Tuesday, September 29, 2009

More on Polanski Case

The Associated Press reports today:

Polanski arrest puts latest film `Ghost' on hold


LOS ANGELES — 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.

Polanski's agent, International Creative Management chief Jeff Berg, said Polanski had completed much of the editing on "The Ghost." But other post-production work, including music scoring and sound mixing, had yet to be done, Berg said.

Based on the provocative 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.

The novel caused a stir in Britain for Lang's resemblance to former Prime Minister Tony Blair. Like Blair, Lang is a once-popular leader brought down by his allegiance with the United States in the war on terror.

While the film does not yet have a U.S. deal, it has distribution in many overseas territories, among them Germany, where it was shot early this year, and France, where Polanski lives. He fled America in 1978 after pleading guilty to having unlawful sexual intercourse with a 13-year-old girl in Los Angeles.

Polanski was arrested over the weekend in Zurich, where he had traveled to receive a lifetime achievement award from a film festival. His lawyer said Polanski will fight U.S. attempts to have him returned to the United States.

"The Ghost" is the first Polanski movie with a U.S. setting since 1974's "Chinatown." Locations in Germany had to stand in for the story's New England settings.

"There's a lot of psychological intrigue in the story, as well as espionage and politics, and most of the action takes place in an oceanfront house during the middle of winter — all of it classic Polanski territory," Harris said when the film was announced in 2007.
Berg said Polanski usually finishes his films before lining up U.S. distribution, so the completed movie can be shopped around.

"There is always interest in movies that Roman distributes," Berg said. "It should be accepted on its own merits, but we feel highly confident we'll find proper distribution."

Polanski's films include the horror hit "Rosemary's Baby," the costume drama "Tess" and the Holocaust saga "The Pianist," which earned him the 2002 Academy Award for best director.

A Holocaust survivor himself, Polanski has endured other dire trauma, including the murder of his pregnant wife, actress Sharon Tate, by followers of cult figure Charles Manson in 1969.

With Polanski jailed, it's unknown when work might resume on "The Ghost." Berg said he is confident Polanski will put his legal troubles behind him and finish the film.

"I'm always optimistic when it comes to Roman," Berg said. "He's strong, and he has survived every situation imaginable."

Also, writer Roger Simon has some interesting viewpoints on the case in this link:
Anderson Cooper's own blog chose to rerun a article by Samantha Griemer:
The Washington Post also has another great article here:
In the article, Griemer states: "I don't carry any feelings of anger towards Polanski.  I even have some sympathy for him, what with his mother dying in a concentration camp and then his wife Sharon Tate being murdered by Charles Manson's people and spending the last 20 years as a fugitive. Life was hard for him, just like it was for me. He did something really gross to me, but it was the media that ruined my life."
And, finally, from :
It may be weeks before Roman Polanski's extradition request is heard in Swiss courts. Meanwhile, the world is gripped with confusion and outrage, a heady combination in what is shaping up as one of the great kerfuffles of our times.

"Film-makers in France, in Europe, in the United States and around the world are dismayed by this decision," says the petition which, according to the Guardian, has now been signed by more than 70 film industry luminaries, including Polanski's fellow directors Michael Mann, Wim Wenders, Pedro Almodóvar, Darren Aronofsky, Terry Gilliam, Julian Schnabel, the Dardenne brothers, Alejandro González Iñárritu, Wong Kar-Wai, Walter Salles and Jonathan Demme. Actors Tilda Swinton, Monica Bellucci and Asia Argento, as well as producer Harvey Weinstein have also put their names on the petition. Yesterday, Weinstein stated he was "calling on every film-maker we can to help fix this terrible situation".

Meanwhile, the media is abuzz with speculation as to why after all these years, Polanski was arrested now. Vanity Fair's Michael Wolff opined that the arrest is revenge by prosecutors for the humiliation they endured after last year's documentary Roman Polanski: Wanted and Desired depicted the circus surrounding the original case.

The LA Times however, claims that Polanski provoked the arrest by taunting law enforcement with their inaction. They write:

Polanski's attorneys helped to provoke his arrest by complaining to an appellate court this summer that Los Angeles County prosecutors had made no real effort to capture the filmmaker in his three decades as a fugitive. The accusation that the Los Angeles County district attorney's office was not serious about extraditing Polanski was a minor point in two lengthy July court filings by the director's attorneys.

The piece goes on to describe how, despite the fact that Polanski had visited Switzerland before, the widely publicized nature of his appearances at the Zurich film festival goaded prosecutors to action.

And while Polanski's victim Samantha Geimer may be "over it" a significant lynch mob is still roaming the internet demanding justice for what they remind us, was not just some private between adults indiscretion.

At Salon, Kate Harding writes a hang 'em high piece succinctly entitled "Reminder: Roman Polanski Raped a Child."

And over at moviecitynews, David Poland rebuts seemingly the rest of Hollywood with a nice list of retorts to the "But he's a great director who's been through so much" arguments.

Turning back the clock, awards blogger Tom O'Neil wonders whether Polanski even deserved his best director Oscar for The Pianist, pointing out that the director of that year's Best Picture Chicago, was strangely denied the traditional accompanying statue and ponders whether the award might have been Hollywood's show of support to the exiled molester.

More news as the story continues to unfold...

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