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Teeth Smile (1957)
"Usmiech zebiczny" (original title)

 |  Short  |  November 1988 (Italy)
5.8
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Ratings: 5.8/10 from 848 users  
Reviews: 4 user | 3 critic

A man walks down the exterior staircase of building of flats; he's dressed to go out, taking care to wrap a scarf around his neck. He pauses as he passes a small window that's about eye ... See full summary »

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Title: Teeth Smile (1957)

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Man in window
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A man walks down the exterior staircase of building of flats; he's dressed to go out, taking care to wrap a scarf around his neck. He pauses as he passes a small window that's about eye high. He ventures to look in, and there a young woman stands at a washbasin, drying her hair, the towel that obscures her face her only covering. The peeping tom gets an eyeful and smiles; he's interrupted by a door opening, the flat's occupant bringing out empty bottles to place on the porch. The man pretends to leave, departing down the stairs, only to return to the window after the flat's door has closed. He again looks in the window, where a surprise awaits. Written by <jhailey@hotmail.com>

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November 1988 (Italy)  »

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Teeth Smile  »

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In his autobiography, Roman Polanski says that the theme was set for him by a supervisor at film school). See more »

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User Reviews

 
Teethful Smile
8 July 2007 | by (Ruritania) – See all my reviews

Another of Polanski's very-very-shorts, which he made as a film student at Lodz. Like Murderer before it, Teethful Smile shows that right from the word go Polanski was fascinated by interiors.

Taking place in a stairwell and a bathroom, the walls in this picture seem to be pressing in on all sides. Beginning with a plain and simple act of voyeurism, Polanski also introduced two motifs that were to crop up throughout his career. First, showing the point-of-view of an insider looking out, secondly its theme of male attitudes towards women.

The rest of Polanski's shorts following this are incredibly diverse and unusual, and really have very little to do with his later work. I'm guessing that this and Murderer are perhaps slightly more personal in terms of their content because as far as the film school was concerned they were merely technical exercises. They certainly capture the typical Polanski look in spite of their briefness.

On a final note, I find the English translation of the title a little awkward-sounding. I've heard of toothy grins, but never teethful smiles…


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