Polanski wins hearts defending sexism at Cannes

26 May 2013

CANNES — Child rapist and film director Roman Polanski, who has evaded sentencing and punishment by living outside the U.S. since 1978, has wowed audiences with his defense of sexism while at the 2013 Cannes Film Festival.

“Hearing his wise comments on gender relations has utterly won me over,” offered one Hollywood producer, who asked that his name not be released. “It makes me feel so much better about supporting an Arnold Schwarzenegger project that we’re tentatively calling ‘Booty Call With a Vengeance’.”

Polanski left few topics untouched in his wide-ranging rant commentary on relations between the sexes. Female equality is “a great pity”; “trying to level the genders is purely idiotic,” he continued. The pill has “masculinized” women and “chases away the romance in our lives.” He further opined that women cannot pull off comedy, and complained that sending a “lady” flowers is now seen as “indecent.”

“You gotta give him credit,” said one female attendee emerging from viewing Polanski’s new film, Venus in Furwhich draws on the notorious novella by Baron von Sacher-Masoch (from whose name the term masochism is derived by a 19th-century sexologist seeking to define various sexual perversions). “Lots of 79 year olds who’d pleaded guilty to rape of a 13-yr-old and who’d lived in exile for 35 years might think to themselves, ‘Maybe I could keep my views of sex to myself for, like, ever.’ Not Polanski!”

The vast majority of film critics also raved about both the film and the director’s views of women. “I was riveted during that press conference,” said one U.S. film critic. “I just kept thinking, ‘With views like this, we could eliminate laws that allow wives to keep their own wages! Even the right to vote might not be secure for women!’ I tell ya, it was amazing.

Critics interviewed admitted that their views might be skewed, given that 78% of top film critics are men.

Although he failed to win the Palme d’Or (the highest prize awarded a film at Cannes), Polanski and his fans remain hopeful that his heartwarming sexism and mission to reinstate a pre-Pill world for women will have vast effect on the filmgoing public.

In the meantime, he remains closely tied to the film festival, which featured a whopping one female director (out of 20) in its main competition this year.

Further storm clouds dimmed the bright sunlight of sexism this year with the arrival of Dominique Strauss-Kahn (DSK, as he likes to call himself) and the ensuing hubbub over that alleged rapist/pimp’s new girlfriend. Strauss-Kahn, who gave a financial settlement to the New York maid who accused him of attempted rape, has left his popular wife (the journalist Anne Sinclair) and arrived on the arm of a new woman, all in the midst of the investigation into the charges that he procured prostitutes for sex parties in both Europe and the U.S. The complaints about DSK by cranky, unfeminine feminists made his arrival less glorious at Cannes than one might ordinarily expect.

But DSK fans should not be alarmed: one of the most exciting pieces of news to emerge at the festival was that a film about DSK is now in the works, starring tax evader/ drunk driver/ now-Russian citizen Gérard Depardieu, whose recent antics include peeing in the aisle of an Air France plane. Joy, indeed!

Note: A surprising amount of this satirical essay is true. Follow the links for information about Polanski’s press conference (all quotes are true), DSK, Depardieu and the new film about DSK, and the number of female directors at Cannes. Quotes from attendees are the one aspect I invented.

16 Responses to “Polanski wins hearts defending sexism at Cannes”

  1. Servetus Says:

    Does that mean he prefers condoms, to enhance the romance? (j/k).

    • Didion Says:

      I can’t speak for Polanski, but I’m tempted to opine that a man who thinks birth control makes a woman more masculine is unlikely to opt for condoms.

  2. fitzg Says:

    Tant pis. That RP is not de trop in St. Tropez/Cannes etc.

  3. Becky Says:

    Oh, yes, I remember the pre-pill days. How romantic for couples to wonder/worry whether or not a) she would get pregnant, b) whether or not she should go to a backstreet abortionist, c) about having babies neither one of them wanted/could afford/were ready to raise. It was all so glorious! What planet does this old reprobate live on, and who thinks this philosophy should be praised rather than vilified? I say let’s put him in the stocks; I need to clean out my refrigerator.

    • Didion Says:

      Exactly. There’s nothing more romantic than fretting about pregnancy.

      I can’t believe the Cannes higher-ups kicked out Lars von Trier last year for a weird and stupid series of statements, but they don’t see any of Polanski’s spew as problematic.

  4. Flo me la Says:

    Oh I thought all of it was true. What in this post isn’t? *confused*

    • Didion Says:

      I invented the audience response. But for all I know, people really do love what Polanski says, and how DSK behaves.

      • Flo me la Says:

        Ah. Well, he’s very popular! I don’t know if the people who praise him ignore all the stupid things he says, accept them or love them though…

  5. JustMeMike Says:

    I watched about 20 minutes of the Press Conference (out of its actual length of 40 minutes). Mr.Polanski’s forte is film not speaking in public so the Press conference lacked liveliness.

    The film itself is a two character story and is about, in Polanski’s words, domination. An actress is up for a role and a director interviews/auditions her.

    The key element that I took away from the 20 minutes of the press conference that I watched were spoken by actress Emmanuelle Seigner who basically said that the role was payback for every actress who had ever gone through the rigors of auditioning.

    But I think we can give the credit for that to David Ives who wrote the play which was the source of the film rather than Polanski.

    In a bit of irony- Polanski’s last film, Carnage, was a four character tale adapted into an English language film from a French play and the film is in a Brooklyn, NY apartment. Venus in Fur, is a French film adapted from an English language play. and the location was changed so the film set is in a Paris theater.

    If Polanksi’s comments were meant to be funny, or tongue-in-cheek – no one at the press conference laughed.

    • Servetus Says:

      that’s good — it’s unfortunate that he still has a platform but at least his audience isn’t sympathizing with him?

    • Didion Says:

      Polanski’s comments were not meant to be funny.

      The Ives play really does sound interesting. I don’t doubt Polanski’s gift for working with interesting material (I never saw Carnage, but his movies are always better than the average fare) — I just don’t want to hear him spout off about gender relations at the very film festival that is most troubled by sexism.

  6. […] Polanski is being his usual disgusting self. He can’t make movies because he is signally devoid of talent, so he attracts attention by spouting stupidities. I wonder when he will start talking at empty chairs, which is in vogue among Hollywood wash-outs, as I keep hearing. […]

  7. eteokretan Says:

    Elaborating on his comments later in a pub, Polanski explained what he meant by the pill “masculinizing” women. “Well, it’s just that women who take the pill are in control of their bodies. Control is inherently masculine. When a woman I’m with is on the pill, she’s in control of her body and what she does with it, not me. It utterly kills the romance.”

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