The Venice Film Festival and the Toronto International Film Festival are some of the biggest events for film over the year. Cannes Film Festival is the undisputed most coveted of the year, but Venice and TIFF might be the second and third largest.
A lot of upcoming movies premiered at those two festivals over the last couple weeks and many of them are creating a lot of really positive buzz like “Joker,” “The Lighthouse” and “A Beautiful Day in the Neighborhood.”
But a convicted rapist director was celebrated at the Venice Film Festival and received yet another award.
On March 11th 1977, film director Roman Polanski was arrested in Beverly Hills for sexual assault against a 13-year-old girl that occurred at actor Jack Nicholson’s home while he was out of town. The “Chinatown” director also drugged the 13-year-old.
Polanski quickly accepted the prosecutors’ plea deal that would result in a limited jail sentence but that all changed when his defense attorneys got word that the judge presiding over his case was ready to reject the prosecutors’ deal – something that doesn’t happen very often – and reportedly would give him a fifty-year sentence.
So he bounced to Paris, France where he’s been hiding from the American criminal justice system ever since. Hollywood still clamored over the director’s works like for the “Pianist” where many of his fellow colleagues gave him a standing ovation when he won Best Director at the Academy Awards that year. He’s been making films ever since he became a fugitive from American justice.
His newest film, “An Officer and a Spy” was one of the biggest buzzes at the Venice Film Festival and it ended up getting the Silver Lion Award, which for all intents and purposes is second place. The Golden Lion Award went to Todd Philips’ upcoming “Joker” movie starring Joaquin Phoenix.
You’ll never believe what “An Officer and a Spy” is about either.
It takes place in 1894 about a French Captain, Alfred Dreyfus, who is wrongfully convicted of treason and is sentenced to life imprisonment at Devil’s Island. It was based on the famed “Dreyfus Affair.”
Doesn’t that seem to be projecting a little bit? Like maybe Polanski is trying to project the idea that he was a victim in his 1977 conviction and this is some sort of weird catharsis for him?
He does think of himself as a victim and even had some absurd nonsense to say about how people treat him in the Me Too era.
And he really has become so delusional about the case he was convicted of recently. Polanski said in an interview promoting his new film “An Officer and a Spy” that people didn’t understand the “facts” of his case. But the facts are pretty clear.
Polanski said before his film premiered at the Venice Film Festival, “Working, making a film like this helps me a lot. In the story, I sometimes find moments I have experienced myself, and I can see the same determination to deny the facts and condemn me for things I have not done. 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.”
Why is this guy being celebrated even if it is overseas? They all know what Polanski did and they’re well aware he’s been a fugitive for over forty years. Yet, people welcome the controversial embattled director with open arms when he makes a new film.
Maybe Hollywood should try goading him into going to the Academy Awards next year for his film so he can get arrested while the elites give him a standing ovation for “An Officer and a Spy.”