Roman Polanski: BRILLIANT film maker or DISGUSTING criminal? Or, BOTH?

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Sven Sven's picture
Roman Polanski: BRILLIANT film maker or DISGUSTING criminal? Or, BOTH?

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Sven Sven's picture

The latest Polanski thread raised an interesting issue: Can Polanski be viewed as a brilliant film maker while, at the same time, being reviled?

I think the answer is yes.  Brilliance and evil can co-exist ("Triumph of the Will" is a great example of that).

But, the answer to that question is really a personal moral decision with no absolute right or wrong answer (I happen to think that Polanski is a disgusting man but I have no view, one way or the other, regarding his movies).  Some people have a moral standard that says something that is evil cannot be simultaneously brilliant.  I disagree with that.  Brilliance does not mean (or require) "a high degree of goodness" and evil is not the same thing as mediocrity.  But, I can appreciate and respect the counter arguments to that view.

Michelle

Well, I think there's probably an objective answer to the thread title - the answer is, yes, a person can be viewed by society as both - that's clear.

The question of whether to avoid movies or art by people you consider "disgusting criminals" is a personal one.  I tend to lean towards "probably not" but for me it's often a visceral reaction and not very consistent because of that.  If I'm hit viscerally by a person's crimes, it often does affect whether I can enjoy their art.  But as I say, I'm not very consistent; I still love certain Michael Jackson songs.  (Of course, it helps that he did a lot of his best work when he was a kid and teen, before he was (allegedly, although I believe it's true) a child-molesting adult.)

Roman Polanski?  I don't think I've ever seen one of his films, which hasn't been a conscious decision - I didn't know what he did until the last couple of years or so (in fact, I think the first I heard of it was on babble a few years ago, probably used as an example of great art being created by a horrible person).

But at this point, I would probably go out of my way NOT to see a Polanski film because I'm a) so outraged about the crime and lack of justice, and b) so outraged at the support he's gotten from various celebrities.  In fact, I was so peeved at celebrities who have supported him that my first reaction was to avoid the work of the worst of THEM too.  Which is also a visceral reaction, and it'll probably go away.  Not sure the Polanski reaction will, though.

Fidel

Sven, get ready for an onslaught from those who LOVE to HATE. I think Polanski is guilty of being human. Humans are capable of a range of behaviours. And he did something that's unacceptable in a civilized society.

And that would be where Dorothy and Toto are from. What we have today are a number of Gotham Cities in the wild-wild west.  And at the same time, we all know there are people in high places who are above the law and get away with doing much, much worse. Those people, those humans in high places getting away with murder and even mass murder and everything else in between, laugh their heads off when the focus is off of them and on to tabloid newz diddies like this one. That's my two bits on Roman Polanski. Cheers

oldgoat

I see no reason why someone can't be very good at their day job and yet be an immoral or generally bad human being.

 

I guess the trouble in conceptualising this can happen when one's day job involves exceptional talent and creativity, and an obvious sensitivity to beauty and the arts.  Well obviously that dichotomy can exist.  How that plays out with the Polanskis of the world is between them and what passes for a conscience, their therapist or confessor if they have such. 

As far as plain and simple behaviour toward others however, he appears to have broken a very serious law, and a law which is speaks clearly to our values as a society in how we protect our young and vulnurable members.  He deserves IMO to meet with the full legal consequences of his actions.  I think the passage of time between the crime and his apprehension is irrelevant.  I think his apparent lack of remorse and sense of personal responsibility is very relevant and should be taken into consideration when sentencing.

In a nutshell I personally am more interested in seeing him busted than analysed, but for those who find the analysis interesting go ahead.

oldgoat

Whoa!  That's a lot of cross posting for this time on a Saturday morning.

Michelle

Fidel, I see your point, that there are mass murderer leaders out there getting away with way more than Polanski - but I think the reason this has captured the imagination of millions (and why it makes such a good media story) is BECAUSE of the more individual nature of the act, which makes for a compelling story.  People can relate because, unfortunately, rape is NOT an isolated occurrence - most people either know a woman (or sometimes a man) who has been raped, or been raped themselves. 

