The Jury Talks Back

8/31/2019

Roman Polanski Receives Standing Ovation At Venice Film Festival

Filed under: Uncategorized — Dana @ 6:54 pm

[guest post by Dana]

This, in spite of the unraveling horror show that is Jeffrey Epstein and his countless sexual assaults on untold numbers of minor females. I just can’t even. First, a brief reminder of what Polanski did:

On March 10, 1977, Polanski, then 43, invited 13-year-old Samantha Gailey (now Geimer) to the Los Angeles home of pal Jack Nicholson for a photo shoot. After plying Gailey with glasses of champagne and half a Quaalude, she alleged that she felt “dizzy… like things were kind of blurry sometimes. I was having trouble with my coordination, like walking and stuff.” She then claimed that Polanski placed her on a bed and performed oral, vaginal, and anal sex on her—ignoring her repeated pleas for him to stop. “I was mostly just on and off saying, ‘No, stop.’ But I wasn’t fighting really because I, you know, there was no one else there and I had no place to go,” she later testified.

Although not in attendance, the audience at the Venice Film Festival was wowed by Polanski and his new film. And as they gave the director a five-minute standing ovation, #MeToo gasped its last breath:

The Venice Film Festival played host to an uncomfortable scene this weekend, as director and convicted sex offender Roman Polanski garnered rapturous applause for his new film, J’Accuse. (English title: An Officer and a Spy. Polanski—who fled the United States decades ago and was expelled from the Motion Picture Academy in 2018—did not receive the applause in person, though journalists reportedly cheered co-producer Luca Barbareschi’s assertion that the event was “a film festival, not a moral trial.”

Vulture documented the strange scene, which featured cast member Emmanuelle Seigner (also Polanski’s third wife) and star Louis Garrel sharing nothing but praise for the absent Polanski’s direction. Co-star Jean Dujardin reportedly wished all actors “the good fortune of one day working with Polanski;” attempts from journalists to reference Polanski’s criminal history were met with both shutdowns from producers and further applause.

In later years, a number of women came forward with their own accusations that Polanski had sexually assaulted them as well. The three women claim they were ages 10, 15 and 16 years old when Polanski assaulted them.

Polanski, in a recent interview with a French media outlet, said that the “persecution” he has faced from people inspired him while he worked on the film:

…J’Accuse chronicles the early 20th century “Dreyfus Affair,” in which Alfred Dreyfus (played by Garrel in the film), a Jewish officer in the French Army, was fraudulently convicted of giving military secrets to the Germans, sentenced to lifetime imprisonment, and banished to a prison island. (He was later exonerated and freed.) Polanski made no secret of parallels to his own conviction in a recent interview with French writer Pascal Bruckner, who called the allegations “present-day neo-feminist McCarthyism.”

“In the story, I sometimes find moments I have experienced myself, I can see the same determination to deny the facts and condemn me for things I have not done,” Polanski said in the interview, which was included in official film notes distributed to press. “Most of the people who harass me do not know me and know nothing about the case. . . . I must admit that I am familiar with many of the workings of the apparatus of persecution shown in the film, and that has clearly inspired me.”

The victim’s grand jury testimony tells us pretty much what we need to know about Roman Polnski: (Warning: very graphic)

A. Then he lifted up my legs and went in through my anus.

Q. What do you mean by that?

A. He put his penis in my butt.

. . . .

Q. Do you know whether he had a climax?

A. Yes.

Q. And how do you know that?

A. Because I could kind of feel it and it was in my underwear. It was in my underwear. It was on my butt and stuff.

Q. When you say that, you believe that he climaxed in your anus?

A. Yes.

Q. What does climax mean?

A. That his semen came out.

Q. Do you know what semen is?

A. Yes.

Q. Did you see some semen or feel some semen?

A. I felt it.

Q. Where did you feel it?

A. I felt it on the back of my behind and in my underwear when I put them on.

Contrary to Polanski’s claim, I think we all pretty much know that what he did to that child. And what I know compels me to never, ever watch one of his films, let alone give him a standing ovation.People who choose to support Polanski and give him standing ovations, demonstrate an obscenely elitist indecency. For if you are willing to ignore and/or rationalize the sexual assault of a child for the sake of “art,” then you are an indecent person. Maybe the audience wasn’t bothered by the suffering of a child because they believe that the resulting art would not have been possible had it not been for the suffering that Polanski has endured in the aftermath. Some people are able to separate art from the morality (or lack therein) of the artist. To me, if the artist has inflicted a destructive act of violence on a child, I will never be one of those people.

–Dana

Next Up: Fox Business Host Lying About Trump Lying

Filed under: Uncategorized — Dana @ 10:55 am

[guest post by Dana]

Earlier this week I wrote about Trump 2020 campaign spokesperson Kayleigh McEnany lying about Trump lying. On the heels of McEnany’s comments, and clearly evidencing that he didn’t get the memo that Fox News doesn’t work for Trump, the network’s business host, Stuart Varney, humiliated himself on air when he too denied that Trump lies. Peak irony: he was called out on his lie by lying Joe Walsh:

During a heated interview with Republican presidential candidate Joe Walsh, Fox Business host Stuart Varney said he does not believe President Trump has lied to the country.

The former GOP congressman told Varney on Friday that Trump “lies virtually every time he opens his mouth,” prompting Varney to ask Walsh to give him an example.

