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Filmmakers behaving badly

Leading film-makers join calls for Polanski's release

His arrest follows an American arrest warrant dating from 1978 against the filmmaker, in a case of morals.

Film-makers in France, in Europe, in the United States and around the world are dismayed by this decision. It seems inadmissible to them that an international cultural event, paying homage to one of the greatest contemporary film-makers, is used by the police to apprehend him.


Gee, I wonder why people think the entertainment industry is arrogant, entitled, and out of touch with reality? Maybe because a slew of its bigwigs can claim, with straight faces, that being honored at a film festival should confer diplomatic frelling immunity?

And that's leaving entirely aside the part where they characterize the drugging and rape of a 13-year-old girl as "a case of morals." Because if I don't leave it aside, I'll be incapable of anything but incoherent spluttering.

I'm so embarrassed for my industry right now.

Comments

( 37 comments — Leave a comment )
therealjae
Sep. 29th, 2009 03:29 pm (UTC)
I'm still gutted over his untimely death, but I'm very glad I don't have to find out which side of this Anthony Minghella would have come down on.

-J
wiliqueen
Sep. 29th, 2009 03:41 pm (UTC)
I'm disappointed by a couple of the names listed, but not surprised.

Actions have consequences, even for great artists.

And I just really processed what a huge insult this is to people who attend cultural events under the threat of genuine political persecution. There's a VAST chasm between that and someone convicted of a felony through due process.
vaznetti
Sep. 29th, 2009 08:27 pm (UTC)
And I just really processed what a huge insult this is to people who attend cultural events under the threat of genuine political persecution. There's a VAST chasm between that and someone convicted of a felony through due process.

Yes, this. EXACTLY. It's as if people can't tell the difference between the two. I saw the story about this and just don't understand how anyone could defend him. Thirteen years old! What are they thinking?
irish_horse
Sep. 29th, 2009 03:45 pm (UTC)
It's very easy for some people to excuse a person's excesses if their "genius" is sufficiently great. I don't think that genius in any way excuses criminal behavior, and calling this "a morals case" completely undercuts the absolute seriousness of what he did. I'm shocked.
wiliqueen
Sep. 29th, 2009 03:53 pm (UTC)
There are so many things wrong with the statement, I don't even know where to begin.
nycdeb
Sep. 29th, 2009 03:55 pm (UTC)
when I saw this earlier, I was indeed surprised at a few of the names but more at the length of the list. I don't get it. I really don't. It's like we're talking about two utterly different things.

Part of me really wants a list on the other side - groaning under the weight of heavy hitter names - slamming this lemming-like bleating out for what it is. Disgusting.
wiliqueen
Sep. 29th, 2009 03:59 pm (UTC)
Part of me really wants a list on the other side

All of me wants that. It doesn't have to be a slam, just a clear dissent. I'm verging on physically sick that this statement is all that's out there representing the industry right now.
nycdeb
Sep. 29th, 2009 04:12 pm (UTC)
it's not representing everyone anymore. Greg Grunberg was tweeting about it last night and was QUITE definitive on the issue

"Because HE DRUGGED & RAPED A 13 YEAR OLD GIRL!! RT @TheSqueakit "I don't see why Roman Polanski was arrested."

http://twitter.com/greggrunberg.
wiliqueen
Sep. 29th, 2009 04:18 pm (UTC)
Thanks for the tip. I had previously decided not to follow him because the tweets on his page the day I looked weren't that interesting. Think I might change that specifically for this, and @ to let him know it.

Unfortunately, the statement/petition/whatever is still what the average person is seeing. The kind of fans who read people's Twitters already mostly know better. :-/
nycdeb
Sep. 29th, 2009 04:33 pm (UTC)
true but it makes me feel better than then I thought there was just deafening silence on the other side.n Oh and here is another voice:

ThatKevinSmith Via @JoeyFace42 "Please don't be one of those FREE POLANSKI people" Look, I dig ROSEMARY'S BABY; but rape's rape. Do the crime, do the time. (49 minutes ago from web)
wiliqueen
Sep. 29th, 2009 04:37 pm (UTC)
It makes me feel MUCH better -- didn't mean to sound so cynical there.

