Posted on Friday, October 2nd, 2009 by Russ Fischer
I’ve been surprised by the groundswell of support for the notion of freeing Roman Polanski since he was arrested on Sunday in Zurich. Ok, Debra Winger saying the arrest was part of a “philistine collusion”…whatever. But then a whole bunch of great filmmakers signed a silly petition demanding Polanski’s immediate release. Woody Allen, fine, no great surprise, but David Lynch and Martin Scorsese? Sigh. Now, thankfully, we’ve got Chris Rock weighing in on the case.
Frankly, I’m surprised that anything has got me to link to clips from The Jay Leno Show, because that enterprise is a disaster. And this isn’t the best clip of Rock on TV, but his indignation over the Polanski affair is fun. “People are defending Roman Polanski because he made some good movies?!? Even Johnnie Cochran don’t have the nerve to go, ‘Well, did you see O.J. play against New England?’” And that’s exactly it. The Tenant is one of my favorite films, period, but that has to be separated from the actions of the guy who made it. But where this almost gets really good is when Leno compares Polanski and Michael Vick. Ouch.
(And yet, as good as Rock is here, this clip would be one for the ages if it was an interview shepherded by someone who can actually think on their feet. If Stewart or even Conan had this same opportunity they could have pushed Rock into really going off.)
Rock is out promoting his documentary Good Hair, which has been getting great notes as it slowly rolls out. I missed a chance to talk to Rock here in Atlanta last week, but I’m excited to see the film. Yeah, it’s a doc about hair and, in part a hair expo that is presented sort of as “Hoop Dreams for hair,” but it’s got Rock along for the ride asking questions and poking fun. Paste called it “surprisingly informational and inquisitive,” and Nathan Rabin at the AV Club said “I was amused but I also learned a whole heck of a lot.” That’s more than I’d expect out of a movie about hair. The trailer for the film is under the Leno clip. (When the Hulu clip ends, click ‘continue’ to hear Rock talk about the film, too.)