“I will give you an example just from yesterday and even his staff, Stuart, admitted that he lied this week when he said there were high-level phone calls between the United States and China. Trump said that repeatedly. His staff came out yesterday and admittedly, admitted that the president of the United States lied to the world to manipulate the markets. I have a problem with that,” Walsh said.

“That’s not a lie. Let’s not get technical,” Varney replied. “If the man said, and he did, that high-level talks had been held with China, that is not a lie. They were held with China.”

“Stuart, he said there were high-level phone calls with Chinese officials. His staff admitted that was not true, that he lied in order to manipulate the market,” Walsh said.

Walsh then asked Varney if he believes Trump has ever lied.

“He exaggerates and spins,” he replied.

“Okay. Do you believe he’s ever told the American people a lie?” Walsh asked, to which Varney gave a curt “No.”

Varney then turned the tables on Walsh at the end of their conversation (not seen in the video), and asked Walsh whether he lied when he claimed that President Obama was a Muslim. Walsh was forced to admit that it was a lie, and added that he’s apologized for it.

Not seeing a lot of daylight between Trump and Walsh, two peas in a pod. All of which makes me wonder why Republicans would look to Walsh as their savior in 2020, because if you loathe and revile one lying bigot, why would you promote another lying bigot?

(Cross-posted at The Jury Talks Back.)

–Dana

Christian Dior’s Latest Ad For “Sauvage” Men’s Fragrance Under Attack

Filed under: Uncategorized — Dana @ 7:53 am

[guest post by Dana]

Taking a break from the dumb world of politics, let’s look at the dumb world of social justice. Specifically, the new, cringe-inducing Christian Dior ad for the men’s fragrance, Sauvage, starring Johnny Depp:

As you can imagine, the ad was attacked for cultural appropriation: Dior pulled the from YouTube within six hours of it being uploaded.

Dior is facing backlash for promoting its perfume line Sauvage with an advertisement featuring Native American imagery.

The fashion brand teased the ad, which stars actor Johnny Depp, on Twitter on Friday as “an authentic journey deep into the Native American soul in a sacred, founding and secular territory”. It has since deleted the tweet and all references to the campaign on social media.

[…]

Scholars and critics have responded that the campaign is racist and a clear cut case of appropriation.

“It is so deeply offensive and racist,” said Crystal Echo Hawk, CEO of the media watchdog group IllumiNative. “I don’t know how anyone in 2019 can think a campaign like this can go down well.”

[…]

The French name of the fragrance line translates to “wild” or “savage” in English.

“These types of tropes, these types of narratives about Native people as savages they do real harm,” Echo Hawk said. “And fuel racism.”

And more criticism:

“Honestly, I couldn’t help but laugh because this drips with irony – every single aspect of it,” said Dallas Goldtooth, an organizer with the Indigenous Environmental Network, an environmental and economic justice group. “But I’m also upset and angry at the same time.”

The video “romanticized Native Americans as relics from the past”, Goldtooth said. “It’s deplorable that Dior thought this was appropriate.”

“It has huge connotations. ‘Sauvage’ was to say we were dirty, uncivilized, that we had no culture. So this is not good at all. This is a racial slur for any Indigenous French-speaking person,” said Melissa Mollen-Dupuis, the co-founder of Idle No More’s branch in Quebec.

“It’s as if they used the N-word to promote a perfume.”

But here’s the thing: Dior worked in collaboration with Native Americans on the project as well as having Native American fancy war dancer Canku One Star, a Rosebud Sioux, and Canadian actor Tanaya Beatty, descended from the Da’Naxda’xw Nation in British Columbia, appear in the ad. One can reasonably assume they were not forced to be in the ad, and that they were compensated at a fair rate of pay per the terms of their contracts. Also noted: Depp gives a nod to Shawnee guitarist Link Wray as he riffs on Wray’s well-known Rumble.

Moreover:

In Dior’s press notes, and in an accompanying behind-the-scenes video, the company pointed out that Depp and director Jean-Baptiste Mondino collaborated with Americans for Indian Opportunity (AIO), an advocacy group for Native American people, “in order to respect indigenous cultures, values and heritage.”

Adrienne Keene, [an assistant professor at Brown University, who writes the “Native Appropriations” blog and is a citizen of the Cherokee Nation], points out that AIO was founded by LaDonna Harris, who, Keene wrote, “has worked tirelessly for Native folks throughout her career, and done incredible work.” Keene also notes that Harris courted controversy among Native Americans in 2012 by adopting Depp into her family, giving him a Comanche name, “Mah-Woo-Meh,” or “shape shifter.”

In reading about this kerfuffle, I noticed that a number of outlets neglected to mention that LaDonna Harris’s daughter, who is also AIO’s executive director, Laura Harris, said: “the [‘Sauvage’] name is the name, and we knew it would be controversial.”

Eyes wide open.

I know Indians who are offended by the ad because of the cultural appropriation. I’m not offended by it other than on an aesthetic level because it is some seriously over-the-top-cringe-inducing awfulness, primarily because of Johnny Depp. If the Dior people had been smart about this, they would have scratched everything – especially Depp – and simply presented the gorgeous Canku One Star dancing on the red cliffs. Now that would be a breathtaking ad.

–Dana


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