When you consider societies that allow this sort of thing to happen on a mass scale, by thousands or perhaps millions of perpetrators around the world, it's easy to see why it outrages people when a privileged guy manages not only to escape prosecution for it (which thousands of perpetrators do, privileged or not), but also manages to get a bunch of celebrities to stand up for him and say it wasn't so bad.

When that happens to someone who is high profile, I think it's really important for feminists and everyone who has a problem with rape to stand up and say, "NO, it's NOT okay to rape people."

Fidel

Ya, that's what I wanted to say but couldnt find the words. What Michelle and oldgoat said. Polanski can afford to break the law apparently.

Stargazer

The thing with me and Polanski's films is this - I had absolutely no idea about Polanski's crime until fairly recently. I had watched Rosemary's Baby when I was a kid, and Bitter Moon years agao when it was released and that still stands as one of my favourite movies. I also loved Repulsion, The Pianist and most of his other work.

But he did a horrible crime, and shows no remorse, and I think that speaks to what he thinks he is entitled to. That said, horrible person, but I can't just force myself to "not like" what I had previously enjoyed. It is not like I went out and bought his films because he was a child rapist. I had no idea. I just knew about him as Sharon Tate's husband and a film maker.

I don't agree at all with Vincent gallo, but I loved Buffalo 66 (the Brown Bunny was slow and boring). I despise Ted Nugent, and he stands for everything I despise, but I love old Ted Nugent tunes. I hate Charlton heston, but loved the original Planet of the Apes.

 

Tommy_Paine

 

The first thing that comes to my mind is the individual decision of what I'm going to be a part of.  And, yes, if you want to point out what a hypocrite I am, you won't get an arguement from me.  I mean, no one can do all the research needed to find out everything about the purchases you make, etc.  I know, wittingly or through rationalization, I've probably contributed to many large and small evils in this world.

So, in the case of Polanski, I knew about the rape charge and his fleeing the country since.... I can't remember not knowing.  So, I decided a long time ago that I certainly wouldn't send any of my money his way by going to the theater to see one of his films, or renting them, etc.

I've always loved Salvidor Dali's work.  It wasn't until five or so years ago I found out how big a supporter he was of Franco, and the Catholic Church.   But, Dali's dead, and so's Franco.  If I bought a Dali print, I wouldn't be supporting Fascism.

There's a pioneering Rock n' Roll artist I absolutely revere.  And, like many  of those guys, he got the short end of the stick, royalty wise, recognition wise, etc.  But he did something absolutely disgusting and dispicable to a woman friend of mine.  Because of that, I wouldn't send any money his way.

Except I did, because that woman friend and I, and others spent money in one of his establishments.  I didn't know it was his, but my friend did.  She's let what happened go, at least to that extent.

Like Stargazer, beyond the decision of sending your few dollars to someone you don't like, I would at least like to separate the art from the artist.  But I'm not always successfull.

I can forgive Ted Nugent, but not the nameless guy above.  Yes, I can watch the original Planet of the Apes and enjoy it, along with Ben Hur and a few other Heston Movies.    But, I'm not very forgiving with "On the Water Front".  Or, Polanski's movies, come what may.  And, I can't look at Dali paintings the way I used to.

There's no thread of consistancy in all that, if your looking for it.  I think it's all visceral.

in.solidarity

The question as to whether someone can be considered brilliant and evil at the same time has an easy answer, yes.  When viewing a person's work (whether it is artistic, or otherwise), it is often viewed only in the context of the piece; furthermore, the crime of a person, technically in the eyes of the law, should only be viewed as the action itself, regardless of who the perpetrator and victim(s) are.

While I have never seen a Polanski film, like some of the others on this thread, this has not been a deliberate protest.  I have, in no way, avoided his films due to his crime, and now it almost intrigues me to see them.  It is always an interesting prospect, to see the beautiful work of someone of twisted mind.  In saying this, I am not supporting Polanski's actions, nor am I saying it just "isn't a big deal"; but I am interested in the products, considered brilliant by most, which could be created by someone who shows no remorse for such a crime.

