Yesterday I watched Roman Polanski’s latest movie Venus in Fur (hopefully I’ll have a review come out later this week). One thing I particularly noticed was how Venus in Fur‘s theme of sadomachochism relates to Polanski’s own self. So for this week’s question, I thought I’d ask what do you think of Roman Polanski?
Polanski is one of the most controversial directors out there. In 1977, he was tried in California after raping a thirteen year old girl, but fled to France to avoid sentencing (the charges still stand today and he’s been called into court many times after his escape). Since then, he’s filmed exclusively in Europe and despite his notoriety still manages to work with A-list actors as well as win an Oscar for Best Director. While I think Polanski was and still is a great director (Rosemary’s Baby is one of my favorite horror pictures), I’m stunned and angered that he never received the full extent of his crimes because of his status (though he has paid multiple settlements in court). A few years back, when Polanski was being held under Swedish authorities, a petition signed by over 100 names in the film community (which include Martin Scorsese, David Lynch, and Woody Allen, another filmmaker who has faced sex abuse charges) that argued:
“We demand the immediate release of Roman Polanski… Film-makers in France, in Europe, in the United States and around the world are dismayed by this decision… It seems inadmissible to them that an international cultural event, paying homage to one of the greatest contemporary film-makers, is used by police to apprehend him.” (source: Indiewire)
As I said beforehand, I too agree Polanski is one of cinema’s finest current directors, but just because he’s a celebrity doesn’t mean the charges on him should be dismissed. I apologize if this post is too political for some readers, but this is how I feel.