend,
producer Max Brun, who worked with him on various different projects,
to use the complex interaction of skillful humans and machines,
chosen for their exceptional quality and capacity,
to vividly render aspects of his visual imagination and in
order to make way for his fantasy,
intelligence and energy.
His cinema‐machine allows the director to
shape the world and turn a product
of hard work into a flawless,
vital and brilliant cinematic spectacle
through an almost alchemic concentrate
of different professional contributions.
In the stage photographs by his longtime partner
Guy Ferrandis (who has worked with him since The Pianist),
it is touching to see Polanski check the light through
his worn‐out exposure meter, the same one
which has been helping him produce his masterpieces
for many years. And one is amazed to learn that on
the set as script girl is his octogenarian
collaborator Silvette Baudrot who, from The Tenant (1976)
onwards, has helped him keep the pieces
– the organs, really ‐ together
(as she did for Tati, Resnais and many other directors).
In the contemporary world of film making,
where new technologies stress
miraculous shootings and post‐production processing,
Polanski’s classic cinema‐machine indicates a way
to save the moving images from the risk of becoming fragile,
intangible, replaceable and vaguely shaped,
a risk particularly high for short‐films distributed
by new online media.
The remaining figures of the team are
all multi‐award winning professionals:
Script writer Ronald Harwood
(The pianist  and Oliver Twist 
with Polanski and collaborator for Luhrmann, Schnabel e Szabó),
Cinematographer Eduardo Serra (at his first experience with Polanski,
creator of the latest Chabrol’s films, of Shyamalan’s Unbreakable 
and of the two episodes of Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows [2010‐2011]),
Editor Hervé De Luz,
Make‐up artist Didier Lavergne
(both of who have worked with Polanski since
the Seventies and are very active in France)
And many others ‐ including trustworthy assistant Ralph Remstedt.
In the apartment we see many objects and elements:
the products of mankind throughout millennia of evolution.
The fur coat, especially requested by Polanski
for the short film and created by Miuccia Prada in
a unique edition lilac colour
to increase the exclusivity and uniqueness of the situation,
completes and shifts the overall picture.
Other Prada creations pop up from time to time on the screen.
The coat is an idol that seems to draw our attention
to different historical periods; capable of linking in a single stroke
thoughts, passions, and different opinions.
It prompts a sudden and rather abrupt change,
a sort of anthropological short‐circuit that transforms
the doctor’s room‐mausoleum into a lively play between the
theatre of the absurd and cabaret.
This allows the man behind the doctor to come to the surface,
and reveals aspects of him held secret behind a
(thin) veneer of respectability and professionalism; a veneer
embodied in his professional role as a scientist,
his social position, his system of opinions and his money.
A frivolous act and the pleasure of wearing
such a precious and stunningly beautiful object put him in
contrast with a wall of conventions,
rigidities and fictions around which contemporary society marks
boundaries and organizes its hierarchies.
The fur represents the agreement that supports
the relationship between the director and the fashion designer.
Polanski is able to display a world
which seems more authentic than the real one,
thus interpreting and criticizing contemporary society.
Prada creates original and non predefined roles for her
work and produces a new language that
filters into the recesses of traditional culture and leverages the
potential of the new media.
She is not afraid to produce what could be interpreted
as a parody of the celebration of luxury,
stigmatizing the world’s elite, the main target of her products.
It is clear that the relationship between artist
and patron have struck a new key: their respective paths
cross in a common place where freedom
is a primary value that benefits unrestrained creativity at high levels.
There is an ironic, desecrating aspect to the film
that is vital and emerges in a liberating crescendo until the
moment when Kingsley, with his collar raised,
glimpses at the camera.
The doctor escapes reality with the help of a magical object:
the austere professional transforms himself
first into a frightened turkey and then,
as he gets more and more excited,
into a peacock wearing a splendid coat.
The peacock is a bird that seems
to transport us back in time to the mentality
of many animals anthropomorphized by writers from Esopus to La Fontaine,
whose impact have traced our conception of
human nature and its traits.
The peacock seems to explode like a cartoon character
and the effect is boosted by the contrast
with the doctor’s previous attitudes:
a measured, serious and zealous man performing his sacred rituals.
One’s interpretation of this event is not univocal.
A cinematographic medium enlarges our vision:
the mirror becomes a meeting place between
the desire of the analyst to have his image modified/recreated
and the desire of the director and the audience to watch it.
As the camera is placed behind the main character
we see his reflection on the mirror that reveals
other details of the opulent room.
The way the image is constructed suggests many diverse interpretations.
The “viewing” takes priority in the situation and an epiphany,
together with satire, advances.
We find that this epiphany is the real therapy;
neither the therapy for which the patient entered the doctor’s room,
nor the one generated by the doctor’s passion for
the extraordinary garment, but rather the one that the cinema
makes possible through its interpretation of
reality and for the benefit of the audience.
In every individual there is the possibility,
even for those most firmly and happily entrenched within a
certain social role, of transforming into someone else by tapping into the unconscious and uncontrolled areas of one’s psyche,
just as in every individual there is something of the patient;
a patient that, bored by life and the monotony of her condition,
is beset with high self‐regard, and dwells upon her loneliness
without realizing that she is ill‐suited to relationships.
Polanski develops and explores these underlying
realities which form the basis of our existence
and which determine and influence every physical and
concrete act we perform:
a therapeutic action invites us to handle more freely
– and joyously! – our subconscious.
It is natural to think that the director’s capacity
stems from the intelligent and resolute handling of all his
from the horrors of the Krakow ghetto
to the recent media/legal affairs which have
pushed him away from a normal life for many months.
In every circumstance, Polanski has had the courage
to live every situation with authenticity,
sometimes at the risk of exacerbating conflicts and revealing the
glaring incongruences that are skillfully concealed
in most advanced social structures.
For this challenge he is able to muster
all the elements of Prada’s sophisticated communication process.
He produces a profound and searching analysis
of the complexities of the human spirit;
an analysis which strays far from traditional social,
political or psychological norms:
an invitation to live our multi‐faceted reality with renewed vitality.'
Sparkle Style is loving 'A Therapy'
Until next time J Xx