As a young woman, this crime does hit home.  Regardless of my past, which I do not care to share on such a thread, I can relate to his victim, as well as to every woman who does want to protest his work.  There are far too many sexual offenders who CONTINUE to receive inadequate punishments for the atrocities they commit, should they be prosecuted at all. 

Furthermore, these acts are often glamourized in Hollywood, and made into feature films; an act which disgusts me, but does not break any laws.  I grew up in St. Catharines, Ontario, and the release of the film 'Karla' (2006) was particularly insulting to me.  I realize that there are many films like this one which are made regularly, which document real-life crimes, but this one is of personal significance, as Karla Homolka and her sister Tammy went to my high school.  It is in films like this, the line between evil and brilliance is blurred.  I have still not seen this film, and do not plan to; however I have read numerous reviews which celebrate the film.  I think another question that should be asked could be, can films that glamourize crime (particularily, crime against women) be considered brilliant?

 

Boom Boom Boom Boom's picture

In my case I was a student of film, and I saw some Polanski movies before the Sharon Tate murder and the rape case, and enjoyed them. I don't recall being aware then that Polanski was a Holocaust survivor, and that his mother was killed at the Auschwitz concentration camp - I learned about those things only from a Rolling Stone article in the 1970s. I saw my first Polanski film (Knife in the Water) around 1966 and Repulsion and Cul-de-Sac not long after. I saw The Fearless Vampire Killers and Rosemary's Baby at a Polanski festival in the 1970s (and before the Tate murder and his rape of a child). By then, like an entire generation of Beats and Hippies, I was a true Polanski (and Sharon Tate) fan and with no expectation of the horrible events that came later.

M. Spector M. Spector's picture

[url=http://users.belgacom.net/wagnerlibrary/articles/wlar0043.htm]Richard Wagner: Fascist scum or musical genius?[/url]

Boom Boom Boom Boom's picture

Polanski's crime was committed 32 years ago, and a complete farce of a plea bargain gave him a 90 day sentence of which he spent 42 days before being released and with a reccomendation of parole by the two psychiatrists who analysed him during that period.

In the 2008 documentary "Roman Polanski: Wanted and Desired" which I've seen twice (if you get a chance to watch it, try it with the closed-captioning CC on because some of the voices are weak), both the original prosecuting and defense attorneys are interviewed, and the prosecuting attorney stated he understands why Polanski fled (the judge was going to break his promise of a plea bargain for Polanski). Both attorneys petitioned the judge to be removed from the case because of his incompetence, and that happened. Just this week, one of the prosecutors (now retired) in the case admitted that he lied in that documentary.

I'm not sure what Polanski will be tried for if he is returned to the US and arrested. Will there be an entirely new trial reviewing 32 year old evidence? Will Polanski's victim, now 42 (I think) be forced to testify - after she has already petitioned for the case against Polanski to be dropped because the publicity is harming her and her family? Or, as I suspect, will 78 year old Polanski simply be given a slap on the wrist for not returning to the US as directed in 1978 or thereabouts? (under the conditions of the original plea bargain he was free to travel). Another possibility might be to imprison Polanski for the remaining 48 days of his original plea bargain, plus another sentence on top of that for ignoring repeated court demands to return to the US.

Early in the documentary, an officer of the court states that Polanski faced a sentence of between 6 months and 50 years for his crime. The plea bargain, as I said, gave him just 90 days, and he only served 42 before being released. I was shocked and dumbfounded when I read this case in Rolling Stone in the 70's - I had expected Polanski would receive a five year sentence at minimum. I doubt he'll be sentenced to anywhere near the maximum possible term, but who knows.

As for Polanski's movies, I'm a huge fan - and thus have suffered some cognitive dissonance over the years: enjoying the films of a known child rapist.

ETA:

http://www.nytimes.com/2009/09/30/us/30polanski.html?_r=2

Powerful Player Joins Polanski Team

excerpt:

Mr. Weingarten is expected to mount a legal effort to block Mr. Polanski’s extradition before the issue works its way through the Swiss legal system, according to people who were briefed on Mr. Weingarten’s involvement, but spoke on condition of anonymity because they were not authorized to speak publicly.

