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Polanski arrested in Switzerland


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#1 of 75 Patrick Sun

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Posted September 27 2009 - 03:49 AM

Swiss arrest Polanski. Now the US has to formalize the extradition request.


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#2 of 75 Ted Todorov

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Posted September 27 2009 - 09:06 AM

 From the NY Times article: (Polanski) "has traveled often to Switzerland, where he maintained a home."  

Interesting -- I wonder what change lead to his arrest?

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#3 of 75 Michael Elliott

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Posted September 27 2009 - 10:57 AM

If someone made a movie of this guys life everyone would laugh it out of the theater for being too made up or full of unbelievable events.  A few days after his wife/sons murderer dies, he gets arrested for crimes done thirty years ago.

#4 of 75 Brandon Conway

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Posted September 27 2009 - 11:06 AM

To quote someone on another board:

"The judge who recently rejected Polanski's request to have the case dismissed agreed [that the original judge was corrupt], and has stated that Polanski needs to appear before the court in order to have his request heard. It is likely that all that will come of this arrest is the eventual dismissal of the charges and his possible freedom to return and work in the United States."

I can totally see this happening, especially since the victim has been on record countless times as not wanting to continue the charges.

Polanski will also have the best lawyers in the world working for him. Even if he couldn't afford it there will be plenty in the film industry there to help him out.

"And now the reprimand, from an American critic. He reproaches me for using film as a sacred & lasting medium, like a painting or a book. He does not believe that filmmaking is an inferior art, but he believes, and quite rightly, that a reel goes quickly, that the public are looking above all for relaxation, that film is fragile and that it is pretentious to express the power of one's soul by such ephemeral and delicate means, that Charlie Chaplin's or Buster Keaton's first films can only be seen on very rare and badly spoiled prints. I add that the cinema is making daily progress and that eventually films that we consider marvelous today will soon be forgotten because of new dimensions & colour. This is true. But for 4 weeks this film [The Blood of a Poet] has been shown to audiences that have been so attentive, so eager & so warm, that I wonder after all there is not an anonymous public who are looking for more than relaxation in the cinema." - Jean Cocteau, 1932


#5 of 75 Brandon Conway

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Posted September 27 2009 - 11:14 AM

From Wikipedia:

"In 2008, a documentary film of the aftermath of the incident, Roman Polanski: Wanted and Desired, premiered at the Sundance Film Festival. Following review of the film, Polanski's attorney, Douglas Dalton, contacted the Los Angeles district attorney's office about prosecutor David Wells' role in coaching judge Rittenband. Based on statements by Wells included in the film, Polanski and Dalton are seeking review of whether the prosecutor acted illegally and engaged in malfeasance in interfering with the operation of the trial.

In December 2008, Polanski's lawyer in the United States filed a request to Judge David S. Wesley to have the case dismissed on the grounds of judicial and prosecutorial misconduct. The filing says that Judge Rittenband (now deceased) violated the plea bargain by keeping in communication about the case with a deputy district attorney who was not involved. These activities were depicted in Roman Polanski: Wanted and Desired.

In January 2009, Polanski's lawyer filed a further request to have the case dismissed, and to have the case moved out of Los Angeles, as the Los Angeles courts require him to appear before the court for any sentencing or dismissal, and Polanski will not appear. In February 2009, Polanski's request was tentatively denied by Judge Peter Espinoza, who said that he would make a ruling if Polanski appeared in court.

That same month, Samantha Geimer filed to have the charges against Polanski dismissed from court, saying that decades of publicity as well as the prosecutor's focus on lurid details continues to traumatize her and her family."

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Roman_Polanski

So, basically, the government is spending who knows how much money to bring this 76-year-old man back to LA so that the charges can be dismissed. Wonderful!

