Anorak News | Roman Polanski: Harvey Weinstein On Switzerland And Rape As Entertainment

Roman Polanski: Harvey Weinstein On Switzerland And Rape As Entertainment

by | 29th, September 2009

7864455ROMAN Polanski, who pleaded guilty to the rape of a 13-year-old – he spent 42 says in prison – is making big news in the Independent, which borrows the words of our jobbing politcians and invites one and all to join the big debate. As the front page declares:

Polanksi: the big debate

When what is lawful becomes a debate, something has gone wrong, or right.

Before we look at the round-up of enws and views, USA Today offers some perspective:

From the uproar, you would think a U.S. missile had hit Europe.

It’s media explosions. Reading on in the Indy we get into the debate:

The French Foreign Minister, Bernard Kouchner, protested formally to both the US and Swiss authorities against Mr Polanski’s arrest in Zurich on Saturday for having sex with a 13-year-old girl in California in 1977. Mr Kouchner described the circumstances of the arrest, on an American warrant, as “a little sinister”…

A leading French director, Bertrand Tavernier, said: “The Swiss are extraordinary. Here is a law which is supposed to combat drug-trafficking and tax evasion and the first victim they pick on is an artist.”

US film guru Harvey Weinstein delivers: “My friend has served his time and must be freed.”

Roman Polanski is a man who cares deeply about his art and its place in this world. What happened to him on his incredible path is filled with tragedy, and most men would have collapsed. Instead, he became a great artist and continues to make great films. I was with him the day he won the Legion of Honour in France, which was a spectacular day. I remember the incredible love and affection that people have for him.

Now Thierry Frémaux, the director of the Cannes film festival, and I are calling on every US filmmaker to lobby against any move to bring Polanski back to the US, where he could face life in jail…

Let’s bomb Swtizerland, or at leasy boycott the chocolate and assisted suicide:

The deal was that if he spent time in prison, which he did pre-sentencing, his sentence would be commuted but when he came back to sentencing the judge went back on the deal. Forget about the Seventies era and whether this is excusable – this is a miscarriage of justice, and the government is making him a scapegoat.

Dominic Lawson hangs his head: “Let’s not forget what Polanski did.”

The film director has been treated with extraordinary indulgence

Polanski himself has never, so far as I know, expressed any contrition for what he did. At the time of Bill Clinton’s impeachment over the Monica Lewinsky affair, the director observed that, “There’s a different justice for people who are public figures than for those who are not”, with the implication that somehow he too had been a victim of unfair double standards over matters of sexual behaviour.

The truth is that Polanski has been treated with extraordinary indulgence because of his fame. When in 2003 Polanski was nominated as best director for The Pianist, but didn’t attend the Oscar ceremony because of his outstanding arrest warrant, the event’s host, Steve Martin, joked to the Hollywood audience “Roman Polanski is here…GET HIM!” Polanski won that evening, and received a standing ovation in absentia.

Lawson features extracts from the girl’s testimony. You can read it here – it’s grim – of course. Rape is. But these are the facts on which a talking shop has been constructed.

Some commentators therefore wonder whether Polanski’s arrest represents some sort of quid pro quo. The AP news agency accidentally leaked a memo from a correspondent saying the Swiss are now “under intense pressure over UBS and want to throw the US a bone”. It is a theory Swiss authorities have been swift to reject.

The conspiracy theory has been introduced, a bomb and a call to blame the Swiss.

You want moe facts?

He had already been held 42 days in a maximum-security prison and thought he had a deal with prosecutors that he would be freed. Instead, the judge threatened him with more jail time and Mr. Polanski, thinking with that the judge was reneging on the deal, fled.

In the Huffington Post, Jennifer Lehr writes:  “Polanski: I’m confused.”

Given Roman Polanski’s history as a persecuted Jew during the Holocaust, I can understand his panicking, skipping bail and fleeing the United States. What I don’t understand is why, once he got his wits about him, he didn’t return and face the music. How could he live with himself? And the world with him?

Hmmmm… The debate goes on in the Times, where AC Grayling is at work:

Should Roman Polanski have to pay for crimes he committed 30 years ago? We may be tempted to forgive a misdemeanour from decades ago. But if the offence is heinous, society must stand firm.

Society? This matters involves us all. And we now get more context. Get this:

Few people would be inclined to forgive and forget in the case of Nazi SS officers who committed atrocities during the Second World War. If a former Nazi mass murderer is found, he is arrested and prosecuted no matter what his age and condition of health. Why? Because the Nazi crimes are the kind that we cannot forgive, and we try to prevent them happening again by stating clearly that perpetrators of them will never be safe from prosecution: for such crimes there is no forgetting, no time limit and no hiding place.

The rape of a minor and the murder and rape of milllions. Compare and contrast. And make it entertaining:

The Wrap: “Polanski Docu Director Heads to Switzerland”

The director of the documentary, “Roman Polanski: Wanted and Desired,” Marina Zenovich, has headed to Switzerland to continue shooting footage of the controversial legal saga surrounding the Oscar-winning director who was the subject of her movie.

Marina Zenovich, who wrote and directed “Wanted and Desired,” has headed overseas to document the arrest of Polanski and to chronicle what happens next, according to one of her representatives.

Ventura County Star:

Los Angeles has little interest in trying him and the authorities say they are open to dismissing the charges, but only if he shows up in person.

What about the art? The LA Times tells us: “The Ghost’ is in limbo after Roman Polanski’s arrest.”

Roman Polanski’s arrest in Switzerland has left his latest film in limbo, with several months of work before the political thriller is ready for theaters.

Are the actors complicit in Polanski’s crime by agreeing to work for him?

Based on the novel by Robert Harris, “The Ghost” stars Pierce Brosnan as fictional former British leader Adam Lang and Ewan McGregor as a ghostwriter hired to help complete his memoirs. The cast includes Kim Cattrall, Tom Wilkinson, Olivia Williams and James Belushi.

Roman Polanksi – has he suffered enough?

Posted: 29th, September 2009 | In: Celebrities, Key Posts Comments (3) | TrackBack | Permalink