Courtesy LA Times Collection, UCLA Library Department of Special Collections
Like Gonzo, Roman Polanski: Wanted and Desired is an opportunity for people to write about the subject while glossing over the documentary. The subject is the trial of everyone’s beloved movie-movie director of Chinatown, Rosemary’s Baby and The Pianist for “unlawful sexual intercourse” with a 13-year-old. The documentary spotlights the miscarriages of justice, attested to by defense and prosecution, that a loose-cannon judge inflicted.
The miscellaneous Polanskiana that pads the chronicle is neat and all, but, frankly, it’s weird watching the film make a victim of the director (who preemptively deported himself to France mid-trial). Nor does Zenovich grapple with the mindfuck facing anyone struggling to parse the tangle of human events in the following sentence: great filmmaker Roman Polanski, a Holocaust survivor widowed by Charles Manson, likes “young women.” And for scandal-seekers, Wanted and Desired isn’t half as illuminating as a trip through the trial’s file at The Smoking Gun.