Tuesday, 29 September 2009

Hollywood Babble On & On #382: Wanted & Desired In 2 Ways

Welcome to the show folks...


Film director Roman Polanski was pinched in Zurich, and not in a good way. He was arrested and is looking at extradition over his conviction for sharing drugs and having sex with a 13 year old girl in 1977. Now Hollywood has risen to his defense, telling the press that 30+ years of award winning, luxury in Europe is punishment enough, and that he should be let go, sparking waves of disgust among the great unwashed known as the rest of the population.

This is a classic case of Hollywood not knowing how to pick its battles.

Sure, Polanski felt screwed over by a glory-hogging judge, and that's why he fled, but Hollywood seems to have forgotten that HE HAD SEX WITH A 13 YEAR OLD GIRL.

The details don't matter, what he did was a crime, and no matter what Harvey Weinstein, Woody Allen, Brett Ratner, or anyone else says matters. He committed a crime, he plead guilty and then he skipped out on the punishment. He had smart lawyers, and he could have beat that judge that wanted him deported, but he chose to run to Europe. Which is ironically, what the judge wanted anyway.

There's a reason behind Hollywood closing ranks around a man described by many as a child rapist. Hollywood has a very strong "Us VS Them" attitude, with the "Them" being "You" in the general public. You buy the tabloids that invade their privacy, You read the gossip blogs that expose their every nose-pick and cellulite dappled thigh, and You also make their careers possible, but that little tid-bit usually gets forgotten.

There's also an attitude that taboos are bad, and those who break them are not to be punished, especially if that taboo involves sex or sexuality. Now there are very hard and fast rules to who gets that sort of "get out of shit free" card. You have to be rich, famous, considered an "artistic" over "commercial" in your work, and not do anything that may be construed as racist, oppressive, or seen as supporting a unfashionable political stance.

Polanski fits all those rules, he is a very talented filmmaker, with a lot great movies under his belt, so Hollywood gives him a pass. To them statutory rape is merely a footnote, because they want to judge him by his art, and not by what he's done in the real world.

I say that Polanski should stop fighting extradition, return to the United States, and finally end this. Not only for himself, but for the girl, now a mature woman, in the centre of this mess. The Los Angeles County D.A. is not going to stop hounding either of them until a judge puts a ribbon on it.

Besides, Polanski should remember that this is the Los Angeles DA he's dealing with here. They only celebrity they were able to convict was Phil Spector, he was literally standing over the body, and even then they had to try him twice to get that conviction.


Summit Entertainment, flush with cash from those teen-vampire love movies, is sniffing around Hollywood looking to start buying other companies or their libraries. So let's take a look at what's possible...

PROS- The MGM/UA film library, despite missing most of the "Golden Age" MGM movies, is still worth a truckload of money, and the revenue from it is the only thing keeping the company afloat. There's also the Bond franchise to consider, which is going great guns lately.

CONS- The company is literally BILLIONS IN DEBT. Anyone looking to buy either the company, or the library will be expected to either take on that debt, or pay it off, and then some. Thus possibly putting it out of reach without accruing the sort of crippling debt that currently killing MGM.

PROS- There are a few critically acclaimed films in the library, including some Oscar winners, and with company coming apart faster than a sand-castle in a hurricane, they can be obtained for a good price.

CONS- There are way more jokers than aces in this deck, a lot more. Then there are all the films that were buried until all interest was lost and they were forgotten. Then there's Harvey and Bob, and they won't let go without a costly fight.

PROS- It's got some hit movies and cult classics in its library, and the company's been in a little slump lately.

CONS- Lionsgate is only in a little slump. It's not collapsing like TWC, and could recover very quickly and become very expensive, if the management makes the right moves. It's stock is already on the rise, and there are other sharks circling it.

So, we're going to have to keep our eyes on this one to see what pops up.


  1. Jake Was Here1/10/09 4:57 pm

    Did you see how far Harvey stuck his foot in his mouth over the Polanski business?


  2. Harvey always has the taste of shoe leather in his mouth.

    Sometimes it's better to be silent and thought a fool, than to open your trap and remove all doubt.