June 16th: Satan’s Library


128. The Ninth Gate (Roman Polanski, 1999)

Johnny Depp is Dean Corso, an antiquarian book dealer hired to track down the only copies of a particularly satanic book. Along the way he dodges assassins, teams up with a strangely feral woman and looks at lots of books. The Ninth Gate is a fairly dumb film that pretends to be smart. I couldn’t shake the feeling throughout the course of the film that it was some kind of farce; the score, the performances, the basic concept, it’s all just a bit too much. Polanski is a ridiculously talented film-maker with some experience make satanic thrillers (Rosemary’s Baby) so I can’t believe that he intended this to be a genuine thriller and botched it. Instead I think he was aiming for something else with this film, I’m not sure what though because it doesn’t really hang together.