Your opinion on what's right...

Hi Guys…Last weekend I rented “The Ninth Gate”. I do like Johnny Depp. But the movie is directed by Roman Polanski. As you might remember Polanski fled the United States a few years back because he was about to be charged for having sex with a 13 year old girl. I can remember that his excuse at the time was that Europeans didn’t have the same standards of morality or that European women matured sexually at a young age…some such nonsense. Right off the top of my head I can only think of a couple of other movies he directed that have been released in this country since his exile. They would be “Frenzy” with Harrison Ford and “Tess” which he made with some other teenage girl as the lead. There could be more but they escape me right now. Anyway, this is what I was thinking as I watched the movie…

Am I promoting child sexual abuse by contributing to this man’s financial gain? Obviously he is unrepentant and feels that there was nothing wrong with his conduct. Perhaps by his “European” standards he is not but he never faced the music in this country where his actions were considered criminal. Yet he is able to market his work here and continue to enjoy the profits. This leaves me with a bit of a conflict since children’s rights have become a cause that I feel especially strong about. Normally I would not place much importance on the political views or private habits of someone connected with the entertainment industry. Jane Fonda would be a good example. I may not have cared for her politics but to me it doesn’t effect what she does, she’s a pretty good actress. And she didn’t after all commit a crime. (I do know some people feel much more strongly about her past politics. Enough to believe she committed treason. But none the less she was never charged.) Anyway, is it being just a little hypocritical of me to be contributing to this man’s livelyhood when I believe it would be nice if he could be hauled back to this country and tried? And I wondered about this…Why are so many people still willing to work with this pedophile? Now I realize that older men and younger women, especially in the entertainment industry, is nothing new, but by my standards a 30 or 40ish man with a 13 year old is a bit much.

Ok getting long winded…you get my point…what do you think?


Boy, this should go right to Great Debates.

Roman Polanski, Jane Fonda, Woody Allen, Ezra Pound, Oscar Wilde, Fatty Arbuckle, Charlie Chaplin – all of them did something controversial that polarized their fans.

Does an artist’s private life affect how you should look at their body of work? Would you hold an athlete to the same standards? A business executive? Minister? Your best friend? Bill Clinton?

FWIW: I have never had any interest in paying to watch a Polanski film since the crime occurred. Never.
Kunilou brings up some good points. One of my closest friends had an affair with his best friend’s wife and, after the couple’s subsequent divorce, he married her. Pretty rotten stuff. Still, I love this guy and consider him a friend for life.
…wasn’t sex with a thirteen year old though.
And, other than the Allen comparsion (and I haven’t cared to see any of his films since either) and Chaplin (which all went down before I was born), I can’t really lump them in with the others.
My opinion.

This is a really difficult one. And if you were to answer yes to the question, would that mean you would have to research the lives of all the people who profit from every movie you watch, and decide that you agree with their morals and ethics, before you would watch that movie?

How would you research their lives? Much of what is known about famous (living) people is media hype, and histories written about people are written from the particular slant of the author.

Needs2Know, if this is a really important issue to you, by all means don’t watch any more of his movies. I think it is a little odd myself, the whole older man with adolescent girl thing, and I haven’t been able to go to a Woody Allen movie since that thing with his adopted daughter. But I think a person could get carried away with it.

I may think more about this and write more later. Interesting thread topic.

This is an error. The girl was not his adopted daughter. She was the adopted daughter of his girlfriend. Allen and Farrow kept separate apartments, so Allen’s previous relationship with the girl is difficult to assess.

It was “Frantic” that starred Harrison Ford, not “Frenzy”

Personally, I don’t think anyone’s politics or moral troubles would get in the way of my seeing a film I want to see. I don’t agree with Jane Fonda’s politics, but I’d still see a movie with her in it if it looked good enough. I agree that 13 is too young and Polanski may have taken advantage of her youth, but I’m not going to avod seeing a Polanski film because of it. Hell, I still rent Chinatown once or twice a year. Many people believe OJ Simpson is guilty, but I’ll still watch “Naked Gun”

I try not to judge the art by whatever I may think of the artist personally, whether it has to do with their politics, sexual preferences, etc. I love Woody Allen films, Sean Connery films, Roman Polanski films, even som Charlton Heston films, although I strongly suspect I would not like any of them personally. I’m not saying artists should be held to a different standard of ethics/morals than others in their society, just their chosen lifestyle is irrelevant to the work they produce.

