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Archive for October 1st, 2009

Well, he’s not “wanted” anymore. When the documentary Roman Polanski: Wanted and Desired premiered at Sundance in 2008, it seemed like an epilogue, the wrapping-up of a story which would never have a real ending. Today, with Polanski in the custody of Swiss authorities, it’s become clear that the story was not over after all. And as this film – available for instant viewing or rental on Netflix – reveals, the tale of Polanski’s crime, prosecution (or persecution), and exile is anything but a clear narrative with good and bad, right and wrong, clearly marked. Nonetheless, Wanted and Desired displays a general sympathy for the director’s plight as he is jerked back and forth by a publicity-seeking judge. The still used above is from the 1961 Polanski short film The Fat and the Lean; that’s Polanski himself, acting in his own film, running across a field toward the Eiffel Tower, fleeing a lumbering fat old man. Obviously crafted years before the filmmaker’s legal predicament, the simple, almost allegorical footage is nonetheless cleverly employed by the documentary to illustrate the complex situation Polanski found himself in. It also suggests Wanted and Desired‘s general attitude toward its subject. (more…)

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