"And now the reprimand, from an American critic. He reproaches me for using film as a sacred & lasting medium, like a painting or a book. He does not believe that filmmaking is an inferior art, but he believes, and quite rightly, that a reel goes quickly, that the public are looking above all for relaxation, that film is fragile and that it is pretentious to express the power of one's soul by such ephemeral and delicate means, that Charlie Chaplin's or Buster Keaton's first films can only be seen on very rare and badly spoiled prints. I add that the cinema is making daily progress and that eventually films that we consider marvelous today will soon be forgotten because of new dimensions & colour. This is true. But for 4 weeks this film [The Blood of a Poet] has been shown to audiences that have been so attentive, so eager & so warm, that I wonder after all there is not an anonymous public who are looking for more than relaxation in the cinema." - Jean Cocteau, 1932


#6 of 75 WillG

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Posted September 27 2009 - 11:31 AM


Quote:
If someone made a movie of this guys life everyone would laugh it out of the theater for being too made up or full of unbelievable events.  A few days after his wife/sons murderer dies, he gets arrested for crimes done thirty years ago.


It's still a crime. And it's a crime that society has deemed one of most heinous there is. So why should he not be held accountable? For example, think of the Hofstra kids who were accused of raping that woman their lives are ruined even though the charges we revealed to be false. If it weren't for video from one of their cell phones, it was all but certain they would have been sent away. And does to woman even have any say in whether charges should be filed or not in the case of statutory rape?

But yeah, I tend to think he won't do any time so there's not much to worry about anyway

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#7 of 75 Michael Elliott

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Posted September 27 2009 - 12:14 PM

Will, if you check previous threads on the subject you'd see I'm one of those who thinks he should be in jail.  No matter how evil that judge original was, the blame is on Polanski and I blame him only.  Not the kid, her mother or any lawyer or judge.  Polanski brought this on himself but the amount of tragedy in one person's life is rather amazing especially how many historic events it falls around.  The Holocaust, Manson, master filmmaker, fleeing the country and living thirty years as a fugitive. 

#8 of 75 WillG

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Posted September 27 2009 - 12:35 PM

Sorry if I misinterpreted your post.

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#9 of 75 Holadem

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Posted September 27 2009 - 12:40 PM

WillG said: "It's still a crime. And it's a crime that society has deemed one of most heinous there is. So why should he not be held accountable?"

Exactly *how* do you read into what Michael posted that he is advocating otherwise?! All the man said was that Polanski had an improbable life!

(??!!!)

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#10 of 75 WillG

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Posted September 27 2009 - 12:50 PM

I guess I mistakenly interpreted the post as suggesting absurdity that Polanski was being arrested for a 30 year old crime. The guy does have some defenders.

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#11 of 75 Holadem

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Posted September 27 2009 - 02:06 PM

I'd say he has more than some defenders: http://www.reuters.c...ndChannel=11604

For the record, I am not advocating anything.

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#12 of 75 Adam Lenhardt

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Posted September 27 2009 - 03:04 PM

The biggest thing against him now is being a fugitive all of these years. Under the American system, guilt or innocence is immaterial if the prosecution failed to provide due process. I would guess that at worst he'd be looking at a re-trial. But is it a crime to flee after conviction? Could a prosecutor get jail time for all of the years he's been on the lam? Otherwise, the message would seem to be: if you can manage to avoid capture for a long time, congratulations you've just beat the legal system.

However if the grand jury testimony preceding the original trial that surfaced online is legit, Polanski's crime is not merely statutory rape. He drugged her and engaged in sexual acts, including intercourse, despite repeated voiced protests from his victim. That is severe by any standard, and should not be so easily dismissed by France and Poland.

All of that being said, he's had an incredibly tragic personal life and an incredibly productive career so I'm going to reserve any further judgment.


#13 of 75 Brandon Conway

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Posted September 27 2009 - 07:09 PM

It'll be interesting to see how it shakes down. I can see it going a myriad of ways. What's the maximum charge they can get for the initial crime and then the fleeing? How will the extenuating circumstances play into it? (We already have the judge ruling within the last year that the original judge violated the plea bargain). I can see the penalty being as soft as some sort of probation or as severe as 10-20 years.

