Polanski and Perception

The Psychology of Seeing and the Cinema of Roman Polanski

Davide Caputo

Polanski and Perception

Davide Caputo

Distributed for Intellect Ltd

286 pages | 7 x 9 | © 2012
Paper $35.50 ISBN: 9781841505527 Published August 2012 Not for sale in the United Kingdom or Europe

A new approach to a director whose contribution to cinema is often overshadowed his personal life, Polanski and Perception focuses on Roman Polanski’s interest in the nature of perception and how this is manifested in his films. The incorporation of cognitive research into film theory is becoming increasingly widespread, with novel cinematic technologies and recent developments in digital projection making a strong grasp of perceptual psychology critical to fostering cognitive engagement.
Informed by the work of neuropsychologist R. L. Gregory, this volume focuses primarily on two sets of films: the Apartment trilogyof Repulsion, Rosemary’s Baby, and The Tenant; and the Investigation trilogy of Chinatown, Frantic, and The Ninth Gate. Also included are case studies of Knife in the Water, Death and the Maiden, and The Ghost.Polanski and Perception presents a highly original and engaging new look at the work of this influential filmmaker.


1. ’Locating’ Polanski
2. Establishing a Conceptual Framework
3. Schizophrenia and the City
4. Repulsion
5. Rosemary’s Baby
6. The Tenant
7. Approaching Investigations
8. Chinatown
9. A Tale of Two Doctors: Frantic and Death and the Maiden
10. The Ninth Gate
11. The Ghost: A Bridge Between Trilogies
12. Concluding Remarks

Roman Polanski Filmography
Review Quotes
Polanski and Perception breathes fresh air into the academic corpus on Polanski’s cinema and presents an engaging discussion of a significantly underrepresented aspect of this director’s filmmaking: the faculty of visual perception. . . . Caputo’s book is successful in its endeavor to explicate the influence of Gregory’s indirect/active perception on Polanski’s filmmaking. It is a novel and informative approach to his cinema delving into many unexplored areas in the director’s depiction of individuals’ perception. It indeed has made a valuable contribution to the existing body of studies done on the cinema of this world-renowned director.”
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