I can't remember why I'm not following Kevin Smith. I think I decided he tweeted too much!
bktheirregular
Sep. 29th, 2009 03:59 pm (UTC)
Yeah, losing touch with reality is a real danger all over the place.

Is it wrong to take an attitude of "a pox on all of them"? Except for the victim, who, from the few reports I've seen, has apparently chosen to forgive?

(Maybe it's the lawyer in me, but I can't help looking it from a clinical legal mechanics perspective, maybe to distance myself from the horror of the underlying crime. Leaving aside the underlying crime, the authorities probably screwed up by offering a plea bargain to a drastically reduced charge, and once that bargain was accepted, the judge in the case probably screwed up by changing the terms of the bargain after the fact.)

(Sorry to yammer in your space.)
nycdeb
Sep. 29th, 2009 04:07 pm (UTC)
all of which may or may not be the case but none of which makes the fact - - still approaching it from a purely legal mechanism point of view - that without having finished the initial sentence imposed upon him, he ran. Meaning he then became guilty of a whole new crime. So now he can finish the initial sentence AND rot just that little bit longer for being a fugitive from justice.

And, what is with all this bleating about genius. Sure, the man made Rosemary's Baby and Chinatown. But you know what else he made? Pirates and Ninth Gate. Bleah.

bktheirregular
Sep. 29th, 2009 04:24 pm (UTC)
Fair enough, and good point about the fugitive-from-justice offense outstanding. I don't know why the screwups on the part of the system annoy me.

(And yeah, artistic talent shouldn't confer immunity from anything.)
wiliqueen
Sep. 29th, 2009 04:11 pm (UTC)
No apology necessary. And yeah, it does seem that the case was poorly handled, but for me it just can't stack up to the piles of stupid on the "How DARE you arrest our Sooper Speshul Jeenyus on a legitimate outstanding warrant??!!" side.
bktheirregular
Sep. 29th, 2009 04:24 pm (UTC)
Fair enough. Which is why, given the choice, I'd throw the yammering establishment under the bus right alongside the prosecutors and the judge. And then drop the bus on Polanski.

But I've always believed that the state shouldn't get a second bite at throwing someone in prison for the same crime - based on the overwhelming power at the state's disposal to deprive people of their freedom - although, granted, fleeing the country with a case still pending is another crime in its own right.

Maybe it's just the part of me that wanted to be a prosecutor, looking at the whole mess from an odd angle and wincing.
suzvoy
Sep. 29th, 2009 04:26 pm (UTC)
I was reading about this on the way home. O_o
maiac
Sep. 29th, 2009 04:37 pm (UTC)
I'm wondering what part of 13-year-old girl they just don't get. There is no way to excuse what Polanski did. Anybody who thinks there are mitigating circumstances is a moral cripple.
wiliqueen
Sep. 29th, 2009 04:38 pm (UTC)
:: splutters incoherently in agreement ::
leela_cat
Sep. 29th, 2009 04:51 pm (UTC)
I have zero sympathy for Polanski.

The only person I'm listening to here is the victim herself. She's spoken up and asked that the government stop and let it end, already. I can't imagine what it must be like to never ever be able to move past something like this because it keeps coming back up again and again.
wiliqueen
Sep. 29th, 2009 04:54 pm (UTC)
This, I totally get. And I'm torn, because even so, I think he should face the music for fleeing. But that also keeps it in the press and in her face, so it's a mess.
leela_cat
Sep. 29th, 2009 05:12 pm (UTC)
I think that forcing her to keep facing this again and again for so many years could, in some ways, be considered a greater crime than the original. I simply cannot imagine how horrendous this must be for her.

His fleeing is a totally different issue and should be a separate charge. OTOH, that's complicated as well, because the judge in the original case was about to renege on a plea bargain...

It's just a complete clusterfuck, and an end needs to be put to the whole thing. Whether he's tried for fleeing the jurisdiction or whatever.
cybertardis
Sep. 29th, 2009 06:18 pm (UTC)
She also got money from him in a civil suit, so she's not exactly impartial.