"And now the reprimand, from an American critic. He reproaches me for using film as a sacred & lasting medium, like a painting or a book. He does not believe that filmmaking is an inferior art, but he believes, and quite rightly, that a reel goes quickly, that the public are looking above all for relaxation, that film is fragile and that it is pretentious to express the power of one's soul by such ephemeral and delicate means, that Charlie Chaplin's or Buster Keaton's first films can only be seen on very rare and badly spoiled prints. I add that the cinema is making daily progress and that eventually films that we consider marvelous today will soon be forgotten because of new dimensions & colour. This is true. But for 4 weeks this film [The Blood of a Poet] has been shown to audiences that have been so attentive, so eager & so warm, that I wonder after all there is not an anonymous public who are looking for more than relaxation in the cinema." - Jean Cocteau, 1932


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Posted September 27 2009 - 09:09 PM

I'm always disturbed when this old story rears its head. It means I have to think about Polanski is something other than a filmmaker. It always amazes me that he made any films at all since technically he's been a fugitive from US law. I thought the French leader's comments a bit unfortunate: in the article linked at the top of this thread he laments Polanski having to go through this ordeal, since he's already been through so many. I think we all agree that Polanski has experienced horrors: concentration camp and Manson family related, but that shouldn't be an excuse for statutory rape and fleeing a country to escape charges you pled guilt to... Which is just so embarrassing. The whole thing is something none of us should have to worry about; we should just be worrying about knives in our water and babies in our Rosemary. Its like worring about Brad and Angelina's african babies, instead of just enjoying Mr. and Mrs Smith... But, perhaps anything is easier than enjoying Mr. and Mrs. Smith.

#15 of 75 Chuck Mayer

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Posted September 28 2009 - 01:16 AM



Quote:
Originally Posted by Brandon Conway View Post

I can totally see this happening, especially since the victim has been on record countless times as not wanting to continue the charges.

Polanski will also have the best lawyers in the world working for him. Even if he couldn't afford it there will be plenty in the film industry there to help him out.
 
Well, our justice system is purposely not predicated on the victim's preferences, but rather the law as it is written.

I'm always conflicted regarding considering this as merely statutory rape.  While it was certainly that, I believe it was also traditional rape, in that the victim said "no" during the event (based on the information I have read).

The outrage of the culture minister and artists is hysterical and myopic.
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#16 of 75 Brandon Conway

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Posted September 28 2009 - 03:23 AM

Oh, it was certainly not just statutory rape, I agree there.

However, in this circumstance it seems the desires of the victim will play a large hand, if the recent court rulings and petitions have any influence.

France's position has always been rather disturbing, IMO. I thought that was brought to the forefront from the recent film, since they considered him "desired", and that never sat right with me.

Ultimately, Polanski made a choice to consider his immediate freedom in the late 70s as more important than long term freedom. This is a mistake many people who commit wrong take - thinking that postponing accountability is enough to bring them full remorse and peace.

Michael Vick was just quoted as being thankful, in retrospect, that he was finally caught for his particular wrong doing and was forced to be held accountable, as it is now fully behind him, and he can keep that path completely shut out going forward. What if Vick had ran from the charges? Sure, he would be "free", but he would be delaying the process for truly moving on and going through the appropriate emotions of remorse. Well, Polanski, no matter the justification of the circumstances of the judge's corrupt action, has postponed his accountability, and now the proverbial piper must be paid. It may have been a tough course, but he should have taken the sentence 30 years ago and then fought to file misconduct charges against the judge while serving his prison term.

I'm still curious about what made the Swiss government change. They were as nonchalant about his presence as France, but now they cooperate to arrest him. Odd.

"And now the reprimand, from an American critic. He reproaches me for using film as a sacred & lasting medium, like a painting or a book. He does not believe that filmmaking is an inferior art, but he believes, and quite rightly, that a reel goes quickly, that the public are looking above all for relaxation, that film is fragile and that it is pretentious to express the power of one's soul by such ephemeral and delicate means, that Charlie Chaplin's or Buster Keaton's first films can only be seen on very rare and badly spoiled prints. I add that the cinema is making daily progress and that eventually films that we consider marvelous today will soon be forgotten because of new dimensions & colour. This is true. But for 4 weeks this film [The Blood of a Poet] has been shown to audiences that have been so attentive, so eager & so warm, that I wonder after all there is not an anonymous public who are looking for more than relaxation in the cinema." - Jean Cocteau, 1932


#17 of 75 mattCR

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Posted September 28 2009 - 03:40 AM

Correct.  The victim doesn't in any way recant that it happened.  In fact, it's largely a stated fact that it -did- happen.  What she is saying is that the longer this drags on, and her name is known, it victimizes her over and over again, and it has hit a point where she is the bad guy and would just like to move on with her life.

