Rosemary's Baby was birthed on June 12th 1968,
making our favorite antichrist 50 years old today.
Fifty! Fifty years old!
The film was an enormous success right out of the gate, tapping into an anxiety about modern womanhood and city living that I don't think they could even entirely see about themselves at the time - makes you wonder how people will look back on the shenanigans of Hereditary with its family curse in 50 years. (And yes people will be looking back on the shenanigans of Hereditary in 50 years.)
No matter how they looked at it at the time we look at it constantly now - Rosemary stands alongside Psycho and The Texas Chainsaw Massacre and The Exorcist as one of the most influential horror films of all time, and while I'm loathe to say it's even "more than that" - because being horror is enough, dammit! - Rosemary's reach really does extend beyond just its "tentpole of the genre" status because of all the innovations Roman Polanski baked into the thing. The innovative camera-work and framing...
... rewrote the way movies are shot, period. It's a perfect film, it's my favorite film, i've watched it more times than any other and yet I still find things I've never noticed before - I re-watched it over this past weekend and I was stuck for the first time by the dream sequence that Rosemary has while she's asleep in Dr. Hill's office waiting to be taken to the hospital (or so she thinks) where she dreams of her family, her parents and sisters and brothers, all doting on her newborn, and it's the saddest freaking thing I have ever seen.
How have I always tuned out during this moment? It's brief and you're usually focused on what's about to happen - Dr. Hill's betrayal and the deep trauma that immediately follows. But the horror's made all the sharper by this sweet imaginary interlude. Poor Rosemary.
Another thing I didn't know - Time Magazine has a piece today on how the name of the infamous apartment building where all the horror unfolds was named after a famous figure in horror - click on over to read that. (thx Mac) My point is I still have so much to learn about this film even after all this time - I'm really looking forward to the forthcoming book called This Is No Dream: Making Rosemary's Baby that's out in July which will surely have even more wonders to share on this never not fascinating film.
What are your favorite things about Rosemary?