Before Carnage

Carnage, dir. by Roman Polanski,
photographed by Pawel Edelman

Paul Mazursky in Vanity Fair suggests that the New York City opening shot for Carnage was done so uneventfully because the director could not do it himself. Yet this is a Polanski’s film and in his work no element is left to chance. Why then the film opens with a distant shot of boys’ fight, the fight which will provide the reason for subsequent psychological action? The shot is indeed restrained, almost a bare nod to the reason for the plot.

Could the opening be different? What would happen if for example the opening showed the pre-meeting nervousness of both parties? The hosts getting ready for the visit and the marching guests on their way to the (obviously) dreaded encounter. Then the title and as is now the shot with Jodie Foster concluding the drafting of the agreement.

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