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Roman Polanski’s 30 year nightmare

September 27, 2009

I’m not what you’d call a huge film buff — I mean, I like movies, but I am not an art-house cinephile by any stretch of the imagination.

As such, perhaps I was in the minority when I read slack-jawed that Academy Award winning director Roman Polanski was arrested Sunday on a warrant issued in 1978 for drugging and performing sexual acts with a 13-year old girl.

The story only gets more surreal, as apparently this all occurred in Jack Nicholson’s house while Anjelica Huston was present.

I guess why this surprises me is that… well, since 1978 Polanski has been an adored and revered film-maker. In fact, he was en route to the Zurich Film Festival when he got arrested, planning to attend a tribute to him and his works.

Again, this may not be new news, but to me that’s pretty shocking. How many folks can get away with a normal life while being a fugitive from statutory rape charges for over 30 years? It’s frankly rather appalling that the entertainment industry has essentially given Polanski a free pass for this.

Michael Vick served two years in jail and was suspended from his profession for years as a result of organizing a dog fighting ring. If Vick had fled America and travelled to Europe to become a huge star playing soccer, does anyone in their right mind believe people would be OK with that? So where exactly lay the differences between Michael Vick and Roman Polanski that they can exist in such different spheres?

Huston’s attitude about the situation seems to sum up everything, blowing my mind eight ways to Sunday.

“She appeared to be one of those kind of little chicks between — could be any age up to 25. She did not look like a 13-year-old scared little thing,” Huston said. She added that Polanski did not strike her as the type of man who would force himself on a young girl. “I don’t think he’s a bad man,” she said in the report. “I think he’s an unhappy man.”

Ignoring the fact he pleaded guilty to the crime already; being unhappy instead of bad doesn’t make statutory rape acceptable in most of the television police shows I’ve seen.

I don’t think I’ll ever watch “Rosemary’s Baby” with the same set of eyes again.

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3 Comments leave one →
  1. jessekg permalink*
    September 27, 2009 6:36 pm

    I think I remember something about that being the reason the big hollywood director hasn’t been to hollywood in 30 some odd years. I agree. That’s totally messed up. Then of course there is this: http://gawker.com/5368903/aps-notes-on-roman-polanskis-arrest-leak-onto-news-wires-everywhere?skyline=true&s=i

  2. September 27, 2009 8:02 pm

    I think he garners sympathy because of what happened to his wife (actress Sharon Tate) and unborn son, who were slaughtered by the Manson cult. All of Hollywood was collectively reeling because of Manson’s spree, and perhaps some peers explain (though it most definitely should not excuse) Polanski’s later crime through that lens. Who knows what kind of shit that does to a guy.

    I do remember however the Oscars when Polanski won for The Pianist, which was his homecoming of sorts, and I recall a good number of his peers refusing to applaud his win.

    But damn, yeah, he skated on that charge for years. You think when cops see him on TV they’re like, “Ehhh, somebody else will grab him. I’m gonna sit here and enjoy my Oscars.”

  3. September 28, 2009 6:28 am

    Manson follower Susan Atkins who had killed Roman Polanski’s wife, Sharon Tate died a couple of days ago and now this announced arrest of Roman Polanski.

    What I can’t understand is, how did Polanski manage to evade the law all these years with the so called technology of cameras and GPS, etc. There is just NO way that one can hide from the law with all of technology that is out there.

    Something is just screwy here. I think the authorities DID know where he was hiding all these years. And one has to question as to why did they decide to arrest him NOW and not arrest him from years ago? Not to mention that this is going to cost taxpayers money for a trial that will drag on for years.

    This is another example of how there is no such thing as “justice” in the justice system in the USA. Criminals go free while the innocent and victims get sent to prison.

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