Fat and the Lean (1961)

Genres - Avant-garde / Experimental  |   Sub-Genres - Political Satire, Surrealist Film  |   Run Time - 15 min.  |   Countries - France   |  
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Synopsis by Andrea LeVasseur

The 15-minute black-and-white short The Fat and the Lean was directed by Roman Polanski in 1961 shortly after he finished film school in Poland. The official credits have been obscured throughout history due to the fact that the film was shot in France and Polanski was not a French citizen. For this reason, editor Jean-Pierre Rousseau has often been credited as co-director. Telling an allegory about that nature of government, the action is confined to the space of a house with pantomime and music taking precedence over dialogue. The plot concerns the relationship between the master ("The fat," played by André Katelbach) and the slave ("The lean," played by Polanski). This early film contains the music of Krzysztof Komeda, who would continue to write many film scores for the director.



house, master [slaveowner], slavery