Patterico's Pontifications


Roman Polanski Receives Standing Ovation At Venice Film Festival

Filed under: General — 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.

(Cross-posted at The Jury Talks Back.)


48 Responses to “Roman Polanski Receives Standing Ovation At Venice Film Festival”

  1. It’s amazing what people are willing to rationalize. The directors, producers, artists involved at every level, actors and actresses – all of them – not only willing to look the other way, but effusively praising him too.

    Dana (fdf131)

  2. Likely, these same people are the very ones screaming about Trump walking into the dressing room of beauty pageant contestants in various stages of undress.

    Dana (fdf131)

  3. 1. What if Roman Polanski was just unfortunate enough to get caught? What if behavior like that is not only routine, but de rigeur? What if we’re subsidizing just this kind of thing whenever we go to see a movie backed by any of the major Hollywood studios?

    Apropos to nothing, go watch Tropic Thunder and tell me Les Grossman isn’t a parody of Harvey Weinstein.

    Gryph (08c844)

  4. “Forget it, Dana… It’s ‘Chinatown.’ ” Gotta wonder, too, if any accolades thrown his way in the film community this year were couched w/sympathetic memories of the loss of his wife, Sharon Tate, and their unborn child, slaughtered 50 years ago this summer.

    BTW, Polanski’s ‘J’Accuse’ is just another remake; most notably of ‘I Accuse!’ – 1958 w/Jose Ferrer– hard to top him in that.

    DCSCA (797bc0)

  5. Here is how the daily beast covered it.

    Roman Polanski, Child Rapist, Given Hero’s Welcome in Venice

    Here’s the headline for Vanity Fair

    Roman Polanski’s J’Accuse Premieres to Standing Ovation in Venice
    Polanski, who fled the U.S. in 1978 after pleading guilty to unlawful sex with a minor, was not in attendance.

    Here’s the opening paragraph from Vulture (the third link google showed me)

    It’s past ten past 2 p.m. on a hot afternoon at the Venice Film Festival. The team attending the press conference for competition film An Officer and a Spy (J’Accuse) — an impressively meticulous recreation of France’s notorious Dreyfus Affair, in which an innocent Jewish officer was convicted of treason and banished to a prison island — are lined up neatly at the podium. But it feels like all of them, even the jostling, expectant journalists, are arranged around an absence — that of the film’s director, Roman Polanski, who, it bears eternal repeating, fled the U.S. for France in early 1978 before he could be sentenced following his conviction for unlawful sex with a 13-year-old. He has not been to the U.S. since; meanwhile, three other women have alleged that Polanski sexually assaulted them. In 2018, the Academy that awarded him the 2002 Oscar for Best Director expelled him.

    I wish scum would stop working with him. But I think your claim that metoo movement is dead is a miss-statement. I think it would be better to say that it still has a lot of work to do.

    I’m sure there were people there who would ignore Polanski’s sex crimes but attack Trumps.

    But not everyone that attacks Trump ignores Polanski’s

    time123 (d54166)

  6. That said, I’d like to see plenty of internet shame heaped on each and every person who applauded. Anyone know how to get a hold of Rose Mcgowan?

    time123 (d54166)

  7. Well he got the same thing at the Oscars, led by Meryl Streep? Why should the American entertainment corner the market on moral depravity?

    Bored Lawyer (423ce8)

  8. No no no thank you. I will never go to a movie he had any part in.

    I hope that people spit on the street in front of him and that he suffers every day because he can never return to the US. I hope he has nightmares that he’s going to be kidnapped and deported to the US and that it’s given him anxiety and chronic insomnia. I hope he suffers from crippling paranoia every time he steps out of his house.

    Nic (896fdf)

  9. DCSCA is right: the Dreyfus Affair has been very well portrayed on film in both the Jose Ferrer version and even in a silent movie from 1919 titled J’accuse. I seriously doubt that Polanski brought anything new to the story, and that the cheering is just this weird version of virtue signaling (maybe anti-virtue signaling?) by the trendy arthouse film Eurotrash crowd.