You’re right it was “Frantic” and I have been watching Polanski films, obviously. I don’t watch Woody Allen films because I don’t like his films. I know Oscar Wilde was controversial at the time but he wasn’t a pedophile. Actually he was pretty pathetic in my book to be such a brilliant man. Taken in by that cheap little piece of shit boyfriend of his. What a way for a brilliant man to come to an end. And here he always seemed to have such good taste. (He loved his blue and white china. And I’ve always loved mine.)

Sports figures were mentioned. I don’t like Dennis Rodman. Not because he’s outrageous but because he’s an asshole on the court and violent. Funny too because I used to like to watch McEnroe throw a little tantrum during his matches. But then he didn’t head butt anybody just broke his racket and cussed. I don’t like the things I read about Ann Heche and her off screen antics, but from my way of thinking she isn’t hurting anyone but herself. On screen she’s cute as a button. Same thing with Robert Downey, who just got out of jail, I think he is a particularily fine actor, but personally he must be a real mess. Shame too that he has all that talent and potential and cannot get his shit together enough to benefit from it.

I guess I think that Polanski deserves special sanction because his crime is against a child. Well of course I do. And as for OJ…Please!!! what is there to like? What does he do after all but be handsome and retired? No I wouldn’t pay to see him in person, but I wouldn’t pay to see him in person even if he hadn’t been accused of committing double homicide. He doesn’t interest me in least least.

Oh well, I wasn’t crazy about the movie anyway. One of those typical trying to hard to be artsy fartsy endings.


IzzyR says:

I had wondered if I got the details right. I had read an account that reported that he and Mia Farrow were in a SO type of relationship at the time he began his affair with this much younger girl, and had thought they had adopted her together. Even though this is not the case, I would consider her to be a sort of step-daughter to Allen since the relationship between him and Farrow was such a long one, and that his behavior with the adopted daughter of Mia Farrow was a bit sleasy.

I liked some Allen films before that, but thought they were a little too introspective to be good entertainment. This area is my personal prejudice, I guess, and as I said before, I haven’t gone to one of his movies since then.

Just for the enlightenment of everyone here, if you are referring to Arbuckle’s rape trial, he was eventually proven innocent and vindicated of any wrongdoing.

:eek: :mad:

Dont support an artist if the body of work itself promotes the Artists private ideals (e.g. if a polanski moveie encouraged sex with underage girls).
personally, I distain anything that was created be a Child Malester or a Rapist.

that should be Molester… My apologies to all the Malesters out there

Just for the enlightenment of everyone here, if you are referring to Arbuckle’s rape trial, he was eventually proven innocent and vindicated of any wrongdoing. **

You took the words right out of my mouth. Thanks for posting that. Ruined his life and marred a body of genius comic work. Very sad.

As for Polanski, it is hard to enjoy or appreciate any of his work when you look at it from the financial gain perspective. But then again, it was damned hard to enjoy or appreciate “The Ninth Gate” anyway. Gonna have to start my own thread so someone more insightful than myself can explain that ending to me.

I didn’t avoid Battlefield Earth just because it sucked.
There is no way in hell I would knowingly contribute to a person or organization I see as evil.

I don’t see him as “evil”. I think he committed an “evil” act. Probably still runs around Europe with is old dried up pecker trying to diddle young girls. Probably gets away with it too since he’s a successful movie director. And after all as he says, that kind of behavior is accepted in Europe.

What’s to explain about the ending. It’s one of those “damn” endings. I guess our hero found the key to the gate. What he does with the knowledge is up to our imagination. Trying way to hard to be thought provoking, ends up just being vague. Perhaps he’ll just make enough vaguely bad movies to run himself out of business. Then I won’t have to worry about accidently patronizing his kiddie diddling stumpy little ass.

Think I’ll push it to the back of my mind for awhile, kind of makes my skin crawl.