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Review: Compelling, Occasionally Insightful & Wildly Frustrating Documentary 'Roman Polanski: A Film Memoir'

  • By Christopher Schobert
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  • November 9, 2013 10:05 AM
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  • 1 Comment
“I’ve been through a lot of tragedies, but I’ve also had lots of compensation for that. It’s not all dips—it’s up and down.” So says Roman Polanski, the Oscar winner in exile, in Laurent Bouzereau’s compelling, occasionally insightful, but wildly frustrating documentary “Roman Polanski: A Film Memoir.” It is a film that takes great pains to allow the man behind “Rosemary’s Baby” and “Chinatown” to talk, explain, and elucidate on his childhood, his career (to some degree), the brutal murder of his wife Sharon Tate, the rape that eventually led him to flee to Europe, his later life, and eventually, his arrest in Switzerland and possible extradition on sexual misconduct charges. Yet, for an artist whose stylistic flourishes changed the course of modern cinema and continue to fascinate, 'A Film Memoir' is a stiff, by-the-numbers affair.

Cannes Review: 'Roman Polanski: A Film Memoir' A Fascinating Look At The Director As Told By The Man Himself

  • By Kevin Jagernauth
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  • May 20, 2012 9:45 AM
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Who is Roman Polanski? That's the question at the center of "Roman Polanski: A Film Memoir," a deeply fascinating look at the life and (sort of) career of the controversial filmmaker as told by the man himself. But this isn't a hagiography -- the documentary doesn't shy away from the more tabloid-worthy elements of his life (you know what we're talking about), and is more about the events that made Polanski into the man and director we know him as. 'A Film Memoir' doesn't dive into the making of his movies so much as contextualize them with where he was personally and professionally at the time. And this perspective, particularly with the participation of Polanski, offers a refreshing look at the filmmaker you thought you might have known.

Roman Polanski Apologizes To His Sexual Assault Victim In New Secret Doc Premiered In Zurich

  • By Oliver Lyttelton
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  • September 28, 2011 1:46 AM
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For all the films that he's made in the last 33 years, from the great to the dreadful, everything that Roman Polanski's done has been overshadowed by his 1978 sexual assault of a thirteen-year-old girl. The director was arrested and charged with six counts, including rape, but in a bargain with the courts, plead guilty only to "Unlawful Sexual Intercourse with a minor," and was sentenced to 90 days in prison. On his release, however, it was suggested by the judge that Polanski would face more prison time, and the helmer fled to France, where he's lived in exile ever since.

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