    JVW (54fd0b)

  10. But that’s the thing, JVW, Polanski has brought his own suffering to the film, as he too has been a persecuted man…

    In his own eyes, and in the eyes of the people who cheer him on, he is a martyr for art. St. Roman.

    Dana (fdf131)

  11. This happened 43 years ago. At least some of those people were not yet born, and quite possibly know nothing about the crime.

    There are two possible attitudes that account for this. I have to wonder what percentage of them think “he’s one of us, so he couldn’t possibly be guilty” and what percentage think “he’s one of us, what he did does not really matter”.

    Kishnevi (948a4d)

  12. Let’s ask Polanski why he still maintains his cachet with his fellow Thespians, and credit him for knowing what he’s talking about when he’s talking about the people he knows best, his fellow Thespians:

    “But… f[]ing, you see, and the young girls. Everyone wants to f[] young girls!”
    — Interview with Martin Amis (1979), published in Visiting Mrs Nabokov : And Other Excursions (1993), this was modified to censor the word “f[]” when quoted in “Roman Polanski: ‘Everyone else fancies little girls too'” by Michael Deacon

    They’re peas from the same pod.

    Sorry for the double post.

    nk (dbc370)

  13. Kishnevi,

    Polanski was the talk of the town in the lead-up to the film’s premiere:

    Because of the director’s controversial status, talk of the movie has dominated the Lido in the past few days. Italian co-producer Luca Barbareschi addressed the elephant not in the room immediately when he said, “We will answer questions only in as much as we know for the production. We will leave aside any polemic which is not important. This is not a moral trial, this is a marvelous film festival.” That got a round of applause..

    People knew.

    Dana (fdf131)

  14. The third possibility is: It didn’t happen to our kid, so whatever.

    Dana (fdf131)

  15. @11 IDK, maybe not, but my memory of 43 yrs ago is pretty much non-existent and I’ve known about Polanski for probably 15 years (I may have heard before that, esp when we were stationed in Europe but if I did, it didn’t register). I do frequent media discussion sites and the discussion periodically sweeps through (along with the Woody Allen one), but one would think that the artsy movie crowd would as well.

    Nic (896fdf)

  16. I think it’s safe to say that anyone who attends an international film festival like the one in Venice, is fully aware of the movies competing for the big prizes, including the directors of said films, and their history. An attendee would just have to google Polanski to learn about what he did.

    Dana (fdf131)

  17. He drugged and raped a 13 year-old.

    Then he anally raped her.

    And Whoopi said it wasn’t “rape rape”

    If it isn’t I don’t know what is.

    harkin (58d012)

  18. DCSCA is correct. It’s Chinatown, a widely acclaimed but extremely dark movie, the film that made Polanski famous. “She’s my sister. . . . She’s my daughter.” In the subplot, a rich pervert rapes and impregnates his own teen daughter, who is forced to raise her daughter as her sister. In the end, the old pervert takes possession of his teen granddaughter, to continue the incest.

    It’s not a stretch to see Polanski’s preference for young teen girls reflected in the film. How anyone can justify his perversion in the name of art is beyond me.

    Gawain's Ghost (b25cd1)

  19. @8. ‘Chinatown’ is still a helluva good flick, Nic; worth a look. Have one an original one-sheet framed and hanging in the den.

    DCSCA (797bc0)

  20. @19 I’m sure it is and I’ll take your word for it. I’ve taken IRL reports from girls being sexually abused by adult men, I try to avoid it in my media. 😛

    Nic (896fdf)

  21. democrats love being perverted

    mg (8cbc69)

  22. @18. Worked in the biz; know these FF’s and their cache within the industry well. The buzz in the biz for years was after Tate and his child were murdered he went off the deep end and never really recovered. Not that that justifies his behavior, but it helped to twist him. Chum Robert Evans was no boy scout, either. FWIW, Venice isn’t really one of the biggie festivals anyway; chiefly the ‘catch-bin’ for the ‘Eurotrash’ trade as JVW noted. The big-buck award cycle starts w/Cannes and moves through award season into the guilds, through the GGs and into Oscar time. Then it starts all over again. It’s only been in recent decades any of these lesser FFs get notice– chiefly due to the boxoffice revenue the big studio depend on now to punch up their bottom lines. Doubt Polanski’s remake will do much business stateside if distributed here– and then only to the art houses. Might get a DGA nom- out of sentimentality, but no win. It’s such a fickle business.

