Not long ago, there was a time when Roman Polanski A toast to the French film industry, where the director has lived since 1978, when he fled the United States after pleading guilty to unlawfully having sex with a 13-year-old girl and was subsequently sentenced.
Despite scandals and ongoing legal troubles, the veteran director has flourished as a filmmaker in his adopted country, making a name for himself as a lifelong member of France’s illustrious Academie des Beaux Arts (Academy of Fine Arts), receiving Six Caesars, and his latest three, including best director, are his 2019 drama “An Officer and a Spy.”
But things are changing. The director’s recent win at Cesar, combined with recent allegations of sexual misconduct, sparked outrage from French feminist groups and led to the collective resignation of 21 members of the group that oversees Cesar. Polanski has denied recent allegations of wrongdoing.
Even as the counterattack intensified, “The Officer and the Spy” was a hit in France, grossing more than $11 million.
But now Roman’s romance seems to have stopped. The French did not reject Polanski in the same way that the United States shunned him, but relations between the two countries were deteriorating.Polanski declined to be interviewed type for this article.
“Polanski’s Upcoming Movies”palace,” a dark comedy set in a luxury hotel in the Swiss Alpine resort of Gstaad, where he is currently filming, but Polanski’s producer, Italian polyhyphenated Luca Barbareschi (Luca Barbareschi) lamented that it has been unable to find any French financing.
“[To shepherd ‘The Palace’] You need a lot of enthusiasm and patience,” Barbareschi said in Gstaad, “The Palace” — which he said had a budget of 17 million euros ($17.8 million) — has been filming for 15 weeks, with two more to go. (See a set of photos in this post).
Barbareschi, who also produced “The Officer and the Spy,” said it was difficult to fund “Palace,” an Italian, Swiss and Polish co-production by his Eliseo Multimedia and RAI Cinema, Poland’s Lucky BOB and Switzerland’s CAB . Some of the other investors disappeared after filming began.
But he didn’t expect France to shut Polanski out, still hoping that French industry would embrace the film.
“Since France didn’t want to invest a single euro in Polanski, I managed to increase production in a year’s time without France,” Barbareschi said. “It really hurts me.”
The producers added, “It would be a crime if the film wasn’t released in France.”
In addition to France, Barbareschi has personally invested more than 4 million euros in The Palace, and he needs to recover the cost, and he also worries that Polanski’s latest photo may be rejected elsewhere. Especially in English-speaking countries such as the UK, North America and Australia, they all pushed the release of The Officer to the cinema.
“If you think ‘The Officer and the Spy’ hasn’t been shown in any English-speaking country, that scares me,” he noted.
Paris-based Wild Bunch is selling ‘The Palace,’ showing buyers a four-minute trailer Cannes. They already have deals with unspecified dealers in Germany and Spain. Now they need to close more.
The cast of The Palace consists of German actor Oliver Massucci (Fantastic Beasts: Dumbledore’s Secret); French star Fanny Aldante; Mickey Rourke; Monty Python star John Cleese ; Joaquín de Almeida of Portugal; Viktor Donbronravov and Fortunato Cerlino (“Gomorrah”) of Russia.
The film, co-written by Polanski and Polish writer/director Jerzy Skolimowski (who had “EO” at the festival but didn’t attend), was shot entirely at the Palace Hotel in Gstaad on New Year’s Eve, the eve of the new millennium, taking place in less than 24 hours.
Similar to financing, casting for The Palace was tough. Some actors turned down roles, fearing that working with Polanski would damage their careers, although “no one said that,” said Barbareschi, who stressed he was happy with his cast.
“Every movie has its karma. In the end, we had the best cast I could hope for,” he said. Although “some defections are not easy for Roman,” especially the actors in small roles.
What’s more, “they all adored Roman and gave him everything they had,” he noted.
The main behind-the-scenes crew for “The Palace” include Oscar-winning music composer Alexandre Desplat, as well as Polanski’s regular photographer Pawel Edelman, editor Hervé de Luze and costume designer Carlo Poggioli (“The Young Pope”).
As for the film’s plot, the palatial hotel, the pinnacle of Alpine luxury, “has always been a sanctuary for the most privileged segments of society: nobles, artists and celebrities, entrepreneurs and financiers, liars, charlatans and admirers,” Poland Skye said in his director’s notes.
Now it’s hosting the biggest New Year’s Eve dance in history.
The film has been described as “a comedy of innocence, hedonism, corruption and social inequality at the root of the world’s current problems”. The notes noted that the narrative “interweaves multiple storylines and spans the entire social spectrum.” “Palace” is billed as “a provocative comedy first and foremost – sometimes bitter, sometimes flirtatious and eccentric, which leaves viewers with a lingering question: What went wrong?”
The launch plan for “The Palace” is for a European release in November.
But we’ll have to wait and see how many viewers show up.