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IndieWire and FilmStruck’s ‘Movies That Inspire Me’: Jody Hill Looks at Roman Polanski’s Debut, ‘Knife in the Water’

The latest in our series of talks with Sundance directors zeroes in on the boat-based danger in Polanski's first feature.

Roman Polanski has made films spanning continents and generations. But Jody Hill prefers the filmmaker’s first feature, a story as simple as two men, a woman, and a sailboat.

READ MORE: Watch: ‘Jackie’ Director Pablo Larraín Discusses ‘Movies That Inspire Me’ in New IndieWire Video Series Presented by FilmStruck

“Knife in the Water” follows a couple who, on their way to the lake for a day of sailing, pick up a hitchhiker and invite him to join them. What transpires between the three of them out on the water is a carefully choreographed dance of attraction, recklessness, and isolation.

Hill spoke with us about the danger and tension that drew him to the film at a young age.

This is our second conversation with Hill as part of our “Movies That Inspire Me” series, presented in partnership with FilmStruck. (If you missed him talking about the classic rock doc “Gimme Shelter,” you can watch it here.) “Knife in the Water,” as well as Polanski’s 1979 Thomas Hardy adaptation “Tess,” are available to stream on FilmStruck.

“Movies That Inspire Me,” which features conversations with Sundance Film Festival directors about their favorite FilmStruck titles from the Turner Classic Movies and Criterion Collection, will continue regularly throughout the month of December here on IndieWire.

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