A critical step will most likely be a move to stop the extradition before United States authorities send the required documents to Switzerland. Mr. Polanski’s team may do so by arguing either that his crime does not qualify for extradition, because he was originally to have been sentenced to less than a year in prison, or that he has already effectively served his sentence, during a 42-day psychiatric evaluation.

al-Qa'bong

My favourite example of this duality is Céline, who is among the most brilliant writers I've ever encountered, yet was apparently a virulent antisemite.

Regarding Polanski, I've seen a few of his films.  Chinatown is on my top ten list, and The Pianist is pretty good.  I found Knife in the Water OK, but a little too artsy for my taste.  Rosemary's Baby scared the willies out of me when I was a kid.

I'm not trying to excuse what he did to that girl, but I don't find the self-righteous howling that's taking place on the Polanski threads to be very edifying.  It doesn't take a lot of moral courage to take a strong position against raping children.

I wonder how I'd have turned out if as a child someone told me to hide and not to board a certain rail car, then forever live knowing that the car transported my family to a death camp.  I wonder how I would be haunted if I'd ever seen a young woman shot through the forehead merely for asking why she was made to line up on a street with her neighbours.  I wonder how I'd react if my pregnant wife and my child were butchered and their blood used to write PIG on my living-room wall.

I'm not saying that all this justifies what Polanski did, but I'm pretty sure I'd be completely twisted and messed up if I had to go through what he did.

Boom Boom Boom Boom's picture

al-Qa'bong wrote:
I'm not saying that all this justifies what Polanski did, but I'm pretty sure I'd be completely twisted and messed up if I had to go through what he did.

I'm curious as to what weight all that had on his psychiatric evaluation, which led to his early release from prison and a recommendation from both psychiatrists that Polanski be given probation.

remind remind's picture

Quote:
I'm not trying to excuse what he did to that girl, but I don't find the self-righteous howling that's taking place on the Polanski threads to be very edifying.  It doesn't take a lot of moral courage to take a strong position against raping children.

Piss off!

Speaking of edifying, that gratuitous nasty comment is certainly one and speaks to your character or lack thereof!

 

Now having stated that, I am going to register the fact that I believe Sven's insistence on setting these threads up is to get the left infighting and angry at one another, and not for a discussion at all.

It should be closed.

al-Qa'bong

Quote:

Piss off!

Speaking of edifying, that gratuitous nasty comment is certainly one and speaks to your character or lack thereof!

 

Excuse me? I suppose I could alert a moderator, but I'm pretty sure they're following this thread anyway.

remind remind's picture

Hope so, "self righteous howling"  indeed is beyond belief, and unacceptable.

Say nothing of "It doesn't take a lot of moral courage to take a strong position against raping children."

 

stellersjay stellersjay's picture

Both, of course. If we can't keep artists' works separate from their actions in their own lives, most of art will be ruined for us. People with monstrous personal failings nevertheless produce brilliant art that enriches our lives. Some insist that they're the only people who do and that their art is their redemption.

What Polanski did was very wrong, and his celebrity shouldn't protect him from the consequences. He's also produced great art. Reconciling the two facts is the work of thinking, feeling adults who acknowledge their own human frailty.

remind remind's picture

His celebrity did protect him, and that protection gave implicit approval, that people will accept anything from an "artist".

thetorygirl

Just like Quebec entertainment manager Guy Cloutier who was allegedly protected by the artists in Quebec for many years (many claim that it was well known)  for the child molestation and child rape of child star Natalie Simard. Pedophile Guy Cloutier is the father of Veronique Cloutier she of the infamous 'Bye Bye 2008' where she called Barack Obama a ni**er 7 times in a "comedy skit". Shame on Radio-Canada for allowing such racism on a federally funded broadcast. Veronique also made fun of sexually molested victim Natalie Simard during that telecast of " Bye Bye 2008". Such a classy family all around.

In Quebec it's fair game to go after pedophile priests but it's politically incorrect to go after the pedophile  high priest of Quebec entertainment who was allegedly protected for 30 years before being brought to justice. It's only wrong when Catholic priests are raping children of course.