    DCSCA (797bc0)

  23. @18. Postscript – well, ‘Rosemary’s Baby’ back in ’68 was quite successful, given the era, and put him on Hollywood’s map, but heck, that’s before most of the readers here were alive. Never really liked it but the occultist/horror genre was never a personal favorite. The Exorcist and all that was a bore… Mel Brooks’ ‘Young Frankentstein’ is more my preference in that area. 😉

    DCSCA (797bc0)

  24. 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.

    Agree, 100%.

    Bill M (906260)

  25. You probably didn’t see The Exorcist when it first came out, DCSCA. I did. I was just a kid, twelve years old, when my father came downstairs and said, “You want to go to a movie, son?” “Sure, DaD!” It was absolutely terrifying. I had nightmares for weeks, wouldn’t turn out the lights in my bedroom.

    Maybe you don’t remember, but that movie caused real panic. People were committing suicide after watching it. That only fueled to fever to see the film. There were long lines down the block to get into theaters, then people would go home and kill themselves. It was all over the news, someone would commit suicide after seeing The Exorcist like every other day. Reports of demonic possession through film, Satanic worship, filled the airwaves, which only fueled the fever even more. Longer lines at theaters, more suicides, this went on for three months.

    It got so bad Congress held a hearing and called the director to testify. When asked about the film, he said, “Maybe it’s the subliminals.”

    Yeah, we studied the movie in Philosophy of Communication and Culture when I was at UT years later. It was then I understood what made the original so terrifying.

    The director inserted visual and audio subliminals at strategic points in the film to intensify terror. The visuals were of demons and monsters. The audio was of angry bees and roaring animals, the squeals of pigs being slaughtered. You don’t see or hear it, but that sh!t gets into your brain. The buzzing of angry bees, for example, prompts an instinctive flight response. But you’re in a movie theater with nowhere to run. It was truly terrifying.

    Three months after its release, The Exorcist was withdrawn from theaters, by Congressional command. It was re-released six months later, without the subliminals. I’m sure there is a master tape in a vault somewhere, but you can’t see the original version of the film anywhere.

    That’s why the re-release is such a bore. It is nowhere near as scary as the original. I know, because I saw when it first came out, and it scared me like no other movie. Then, when I watched the second version, without subliminals, I thought, what’s so scary about this movie?

    When I was a kid, there was this television show on Saturday mornings, called Boo! It was all these old horror films, most of them in black-and-white, hosted by Vampira. They weren’t very scary, kind of boring actually. So I get your point.

    As to Young Frankenstein, that’s one of the greatest comedies ever filmed. But you really have to know your Broadway musicals to understand the film. “Pardon me, boy / Is this the Chattanooga Choo-Choo?” “Pardon me, boy/ Is this the Transylvania Station?” Yah, Yah, track 39.

    Ha ha ha ha ha.

    Mel Brooks is a comedic genius, and Young Frankenstein is his greatest achievement. Chinatown is Roman Polanski’s greatest achievement. But whereas Brook made a career of making fun of Hitler and white supremacists, Polanski made a career of depicting his own perversion and persecution.

    Gawain's Ghost (b25cd1)

  26. They think “he’s a talented artist, so he gets a pass”.

    Or, “he lost his beautiful wife to a pack of murderers, this is the result of his tortured existence.”

    Colonel Haiku (2601c0)

  27. 25… a few friends and I went to Hollywood to see “the Exorcist”, one of the friends was a a three sport star athlete at our high school (he later went on to a professional baseball career). I forget which seen it was, only that there was much blood involved, and Rick swooned and passed out. It was hilarious!

    Also went to see it with my Italian-American girlfriend – a devout Catholic – who found the movie very disturbing and suggested we leave the theater.

    Most of my buddies and I thought it was a laugh riot, with cheesy special effects.

