Noz W Wodzie (1961)

Noz W Wodzie, or Knife in the Water is a film directed by Roman Polanski, released in. The movie is about a couple on a road trip about to go sailing who run into a hitchhiker and invite him along. Tension builds between the hitchhiker and the man who invited him along because he starts paying too much attention to his girlfriend. At some point the hitchhiker ends up in the water and the couple assumes he has drowned. The man leaves to find help but the hitchhiker appears once he leaves and sleeps with the man’s girlfriend while he is gone but once he returns, the girlfriend lies and says nothing happens. Lenica depicts the hitchhiker as an outsider by symbolizing him as a fish of a different color and facing the opposite way of the other fish which represent the man and his girlfriend. The purple fish seems to have a sinister sneaky look on its face while looking at the darker blue fish which hints at a scheme of sorts to the viewer. The background also hints at a sense of disturbance due to the fading of some of the black lines. The expression of the top fish reads wariness, looking back behind him while the bottom one seems unbothered, looking forward. The top fish looking back could symbolize his fear of being stabbed in the back by the newcomer which corresponds with the title of the film. There hierarchy of the poster reads that the fish and the title are the most important things featured as they are the first things you see. ┬áLenica subtly establishes a hierarchy by having the title disrupt the background lines calling for attention while the fish do not making the tile the most eye catching subject while the fish fall second.

Picture from: https://theartstack.com/artist/jan-lenica/noz-w-wodzie-knife-wa-1