 

http://www.cbc.ca/canada/montreal/story/2006/07/21/cloutier-simard.html

mimeguy

remind - "His celebrity did protect him, and that protection gave implicit approval, that people will accept anything from an "artist"."

 

Boom Boom - "I'm curious as to what weight all that had on his psychiatric evaluation, which led to his early release from prison and a recommendation from both psychiatrists that Polanski be given probation."

 

There is hypocrisy in the art world all around that often times 'romanticizes' pathologies to the extent that artists can get away with committing repugnant crimes. There is no doubt that Polanski's life experiences shape his behaviour and certainly influence his films. However there is a huge difference between expressing this behaviour through art and acting them out on real victims. In all this discussion there is reference to his one known crime. If his pathology led to this violent crime, as determined by psychiatrists, the question remains how many other similar crimes has he committed over the last 40 years or more.  I'm a big fan of Polanski's films in particular the Tenant.  Should he be in jail if found guilty? Yes.  Should he be under psychiatric care if his crimes are caused by a pathology that leads him to commit violent crimes? Yes.  Will I still go out and rent the Tenant once every couple of years? Yes.  I dont' think my $2.00 paid to the video store contributes that much to his lifestyle if at all.  Am I likely to go out and see his more recent films or future films? Unlikely.  The beauty of art is that there simply isn't just one person you need to see.  There's no shortage of good artists.     

 

jacki-mo

remind: No need for Sven to start threads to get the left infighting and angry at one another. Almost every thread on Babble does this.

Boom Boom Boom Boom's picture

mimeguy wrote:
  If his pathology led to this violent crime, as determined by psychiatrists, the question remains how many other similar crimes has he committed over the last 40 years or more.      

He was actually released before his plea-bargained sentence was halfway over, and with a recommendation of probation, not further incarceration, and I was asking how his horrific life experiences led to their conclusion (or, if his life experiences had any bearing whatsover)  that Polanski was not a further threat to society - as evinced by his early release and probation recommendation.

martin dufresne

There is hypocrisy in the art world all around that often times 'romanticizes' pathologies to the extent that artists can get away with committing repugnant crimes. There is no doubt that Polanski's life experiences shape his behaviour and certainly influence his films. However there is a huge difference between expressing this behaviour through art and acting them out on real victims.(...) The beauty of art is that there simply isn't just one person you need to see. There's no shortage of good artists.

I suspect that the problem cuts deeper than that. I can't offer any definitive statements - I definitely haven't thought this through, probably because it scarees me a lot but - I suspect that many people have come to identify sexual transgression as somehow correlated with "brilliant art" or with artistic privilege, that to exploit people one considers lesser beings than one's glorified self and courage to break down boundaries.

ETA: He said it in so many words to Martin Amis: every (male) dreams of fucking little girls; he went ahead and did it - as if that was his sacred mandate...

 

Sineed

I'm an admirer of Roman Polanski's films - loved "Chinatown," "Rosemary's Baby," "Repulsion," "The Pianist."  He's a rare talent.

Michael Enright on the CBC this morning: "Roman Polanski raped a 13 year old girl.  He should be dragged back to the US in leg irons and a choke chain."

Okay - I'm done.

martin dufresne

"...He should be dragged back to the US in leg irons and a choke chain." Actually this kind of hyperbole is part and parcel of a system where people would rather rant than hold men accountable for gender violence and take an actual credible systemic stand against abusers. For instance, there remains a disconnect between fathers' antecedents of violence against women and children and the "rights" that our family (in)justice system goes on according to such men, over and above their victims' right to security and welfare.

 

Papal Bull

Unionist, sounds about right. I've been surprised that people are arguing over the sexual crime charges at all. He fled justice after he was charged, that's why they're dinging him now. He used his money, his fame, his artistic connections and the general allure of the boheme establishment to flee from the lawman. He was charged, there is no arguing what he did. That argument took place decades ago, he was found guilty. To me, this is just another case of the rich dude being sheltered by other rich people, who have consciencly decided to minimize his crime so that they could have him at wine and cheese parties while he was visiting their villa in Marseilles.

