This, my friends, is what aesthetic Stalinism looks like:
It absolutely drives me insane how Polanski and other high profile sex offenders like accused Woody Allen are treated like martyrs for having to endure the tabloids for heinous crimes, and labeled as these brilliant, tragic and fascinating men. Is it just me or is there something really disturbing about this?
Yes, Vanessa did actually deem Roman Polanski and Woody Allen, without question two of the greatest filmmakers and artists currently living, not “brilliant” or “fascinating” because of their failure to adhere to her moral standards. Commenter “Alice” asks for clarification:
I’m not clear on what you’re saying. If you’re saying that it’s disturbing that they’re labeled as tragic and fascinating in some part because they’re sex offenders, then sure, I’d agree with that. But if you’re criticizing the fact that people pay tribute to them despite that they’re sex offenders, then I’d have to disagree; committing a sex crime does not diminish a person’s other achievements.
Vanessa replies that, yes, she really does conflate her aesthetic views with her political agenda:
Back to Polanski, Alice, I am saying the first thing you mentioned, as well as the second. I think there’s something wrong with them being treated as some sort of victim (of tabloid attacks and public outrage) despite their offenses and martyred for it, and I do also think it’s disturbing that they’re continuously praised despite their offenses, like Rusty’s example of Polanski’s standing ovation.
Wow. She really doesn’t think that Roman !@#king Polanski deserved a standing ovation at the Oscar. Really, she doesn’t think that Macbeth, Chinatown or Tess have earned one that kind of acclaim. Obviously he’s not a morally upright person; he is, indeed a convicted rapist. But the man made and makes damn good films. Call me crazy, but I’m inclined to think that that sort of justifies a standing ovation at the Oscars.
The Woody Allen aside is even more bizarre. The man’s never been convicted, or indicted, or even investigated for anything. His relationship with Soon-Yi went public when she was 21; the ruckus was over the age difference and relationship with Mia Farrow, not over any criminal or pedophilic wrongdoing. Vanessa vaguely mentions that she believes accusations of abuse by Allen when Soon-Yi was 7, but produces no evidence that such accusations were ever made, let alone evidence for their veracity (but, of course, she’s willing to blame Allen). I personally don’t have a problem with Allen’s marriage (less of one than I have with Curse of the Jade Scorpion, anyway), but even if I did, the man directed Manhattan. The man wrote Crimes & Misdemeanors. The man produced Annie Hall, far and away my favorite film. His personal conduct doesn’t denigrate those accomplishments; indeed, it isn’t even close to relevant.
If Vanessa really using this kind of political litmus test on all the art she consumes, I feel sorry for her. I mean that.