That aside, however, the fate of criminals, very wisely, is never left up to victims. We can take their perspective into account, but it should never, ever guide the application of the law, IMO. He drugged and raped a 13 year old girl, plead guilty to that, then fled the country rather than face up to it. Her wishes, while understandable, are now a very small part of a much larger issue for Polanski.
deire
Sep. 29th, 2009 08:07 pm (UTC)
Yes. It's also about other potential victims and establishing what people can and cannot get away with.
mrv3000
Sep. 29th, 2009 05:25 pm (UTC)
Yeah, what I've been getting from this is that as long as you're super special, it doesn't matter what you do.
(Deleted comment)
yeopard
Sep. 29th, 2009 06:29 pm (UTC)
I was outraged when I read the NYT article about this. After a rush of French politians urged his release, calmer heads prevailed and admonished those who would seek to help a convicted child rapist. No one's occupation makes them special enough to commit criminal acts, esp. against children without repurcussion. I'm outraged at those who think that's just fine in your industry as well.
ceridwyn2
Sep. 29th, 2009 06:58 pm (UTC)
This whole thing (his actions re: drugging/raping a MINOR; then fleeing the sickens me. I don't get that people are sticking up for the artistic son of a bitch.

Was poking through my twitter friends posts on it. Actress @beth_chamberlin was also tweeting such annoyance yesterday. Beth's great and oft times really funny.
wiliqueen
Sep. 29th, 2009 07:10 pm (UTC)
Thanks! I've decided to collect industry tweets/posts/whatever NOT defending him. Not sure what I'm going to do with them, but if nothing else they make me feel a little better.
nycdeb
Sep. 29th, 2009 08:17 pm (UTC)
add this to your collection (from the New York Times):

Luc Besson, a prominent French film director and producer, was not on the list though he describes himself as a Polanski friend.

"This is a man who I love a lot and know a little bit," Mr. Besson said in a radio interview with RTL Soir. "Our daughters are good friends. But there is only one justice, and that should be the same for everyone. I will let justice happen." He added, "I have a daughter, 13 years old. And if she was violated, nothing would be the same, even 30 years later."


Edited at 2009-09-29 08:20 pm (UTC)
(Deleted comment)
wiliqueen
Sep. 29th, 2009 07:24 pm (UTC)
Y'know, I really don't have a problem with the detachment thing. Your personal investment is in his work, and as such, it is inconvenient.

Actions have consequences. Consequences are by definition inconvenient. He created the inconvenience for everyone else, and he needs to own that.

What makes me froth at mouth about the petition is their attempt to frame that inconvenience as some kind of unconscionable abuse of power. Making him the victim, and trying to say that it threatens the safe space the film community has legitimately worked to create for members facing the threat of real persecution, manages to monumentally insult a pretty impressive collection of people/groups all at the same time.
poohmusings
Sep. 29th, 2009 10:23 pm (UTC)
I was so disappointed to see Debra Winger standing in front of a lectern yesterday, declaring how wrong she thought the Swiss were for arresting Polanski. No, Debra, NO.

And how dare everyone now try to paint Polanski as the victim?! The perpetrator cannot -- ever -- be the victim, period.
wiliqueen
Sep. 29th, 2009 10:45 pm (UTC)
She doesn't surprise me either, unfortunately. I can't remember specifics now, but I know I've seen several statements from her over the years that I disagreed with enough to think she's pretty batshit I don't care for how she sees the world.

I need to track down whether Whoopi Goldberg actually said "It wasn't rape rape" as I've seen quoted in a couple places. I really, really hope it's a misquote, because she's always seemed so sensible. I've respected her as a person, not just a performer.

Edited at 2009-09-29 10:46 pm (UTC)
quasievil_bunny
Sep. 29th, 2009 10:45 pm (UTC)
To quote director Kevin Smith (via his twitter account): "Do the crime, do the time."

studiesinlight
Sep. 30th, 2009 04:25 am (UTC)
on your divababble blogspot post
I was going to post this on blogspot, but the "prove you're human" graphic didn't display, so I couldn't. Luckily, I knew to just copy and paste:

Thank you for beginning a list of people with a rational perspective on this situation, and also for pointing out clearly and simply the inappropriateness of implying that a violent crime against a child is in some way comparable to a "thought crime" under a repressive regime.
wiliqueen
Sep. 30th, 2009 11:09 am (UTC)
Re: on your divababble blogspot post
You're welcome, and thank you!

If you run into that problem on Blogspot again, let me know. I'll gripe to them.
( 37 comments — Leave a comment )

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