I don’t recall seeing one of Polanski’s films. I guess they’re quite “arty”. I tend to prefer movies in which Bruce Willis wears a dirty vest and blows things up.
Because the girl in question (now a middle-aged woman of course) doesn’t want to press charges then charges should not be pressed.
But… I also do find it outrageous that Polanksi is now seen as the victim by so many. The front page of today’s Indy heralds a “Great Polanski debate”. Apparently there is a petition to get him released amongst the stars of the red-carpet. Monica Bellucci and Fanny Ardant are amongst the signatories. Now I have no idea who Fanny Ardent is though she sounds like a minor porn star but Bellucci! Great T & A but clearly nothing upstairs. This is partly predicated upon the “it was a long time ago” argument which I must admit has legs but only because the victim thinks the same. I suspect she doesn’t want to drag all that stuff back up. Fair enough. Her call but not Ms Bellucci’s call or Heavens forfend the readers of The Independent.
But there is also an idea that Great People are somehow above the law. That Genius, like Prometheus should be unbound. It begs a question. Should a genius be able to do things the rest of us can’t?
Yes. Obviously. They have the power to compose symphonies which will live until evolution deprives us of ears. They have the power to reformulate Quantum Mechanics or do a little decorating in the Sistine Chapel. That’s what genius is really about and what it allows. It does not allow anyone to drug and anally rape a 13 year old girl. Which frankly is not an act that requires a genius - just a teenager and a pervert of the first water. For that very fact Polanski’s alleged greatness as a film-maker is no excuse whatsoever and is in fact a very silly excuse.
What really bugs me though is the willingness of the great and the good and the studios and the stars to not just grant Polanski a bye on this one but to actively support him and to have actively supported him for years after they knew what he had done. I mean he’s not the kinda guy I’d hire or hang-out with at premieres. I’d be over trying to get Bruce’s hancock.
I can’t help but compare Polanski’s treatment by his cohort to that of Mel Gibson. OK, getting pissed senseless and driving and then launching into a bizarre tirade against the arresting officer is bad but it’s hardly the same ballpark is it? To put it bluntly it shows Gibson up as a first-class twat. Polanski’s actions show him up as utterly depraved. But whilst Gibson is rightly a pariah around Hollywood, Polanski is a flawed genius. It’s just wrong. It seems to be a weird form of snobbery. If you do stuff posh folks like you can get away with murder but if you entertain the peanut munching masses then they’ll crucify you. I mean that half-wit Barrymore hasn’t had a gig since his one-off show Only Pools and Corpses bombed.
I apologise to American readers for that. They probably won’t really get that sentence.
PS. “Holidays” is British lag slang for doing time in the big house.