    Colonel Haiku (2601c0)

  28. Scene, not seen

    Colonel Haiku (2601c0)

  29. Hollywood is a cesspool of filth and the evils of humanity. They prey on the innocent, the weak, and those that have the foolish dream of stardom. A pox on their house.

    NJRob (4d595c)

  30. 21… mg has it right, in the main, liberals are a bunch of “commie preverts”.

    Colonel Haiku (2601c0)

  31. Hollywood is a nest of blood-sucking vampires.

    Colonel Haiku (2601c0)

  32. Well he played a small time hood in chinatown, which fast forwarded the early 20th water wars, painting mulholland as a demonic character.

    Narciso (66a0fa)

  33. Polanski not only committed child rape in the USA, he’s done the same in Europe. Like Epstein, he has a “Thing” for young girls. He gave his word to appear at the sentencing and then – of course – skipped the country, laughing at the gullible Americans.

    That Hollywood continues to worship this character while claiming to be moral is sickening but expected. BTW, Polanski’s degeneracy affects his art. You’ve not missed anything by missing his movies.

    rcocean (1a839e)

  34. BTW, Polanski is 86! That also shows the movie industry needs new blood and new ideas. BTW, is Woody coming out with a new movie this year? LOL.

    rcocean (1a839e)

  35. Jeffey Epstein may have done a lot more (or gone a lot younger) in Paris than he did in New York or Florida or the Virgin Islands after his fist half-jail sentence.

    Aas for what people believe – the movie crowd is probably quite libertarian when it comes to sex, and they’ll belive that he had consent and don’t think that anything with consent should be prohibited. And is Roman Polanski going to tell them what really happened?

    Sammy Finkelman (db3b66)

  36. Hollywood. Libertarian in Sex and drugs. Communist in everything else. They’re just the kind of classy, wise, patriots you want in charge of our film industry and pop culture.

    rcocean (1a839e)

  37. Its amazing how foreigner like Polanski came to this country in the 1960s (and before) and they’re never grateful to escape Nazi Germany or Communist wherever, and adopt our mores. Instead, they abuse our hospitality and skip out when convenient.

    rcocean (1a839e)

  38. Yeah, who did the dam’ furriner think he was, Roy Moore or somebody? Child molestation is as American as Hollywood, Times Square, and Appalachia.

    nk (dbc370)

  39. @25. Yes, GG, I remember all that- and the sequels spawned. The genre was just never interesting to me. Not even those series of Universal horror flicks from back in the day.

    @29/@31. ROFLMAO. Really?!? Two words: Ronald Reagan.

    DCSCA (797bc0)

  40. @25. Postscript; The Producers – the original w/Wilder & Mostel, remains his very best, IMO; though Blazing Saddles, YF, Silent Movie & High Anxiety were pretty good follow ons. Less so w/Spaceballs.

    DCSCA (797bc0)

  41. They call it svengooli now, its on metv,

    Narciso (66a0fa)

  42. @25. post-postscript. BTW, old colleagues in the biz tended to agree that as far as the ’70s go, ‘The Sting’ is known as ‘the perfect movie.’ No doubt ‘Godfather’ and ‘Star Wars’ fanatics will challenge. LOL

    DCSCA (797bc0)

  43. The best movie Brooks had a hand in was The Elephant Man. IMHO.

    Colonel Haiku (2601c0)

  44. Who are you, zombie william goldman, disco?

    Narciso (66a0fa)

  45. Zee Americans they so crazy, no? A little kinder rape and they get upset. Not like the old country. But they are such dumbkopfs. Told them I luv America, ask for bail, say I wish to just to stay in America -greatest country in world. Unlike Poland. Ha ha – They let me go. Poof i fly to France. A real country. I get nice young girls, nice wine. Make $millions. I laugh at the Yankees. What idiots!

    rcocean (1a839e)

  46. @45. Speaking of Poland, Happy 80th Birthday World War II!

    ‘Springtime for Hitler and Germany; Winter for Poland an France…’ – Mel Brooks ‘The Producers,’ 1967

    DCSCA (797bc0)

  47. How you stalin put, nostrovia

    Narciso (66a0fa)

Powered by WordPress.

Page loaded in: 0.1818 secs.