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Roman Polanski at Cannes 2012 and New York Film Festival 1963; EXCLUSIVE Photo

Festivals
by Anne Thompson
May 21, 2012 9:04 PM
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Roman Polanski

Director Roman Polanski popped into Cannes Monday to introduce--not his friend Laurent Bouzereau's documentary "Roman Polanski: A Film Memoir," which played last Thursday--but his own entry in the Cannes Classics program, 1979's "Tess." He also attended the black-tie Cannes 65th anniversary dinner Monday night. I once interviewed Polanski at a Cannes roundtable in 1994 for "Death and the Maiden," and wound up riding in a car with him down the Croisette; I also did a post-Oscar phoner with him after "The Pianist." I'm dying to interview him again. My time will come. Not this year.

Here's a cool photo taken at the time of Polanski's screening of "Knife in the Water" at the first New York Film Festival in 1963. (The Fest will celebrate its 50th anniversary in 2012.) Filmmaker/photographer Jerry Schatzberg snapped the picture and explains how it happened:

I first met Roman the night he presented his film 'Knife In The Water' at the 1st New York Film Festival.

Needless to say, I thought it was a great film. Roman presented the film, and did a Q & A. He did not speak English too well, but was charming and very funny.

At the time, I had a broken leg, and was on crutches, so I stayed behind while the cinema emptied out. As I was coming down the escalator, I noticed Roman talking to someone, and I hobbled over to him, to express my feelings about his film. He was, again, charming and funny, and we seemed to get along very well.

I told him I would like to photograph him, and he immediately agreed to it. We set up an appointment. He came to my studio. I wanted to give the appearance of New York, so I took him up to my apartment, where I went out on the roof, and had him stand inside behind glass doors that reflected a New York scene.  I know Roman liked the photographs and we did a number of other sittings through the years. We became friends, and have been friends ever since.

I finally sent him a copy of the photograph about three years ago.

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