DOCUMENTARY; 1hr 30min
DIRECTED BY: Laurent Bouzereau
Third-time lucky? Polanski and Seigner (circa 1990)
In September 2009, film-maker, producer and actor Roman Polanski, then 76, was arrested in Switzerland while en route to the Zurich Film Festival to collect, oh the irony, a lifetime achievement award. The warrant, outstanding since 1977, was for having unlawful sex with a 13-year-old girl. The conversation between Polanski and an old friend, producer Andrew Braunsberg, which forms the structure of director Laurent Bouzereau’s scrupulous profile, takes place at Polanski’s cosy Swiss home, where he is under house arrest. It’s a genuine, decades-spanning exchange, in which “Andy” is a vital presence.
Polanski is an impassioned raconteur with emotional accessibility to times long past. And he’s had one helluva contrasting life whose polarities range from the murder of his second wife, actress Sharon Tate, by the Manson Family to the filming of such masterworks as Rosemary’s Baby and Chinatown. The contentment he now feels with his third wife, actress Emmanuelle Seigner, is a stabilising end to a rocky story. Whether that story warrants a feature film depends on how much you cared about it to begin with.