Film Reviews

The devil's playground

Page 3 of 3

"In years before, I remember not only myself but all my colleagues shooting a film a year," he says. "Now, if someone makes a film every three years, he considers himself lucky. And it's frustrating. Also, with time, you hesitate more. You think about what kind of battle it represents, how much it involves. Before you plunge, you think twice. The system has changed drastically, I must say. And I don't know if I fit in. It's more of a struggle to get a more ambitious or exciting project together."

In his book, Polanski wrote with the tone of a man at his end, an artist so exhausted and beleaguered, he seemed to be disappearing on the final pages. And, yes, one could sense his self-pity, his cry to be understood and perhaps even forgiven (though for nothing he did, of course). But his was a rather tangible pain, and nowhere was it more evident than when he wrote, "I seem to be toiling to no discernable purpose."

Sixteen years later, he is asked how he overcame that. After all, a man who believes his work has no meaning would not work at all.

"I simply don't think about it," he says. Then he pauses for a moment and emits a slight, sad laugh. "It's the way it is. It's c'est la vie, as they say."

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Robert Wilonsky
Contact: Robert Wilonsky

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