Now is not a good time for Roman Polanski. With somewhat grim, though also poetic, irony, this means it is a good time for me, to be sharing this new film I made, while finishing up a new book about the Hollywood superculture of organized abuse and the criminal underworld of which Polanski is just one of the more overtly guilty practitioners. (He is also the first film director I admired and emulated as a teenager, so it is perhaps inevitable he would land in my “net.”)
This is a summation of the new film’s content:
Polanski’s rise to prominence in Hollywood and proximity to the underground Hollywood S & M pornography scene; the many parallels with intelligence blackmail ops such as Jeffrey Epstein; & a shocking alternate theory of the motives behind the Cielo Drive murders. Includes Charles Manson’s coded admission from 1991, and eerie parallels with Rosemary’s Baby and Polanski oeuvre: like Oscar Wilde’s Picture of Dorian Gray, the movies reveal what the idealized image of Hollywood conceals.
I did not choose the word shocking merely as click-bait; this truly is shocking to me, because for so many years I have admired Polanski, considered him a beguiling, fascinating, and charismatic “genius.” So it has been very hard for me to believe he could be involved in something that is easily as malevolent and destructive as anything depicted in his movies.
But awakening is never easy, and part of it does seem to require, for me at least, a disorienting period of transition, from unconsciousness to consciousness, during which the dream starts to turn to nightmare.
I am aware that this material will be disturbing, and even horrific, to some; it is really meant to be, not because I want to imitate Polanski and horrify people with my “art,” but because there are aspects of this case (the Cielo Drive murders & the Manson Family), even now, with the new (insider?) counter-myth of Chaos and the (definitely insider) doubling down of Tarantino’s Once Upon a Time in Hollywood, that are being kept off the table & so preventing us from making sense of the grisly spectacle. So it behooves (some of) us to look again, and look more closely.
They say that the brain cannot file away an experience if it contains serious anomalies, like a tongue that keeps going back to the sore tooth and aggravating the infection. We are captured not only by the horror, but also by the glamour that conceals it, and the combination of the two is what traps us in endless reruns and remakes.
If only the truth sets us free, this is my attempt, forty years after my Polanski infatuation-fascination was first seeded by the images he projected into my soul, to make sense of this picture, and turn away from the screen.