Unionist

Excellent insight, martin, exactly right - and the U.S. is the leader in the disconnect between violent rhetoric in "defence" of their "womenfolk" and the real-life enabling of abuse and degradation of women. Canada is the same, only somewhat less colourful. I believe at least one of the reasons for the knee-jerk defence of Polanski by all kinds of people who should know better was the sheer disbelief that the hypocritical U.S. authorities could be the "good guys" in this story.

 

Boom Boom Boom Boom's picture

Papal Bull wrote:

He fled justice after he was charged, that's why they're dinging him now.

Actually, he fled after he had served his plea-bargained time, and had a recommendation of probation from two court-appointed psychiatrists. Polanski fled after it was revealed that the judge was going to break his promise to uphold the plea bargain and go for jail time for Polanski.

Boom Boom Boom Boom's picture

Papal Bull wrote:
That argument took place decades ago, he was found guilty.

There was never a trial. The defense and prosecuting attorneys, with the judge, agreed to a plea bargain of 90 days, to spare the young victim and her family incredible publicity. Polanski served 42 days and was released.

remind remind's picture

Not really into excuses, either for Polanski's actions, or for people's support of him.

Polanski, had a harsh occurances in his life, that shaped both who he is and his "art", and I believe we can all agree with that.  And with the understanding that those who believe in social justice, recognize that ALL levels and dimensions of inhumane brutality and greed, on both a personal, and broad societal, has to stop, as it breeds more of the same. It is the never ending cycle of history repeating itself.

Unless of course one believes people are born good and evil, gifted and ungifted, privileged and unprivileged and the right for there to be  exploiters and the exploitable, and that is just the way it is. But then you would not believe in social justice either, of course.

...if one buys into the meme, that in order for someone to be a brilliant "artist" one has to experience "the pain" of life,  and thus excuse the resulting actions of that pain of life, as a trade off for brilliance in art, one cannot state a belief in social justice, nor perhaps in the evolution of the social contract into something better.

As believing that pain and suffering, causes "brilliance",  and that one has a right to "appreciate" it,  makes the acts, which are the by -product of that pain and suffering,  acceptable collateral damage, for both the pursuit of brilliance and the pleasure gained from it.

In this meme, the cycle of pain and suffering has to occur, continually, for brilliance to ever be achieveable, and/or sustained, and for  the  by-product of select personal pleasure to be gained.

So under a perception of pain and suffering = brilliance of art reality, or a narrow perception of brilliance, at least, social justice can never occur. There will always have to be those giving pain and suffering and those recieving it.

The isms, that are at work, are the real issue and problem that sustains the crimes against women and children.

 

 

thetoryboytoy

Roman Polanski paid off his victim big bucks to shut the fuck up. No wonder the victim doesn't want to talk about the crime anymore. She was shut up with big bucks. This is the way of the rich artists. Don't all of Roman Polanski's Hollywood supporters and french dumb fuck politicians  feel stupid today knowing his victim was paid off big time  to shut up and make it seem like she has moved on with this incident.

http://www.radaronline.com/exclusives/2009/10/roman-polanski-promised-hi...

Slumberjack

On the issue of creativity being forever tarnished by nefarious deeds, this song will never be the same ever again:

Stephen Harper sings Beatles song with Yo Yo Ma

Unionist

Slumberjack wrote:

On the issue of creativity being forever tarnished by nefarious deeds, this song will never be the same ever again:

Stephen Harper sings Beatles song with Yo Yo Ma

Already being disgusted [url=here[/url]">http://rabble.ca/babble/culture/stephen-harper-gets-little-help-his-frie....

 

Stargazer

You do not have to "suffer" to make good or great art. That's bullshit. I am so not going down that tight little rope called "If you like a Polanski film, you are complicit in his crimes" line. Been there, done that.

 

Sven loves to start these types of threads, in which he clearly knows everyone will eat each other with words. I don't know if he does it to get a good laugh, or from some sick social experiment.

Slumberjack

Take out the social...and I think you've got it.

