Merging of Realities
The ‘Non’-America in Roman Polanski’s The Ghost Writer
The fact that the actual geography of a landscape and the supposed place portrayed in a film sometimes differ is, of course, not uncommon. The setting of a film is not always the same as the actual shooting location. This is due to a variety of reasons: Sometimes organizational reasons matter (a filming location cannot be used or can only be used inadequately), sometimes financial (the filming is either otherwise too expensive or there is the possibility of funding elsewhere) or even aesthetic reasons.
This video essay along with the supplemental text will explore the question of why Roman Polanski used shooting locations for his film The Ghost Writer that deviate considerably from the actual setting. While the plot, with the exception of a few scenes set in the UK, is set on the island of Martha’s Vineyard at the East Coast of the United States of America, Polanski has shot the film in Germany. So how are the United States recreated here and how is this place depicted in the film?
By comparing the film with the actual locations, the essay aims to show how Polanski constructs a ‘Non’-America that is simply imagined through the addition, rearrangement, or removal of various cultural artifacts.
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lock_open save_alt Supplemental Text (Preprint)
Stoppe, Sebastian (2023): Merging of Realities, The ‘Non’-America in Roman Polanski’s The Ghost Writer, <https://vimeo.com/786352749>