In Tinseltown, everybody who’s anybody knows one another, often intimately. And one thing’s for certain: they love or hate their peers with a passion that’s often plagued with jealousy, controversy, and even steamy scandal! Which leads me today to look at the first of three filmmakers hated by Hollywood, but who I’ve lovingly depicted in my upcoming book, Sinemania!
These three guys sure are (or were, as two of them are dead and gone) extremely different from one another. One is a decadent midget of a man who thinks he’s above the law. The second was an intellectual booze-swilling pioneer of the cinema vérité movement. And the third was an hulking iconoclastic buffoon who believed in the power of flatulence. For real! Now, in a weird way, there are actually six degrees of separation between them. Get ready for a head-scratcher of a story as I proceed to unravel the details of how these men’s lives and work intertwined!
Oh God, spare us! Polanski’s in town and he’s on the loose! Lock up your daughters! All kidding aside, for my book, I was really itching to tell the story of naughty Roman. But I didn’t feel like going into the sordid details of his notorious ‘70s rape case, or trod the well-worn path of telling the same old tragic tale of how his wife, Sharon Tate, met her demise at the hands of Charles Manson’s followers in 1969.
Well then, what to do? How do I depict this wildly hedonistic movie-making midget? How do I give my readers an idea of what makes Polanski, well, Polanski?! Hmm, this is a tough one… Wait a sec… Ah ha! I got it!! Why not imagine what Roman was like as a very little brat in kindergarten? Perfect! And after that flash of inspiration, the rest came easily.
For decades, Polanski has been living in France as a fugitive from the long arm of the American law while still enjoying being in the spotlight. But I’m not sure if, at his age and being a father and all, he’s finally kicked his libidinous habits and is able to keep it in his pants. When I saw the pictures of him and his wife at the most recent Cannes Film Festival, I couldn’t help but wonder…
Now don’t get me wrong, for all his excesses, Polanski’s a brilliant storyteller and most of his films are bloody masterpieces. For more on the tumultuous life of that legendary horny playboy, be sure to see the HBO documentary, ‘Roman Polanski: Wanted and Desired’.
If you’re a film buff, you may already know that lusty Roman will always have a connection to a pioneering art house film director I referred to earlier: the one and the only John Cassavetes. I’ll get to that story in my next post so hang on to your hat! The plot thickens, my dear reader!