Famed director Roman Polanski (Chinatown, The Pianist) caused a stir a day and a half or two days ago at the press conference for Chacun son Cinema, the anthology film comprised of 35 shorts by 35 distinguished directors.
The questions were on the banal side (which is not an altogether uncommon thing during this festival), and Polanski, irked by some especially lame inquiry, lost his temper and lashed out at either the questioner or, according to one version I heard, all the journalists in the room, calling them “losers” and whatnot. He then allegedly urged his fellow directors to leave the dais in a show of solidarity, which they declined to do.
Cut to this morning at the Grand Palais. Just prior to the showing of The Diving Bell and the Butterfly, Polanski’s short, “Cinema Erotique,” was shown, and a pair of journalists to my right and left — older guys — booed when his name came on the screen. I’m on Mr. Polanski’s side in this squabble. I’ve listened to hundreds upon hundreds of deadbeat questions at round tables and press conferences; I’m surprised that dierctors and celebrities don’t lash out more.