Everyone rallies around him, oh, it happened so long ago, etc. etc. etc.  Meanwhile, her name gets dredged up repeated and the longer it goes, the more sympathy it gets.  If I were her, I'd want it over with too..

On the other hand, he believes the prosecutor played unfair ball by changing the plea agreements after the fact and was prepared to seek a term that they had not negotiated in good faith.  That is prosecutorial misconduct if it happened, but that can be raised with the court and doesn't change the initial crime.  His running (and fleeing the united states) is a completely different crime, unrelated to the child rape

In a lot of ways, he's lucky.. he's led his life, made millions in films, still put out his artistic vision while on the lamb, and worked with big names.  I don't know, if it happened today, when there was "To Catch a Predator" and the like on the air, he'd be relegated to the bottom rung of society and would live in a house that had to be tagged as a home for a pedophile.  I doubt he would have made "The Pianist" that way..

He'll probably get a lighter sentence because of his age.  But just being tagged a pedophile and serving  a year or two is fine by me.


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#18 of 75 WillG

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Posted September 28 2009 - 05:03 AM


Quote:
 France's position has always been rather disturbing, IMO.

I agree with that. Maybe France doesn't officially extradite American fugitives. But it seems clear that the French Gov't actively wants to protect him. From reports I have seen, French officials warned him not to go to Switzerland and now the Government, up to the President is calling for his release. It's as if he has "National Treasure" status over there.
Quote:
I'm still curious about what made the Swiss government change. They were as nonchalant about his presence as France, but now they cooperate to arrest him. Odd
 

Granted I know very little about this, but some speculation has suggested that Switzerland arrested him to try to ease tensions regarding the American Govt's recent inquiries into Swiss banking practices (or something having to do with the subject)

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#19 of 75 Andy Sheets

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Posted September 28 2009 - 06:37 AM

Quote:
Originally Posted by WillG 



I agree with that. Maybe France doesn't officially extradite American fugitives. But it seems clear that the French Gov't actively wants to protect him. From reports I have seen, French officials warned him not to go to Switzerland and now the Government, up to the President is calling for his release. It's as if he has "National Treasure" status over there.
 
The general impression I've always gotten is that a certain segment of the European population in general thinks that whatever happened happened sufficiently long enough in the past that the U.S. authorities should just get over it and pardon him and let him go on being a master filmmaker. I guess it's a combination of just being selfish and wanting more Roman Polanski movies and differing views on justice and statutes of limitations (I'm not sure about France but I've read that there's some debate in European countries about this topic and whether it's "reasonable" or "too emotional" to do away with SoL for crimes such as rape and murder).

#20 of 75 Ted Todorov

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Posted September 28 2009 - 06:50 AM

Quote:
Originally Posted by WillG View Post
I agree with that. Maybe France doesn't officially extradite American fugitives. But it seems clear that the French Gov't actively wants to protect him. From reports I have seen, French officials warned him not to go to Switzerland and now the Government, up to the President is calling for his release. It's as if he has "National Treasure" status over there.

France most certainly does extradite to the US -- they don't extradite for the crime Polanski pled guilty to -- "unlawful sexual conduct with a minor".   The Swiss insist on a sentence longer than 6 months to extradite -- so it isn't clear how they will extradite him either.  My wild guess -- they won't.

 "French officials warned him not to go to Switzerland" --  where did you get that from?  He was editing his latest film in Switzerland and even owns a house there.

So far as him being a "National Treasure" in France -- we made him one.  Who was the previous French director to win Best Director/Best Picture Oscars?  


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