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Well, that was anti-climactic.

Various news sources (including the NYTimes) are reporting that after being under house arrest in Switzerland for the past seven months, Roman Polanski is now free to go. The Swiss government has decided not to extradite him, a decision that came after the Washington refused to release confidential testimony given in January by LA attorney Roger Gunson, Polanski’s original prosecutor decades ago.

“Mr. Polanski can now move freely. Since 12:30 today he’s a free man,” said the Swiss justice minister.

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pompeii-ridley-scott

A few years back, Roman Polanski and Robert Harris spent a lot of time developing Pompeii, which would have seen Polanski directing a script by both men based on Harris’ historical novel about the days leading to the ancient volcanic disaster. That film fell apart when the Screen Actors Guild threatened to strike — either because of possibility of the strike or other internal pressures or, most likely, a combination of both.

Now there is a new version being prepared, which Ridley Scott has just joined as a producer. Read More »

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There will be critics who call The Ghost Writer “a refreshing throwback to the taut political-conspiracy thrillers of the ’70s” and “an enjoyable treat that offers smart flashes of Roman Polanski in his prime,” and this praise, genuinely expressed or not, is unfortunate. Watching the film, I was convinced that had a “blind” screening been arranged—wherein a cinema-savvy audience was not aware of the director’s identity—hardly anyone would claim this a work by a masterful filmmaker. My personal guess would have been, “Ron Howard evoking Alfred Hitchcock—but has Howard lost his wet-fingered knack for the polished blockbuster? Either way, is this receiving a wide theatrical release?”

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Despite being under house arrest in Switzerland, Roman Polanski is planning to segue directly from completing The Ghost Writer to mounting a big screen version of God of Carnage.

Yasmina Reza‘s black comedy won the best play gong at the Tony Awards last year. The show relates the heated arguments of two pairs of parents, one of whose child has hurt the other in a playground incident. They aren’t arguing just about the kids, however – they get sucked into massive disagreements over just about every hot-button issue and taboo you can imagine, and their evening ends in utter chaos. It’s a kind of Abigail’s Party peopled with better-off more well educated characters.

Polanski’s wife Emanuele Seigner revealed the director’s plans in an interview with French Elle, related by The Los Angeles Times. Polanksi’s intention to film Carnage are not new but his persistance in pressing ahead despite current circumstances are what makes this news surprising.

Roman Polanski’s The Ghost Writer Movie Trailer

Boy-oh-boy is the trailer for Roman Polanski‘s The Ghost Writer melodramatic. This is some seriously loud filmmaking. It’s embedded beyond the break, but I suspect you can already feel it rumbling from up here.

The film is an adaptation of Robert Harris‘ thriller novel about a British Prime Minister based quite closely upon Tony Blair, and the nastiness that surrounds him. Pierce Brosnan is the PM and Ewan McGregor is the scribe called in the help him finish his memoirs after his last ghost writer dies in mysterious circumstances. It’s definitely a rather political story but the film seems pitched at a suitable level for easier, guilty-pleasure style consumption. Best of both worlds?

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Retro Whale has created a series of art based on the favorite filmmakers of film geeks. She has created quirky little portraits of 20 great filmmakers, which you can purchase as art prints, magnets, or 4×4 clapboard coasters (which are wall mountable).

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Ask and ye shall receive. Just a couple of hours ago I wrote about the US release date for Roman Polanski‘s new film The Ghost Writer, starring Ewan McGregor and Pierce Brosnan. Given that Summit set February 19 as the date, I assumed that we’d see a trailer any day now. In fact, there’s one right now. Only trouble is, it’s in German. Check it out after the break. Read More »

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As Roman Polanski has been under house arrest in Switzerland, his new film The Ghost Writer is in the final stages of completion and has been picked up for distribution in the United States by Summit Entertainment. Today the company said it would give the film a limited release on February 19, with expansion plans to follow on March 5 and March 19. The US limited release date is just over a week after the film debuts at the Berlin Film Festival on February 11. [Variety]

The film follows a ghostwriter, played by Ewan McGregor, as he uncovers deep secrets that jeopardize his life while working on the memoir of the former British Prime Minister, played by Pierce Brosnan. We’ve seen a very brief teaser trailer, cut when the film was still called The Ghost, but with this release date should get a trailer any day now. Meanwhile, Polanski’s court case continues. Read More »

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