Slumberjack

Unionist wrote:

Slumberjack wrote:

On the issue of creativity being forever tarnished by nefarious deeds, this song will never be the same ever again:

Stephen Harper sings Beatles song with Yo Yo Ma

  Already being disgusted [url=here[/url]. 
">http://rabble.ca/babble/culture/stephen-harper-gets-little-help-his-frie...

Ahh, now I see.  Culture you say...

remind remind's picture

Stargazer wrote:
You do not have to "suffer" to make good or great art. That's bullshit.

I agree completely, and that is exactly what I was stating, that his suffering cannot be used either as a crutch excuse for his actions, nor for his alleged brilliance in art.

Quote:
I am so not going down that tight little rope called "If you like a Polanski film, you are complicit in his crimes" line. Been there, done that.

Didn't mean that at all, with what I was stating. I was stating that excuses for his pedophilia and raping, and escaping justice actions, are  wrong headed.  And that they, and accepting his actions, are just based in the world of isms, and that is a problem.

 

 

stellersjay stellersjay's picture

Bingo, Martin.

I was puzzling over the dismaying long list of people who are defending Polanski, when it occurred to me that it's just an extreme example of what happens every day all over the world, only we don't usually hear about it, because it's just Buddy down the road. Friends and family can usually be depended on to defend the perp using all the usual tricks: blame the victim or simply choose to not believe him/her, and trivialize the harm.

The Daily Beast has an interesting perspective from a male victim:
http://www.thedailybeast.com/blogs-and-stories/2009-09-29/polanskis-vict...

Timebandit Timebandit's picture

remind wrote:

Stargazer wrote:
You do not have to "suffer" to make good or great art. That's bullshit.

I agree completely, and that is exactly what I was stating, that his suffering cannot be used either as a crutch excuse for his actions, nor for his alleged brilliance in art.

Quote:
I am so not going down that tight little rope called "If you like a Polanski film, you are complicit in his crimes" line. Been there, done that.

Didn't mean that at all, with what I was stating. I was stating that excuses for his pedophilia and raping, and escaping justice actions, are  wrong headed.  And that they, and accepting his actions, are just based in the world of isms, and that is a problem.

 

 

Actually, what you really said was:

 

Quote:

Would you go shop in the store of a known pedophile and rapist just because he had what you perceived to be good quality clothing, or products? Would you advocate others go to his store and support his life style?

Would you go to the home of a pedophile rapist, or let one into your home?

I doubt it, so why would you let one into your mind and pleasure emotions?

 

Which means Stargazer wasn't at all off base. You made the point very clearly, and when Stargazer objected to it in the previous thread, you didn't deny it or clarify your meaning.

 

In other words, you are full of beans.

 

 

Boom Boom Boom Boom's picture

(cross posted to another forum)

 

The documentary shows that it was a very messy affair indeed - in one clip, the defense attorney reveals that Polansk's 13 year old victim was engaged in sex, drugs, and alcohol before she ever met Polanski, and the defense attorney is asking why the person that Polanski's victim had sex with earlier was never prosecuted. Did thhat person pay off the victim's family as well? All of this would come out in court, and must certainly have been a factor behind obtaining the plea bargain instead of going to court and avoiding lurid and embarrassing headlines.

ETA: Yes, rape is rape, and any previous sexual encounter by this 13 year old has no bearing on this case, but the defense attorney was going to make it an issue. That must have been an incentive for the plea bargain to be reached, to keep all of this out of the media's reach.

Boom Boom Boom Boom's picture

Martin, for my part, I have known for more than 30 years that Polanski raped a 13 year old and got off lightly. He got off lightly by means of a plea bargain because, as I understand it,  the victim and her family did not want the publicity and embarrassment of a trial in which lurid details would be exposed to the light of day and in media around the world. Was justice served? Absolutely not, but the alternative was something the victim and her family simply did not want.

martin dufresne

In support of remind, of Polanski's victim, and of our own responsibility in standing up to rapists, here is an excerpt from one of various excellent articles by Kate Harding on the Salon website:

