Marina Zenovich‘s Roman Polanski: Wanted and Desired will air on HBO tonight with a different ending than in the version of the doc shown at Sundance and Cannes, reports Slate‘s Kim Masters.
Zenovich, she reports, “concludes her film [by recounting] that in 1997, two attorneys appeared before a sitting Los Angeles Superior Court judge — not named in the film — and reached an agreement that if Polanski returned to the United States, he would not be taken into custody.
“At the very end, the film states in white letters dramatically typed on a black background, the judge imposed one condition: The proceedings would have to be televised. The obvious implication: Here we go again, another Los Angeles judge poised to turn Polanski into media chum. Polanski, the film reports, turned the deal down.
“But it doesn’t seem to have happened that way.
“There was a 1998 meeting with the judge, who was Larry Paul Fidler. He presided over the recent Phil Spector murder trial, and in that case, he allowed the cameras to roll. Spector’s case was the first criminal trial televised in its entirety in a Los Angeles Superior Court since the O.J. Simpson case in 1995. That may be why Fidler was sensitive to the film’s implication that he was another media-obsessed jurist.”
There’s almost certainly another side to this to be gotten from Zenovich. It’s a small point, in any case. The film is sharp, clear-minded, persuasive, masterful.