Two years after he’d been arrested in Zurich, Roman Polanski received a 10-minute standing ovation at the Zurich Film Festival as he accepted a lifetime achievement award. “Better late than never,” he said on finally being able to accept the award in person. In 2009, he was placed under house arrest when he arrived in Switzerland and nearly extradited to the U.S. for outstanding sexual assault charges. The 78-year-old is also the subject of a “secret” new documentary that had its world premiere at the festival.
In the documentary, called ‘Roman Polanski: A Film Memoir,’ he narrates his own life story, up to and including his extradition trial. It was shot during his house arrest by Laurent Bouzereau, who specializes in “making of” documentaries on films from ‘Avatar’ to ‘Jaws.’
No critical reactions on the documentary, which screened after the awards ceremony, have surfaced yet, but critics have been raving about his other new film, ‘Carnage,’ starring Kate Winslet, Jodie Foster and Christoph Waltz. It premiered September 1 at the Venice Film Festival and is getting some of the best reviews since 2002’s ‘The Pianist,’ the film that earned him his first Best Director Oscar.
The Polish-born director has lived in Europe since 1978; he fled the U.S. after pleading guilty to sexually assaulting a 13-year-old girl. When he entered Switzerland in 2009, he was arrested but, after a lengthy house arrest and trial, was freed without being extradited to America.
[via THR 1, 2]