Reminder: Roman Polanski raped a child

Roman Polanski raped a child. Let's just start right there, because that's the detail that tends to get neglected when we start discussing whether it was fair for the bail-jumping director to be arrested at age 76, after 32 years in "exile" (which in this case means owning multiple homes in Europe, continuing to work as a director, marrying and fathering two children, even winning an Oscar, but never -- poor baby -- being able to return to the U.S.). Let's keep in mind that Roman Polanski gave a 13-year-old girl a Quaalude and champagne, then raped her, before we start discussing whether the victim looked older than her 13 years, or that she now says she'd rather not see him prosecuted because she can't stand the media attention. Before we discuss how awesome his movies are or what the now-deceased judge did wrong at his trial, let's take a moment to recall that according to the victim's grand jury testimony, Roman Polanski instructed her to get into a jacuzzi naked, refused to take her home when she begged to go, began kissing her even though she said no and asked him to stop; performed cunnilingus on her as she said no and asked him to stop; put his penis in her vagina as she said no and asked him to stop; asked if he could penetrate her anally, to which she replied, "No," then went ahead and did it anyway, until he had an orgasm.(...)

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Timebandit Timebandit's picture

Boom Boom wrote:

(cross posted to another forum)

 

The documentary shows that it was a very messy affair indeed - in one clip, the defense attorney reveals that Polansk's 13 year old victim was engaged in sex, drugs, and alcohol before she ever met Polanski, and the defense attorney is asking why the person that Polanski's victim had sex with earlier was never prosecuted. Did thhat person pay off the victim's family as well? All of this would come out in court, and must certainly have been a factor behind obtaining the plea bargain instead of going to court and avoiding lurid and embarrassing headlines.

ETA: Yes, rape is rape, and any previous sexual encounter by this 13 year old has no bearing on this case, but the defense attorney was going to make it an issue. That must have been an incentive for the plea bargain to be reached, to keep all of this out of the media's reach.

You have to remember, Boom Boom, that the documentary was made by a very sympathetic filmmaker and that the prosecutor she interviewed now claims he lied about how the judge had a change of heart about the plea bargain. 

http://www.thedailybeast.com/blogs-and-stories/2009-09-30/polanskis-lost...

martin dufresne

Boom Boom, your argument makes Samantha Geimer (and her family) entirely responsible for the plea-bargain in question, an extraordinarily gullible reading of justice matters. This is a clear reversal of whom had final authority in this contest.

Beside, as it turned out, this alleged outcome was not the final word in the matter - plea bargains never are until all possible charges have been either laid or overtaken by statutory limitations - and I for one am deeply mistrustful of the Polanski camp's explanation of the judge "reneging" on his promise - another instance of shifting responsibility away from the perpetrator, of his apologists confronting us with a "you're either with us or with this biased killer judge" proposition.

I would have hoped you were less naive.

 

martin dufresne

...the alternative was something the victim and her family simply did not want.

Interesting how men give credence to women's No sometimes...

Boom Boom Boom Boom's picture

Watch the documentary. In the clip from 1977 or 1978, the defense attorney for Polanski made it clear he was aware that the 13 year old victim has sex on at least one other occasion, and he asked why that person was not prosecuted, and that he intended to persue this.

Can you imagine the questions that would have been asked in open court - and that was 30 years ago, an attorney could bring up past sexual history - they can't nowadays in rape cases - and that must  have been an incentive for the victim and her family to agree to a plea bargain for Polanski. That's all I was trying to say.

The plea bargain is history, for better or for worse. Justice was not served.

Timebandit Timebandit's picture

So what if she had had sex on another occasion?  What does that have to do with anything?  How would the defense attorney know?  Polanski told him, maybe?  Polanski did what he did and she was 13 years old.  Full stop.

Anyway, the plea bargain was set up, and then Polanski charmed his way out of custody early, then went partying.  The judge saw photos of him partying with very young women at an Oktoberfest celebration.  It pissed him off.  Polanski didn't seem to be taking his predicament seriously.  And the judge was within his rights to reject the sentencing recommendation, and Polanski would have been within his rights to appeal.

Apparently Polanski didn't feel his chances were especially good, given the givens.

remind remind's picture

Back off timebandit,  I was talking about that post in specific, of mine.

 

 

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