Jean Genet was a prominent and controversial French novelist, playwright, poet, essayist, and political activist. Early in his life he was a vagabond and petty criminal, but later took to writing. His major works include the novels Querelle of Brest, The Thief's Journal, and Our Lady of the Flowers,
Vienna-born actor, writer, and director Erich Von Stroheim worked mainly in the silent film genre (only one of his films was a "talkie"), but he seemed nevertheless to make a lot of noise. As an actor in Hollywood during World War I, he was often typecast as the leering, be-monocled Prussian villain.
With an unerring ability both to describe evil and to place himself in its path, Polanski has created a body of work that never fails to elicit shudders and raise questions. He possesses a mordant insight into the politics of sex
and violence, an inherent feel for the macabre, and an eccentric and
"Felliniesque" -- even if you have never watched a scrap of his film, this adjective summons up a world of oddity, magnificence, and pathos that testifies to Federico Fellini's creative genius. Initially part of the Italian Neorealist wave, he soon veered towards an idiosyncratic style all his own. F