October 3, 2009

Why haven't we heard from Mia Farrow about Roman Polanski?

I'd like to hear what she has to say. She worked closely with him on "Rosemary's Baby" and she had her experience with Woody Allen (who has made a show of supporting Polanski). Without any current statement, I looked for what she had to say about Polanski in her memoir, "What Falls Away."

This passage follows a paragraph about the difference between the filmmaking methods of Roman Polanski and John Cassavetes. Cassavetes was a great director, and also an actor. He played Mia/Rosemary's husband in "Rosemary's Baby." Polanski shot 30 or 40 takes, which bugged Cassavetes, who thought it "killed all the life in a scene."
One workday, while we were waiting to shoot, Roman was discoursing about the impossibility of long-term monogamy given the brevity of a man's sexual attraction to any woman. An impassioned John Cassavetes responded that Roman knew nothing about women, or relationships, and that he, John, was more attracted than ever to his wife, Gena Rowlands. Roman stared at him and blinked a few times, and for once had no reply.
"Rosemary's Baby" was made in 1968, the year Polanski married Sharon Tate (who was murdered the following year).

Here's a picture of Gena Rowlands and John Cassavetes in 1968:



And here's a picture of Roman Polanski and Sharon Tate, that same year:



Clearly, it was Cassavetes who understood marriage. It reminds me of the last thing Andre Gregory says in "My Dinner With Andre":

42 comments:

daubiere said...

"Roman knew nothing about women, or relationships, and that he, John, was more attracted than ever to his wife, Gena Rowlands. Roman stared at him and blinked a few times, and for once had no reply."

gena rowlands is a beautiful woman. the problem here is the word "woman". people like polanski are, of course, not attracted to women and are incapable of relationships. their sexuality is perpetually stuck in preadolescence where there are no women and no significant relationships. polanski couldnt control a woman. he liked girls because he could "own" them and control them and toss them aside when they became too threatening, ie when they became actual women.

Lem said...

Leave it to Althouse to ask a good question in this whole sorted affair.

Lem said...

As i recall (from an another account) she (Mia) was married to Frank Sinatra while their marriage was waning during the Polansky filming.

whats a girl to say?

careen said...

Maybe because Mia Farrow is an idiot w/o a leg to stand on either way? She had to deal with Woody, but she was in the same position via Andre Previn.

Roman looks like a monkey. There's some pic of him floating around the internet..(here maybe?) talking to 15 yr olds on bicycles. CREEPY - very Michael Jackson w/ that 12 yr old before everyone loved him post-death....like a creepy midget clown.

Pastafarian said...

I know that Althouse likes "My Dinner with Andre", but every time that I watch a clip from that film, I have an intense desire to walk into that restaurant, grab those two by the napes of their necks, and bonk their heads together like two coconuts.

And then say "There, asshole, did that feel like a phantom? Or was it real enough for you?"

And that's after watching an 8 minute clip. If I ever watched the entire film, I'd probably have a seizure.

Lem said...

I learned at a very early age, the easiest thing in the world is to tell the truth, and then you don't have to remember what you said. It has nothing to do with morality, just remembering what you said.

Bob Evans
(he has an indepentent account on film of waht was going on with Mia at the time in question)

Alex said...

And that's after watching an 8 minute clip. If I ever watched the entire film, I'd probably have a seizure.

I just watched that damn entire film a month ago. Believe me it was a bit of a slog.

Lem said...

they, Mia and Polanski had "artistic differences".

I would not expect Mia to have much positivity to shoot Polanski's way.. if Bob Evans account are accurate.

Lem said...

Sinatra wanted her (Mia) his wife at the time off the Polanski film and Evans had to convince her that the film was good enough to make her a
"star".. enough to leave Sinatra over? it was not made clear.. only to say that Sinatra was also doing a film and by the time his (Sinatra) ended it did not do as well.. putting it mildly

MayBee said...

Mia appears in the documentary about Polanski. She says nothing (that I can recall) about her personal feelings toward him. She talks about the rape scene in Rosemary's Baby. The filmmakers seem to want to make a point that the rape scene confused many people into believing a rape actually occurred on film. Therefore, those confused people probably thought Roman was a real-life rapist.

That point wasn't made by her, however.

Jeff said...

Is it incumbent upon everyone who has crossed paths with Polanski to comment?

daubiere said...

"my dinner with andre" is a wonderful movie.

hey, i never notice that troma, inc is thanked in the credits. haha

Lem said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Peter V. Bella said...

Who really cares? It is probably best that Ms. Farrow stay mute.

Polanski has done nothing but show total contempt for the court and the US Justice system. Even if his victim has forgiven him, he should still be punished for the contempt he has shown. Maybe a year in prison for every year he has been away would be fair.

What is it about these artistes- they commit and get away with horrendous crimes or contempt of court and people still support them- OJ, Michael Jackson, Robert Blake, Robert Downey, Mumia what's his name, etc.

Hey, maybe Obama can give him a pardon ala Clinton. Then a Medal of Freedom or a Kennedy Center Honor. He can make him a czar of something too.

EDH said...

One workday, while we were waiting to shoot, Roman was discoursing about the impossibility of long-term monogamy given the brevity of a man's sexual attraction to any woman...

"Rosemary's Baby" was made in 1968, the year Polanski married Sharon Tate (who was murdered the following year).


This anecdote certainly belies the romanticized image of Polanski's devotion to Tate, even during the period when they were wed.

Lem said...

then hitting the foward button

there was Mia and Woody.

Woody Allen's (married to Mia at the time of this episode) relationship with Soon-Yi would (I suspect) color her opinion of Polanski..

i say color as the NYT or Wapo would of course.

David said...

Cassavantes was not just blowing smoke. He and Rowlands remained married for 35 years, until his death in 1989. They did this while making ten movies together, which must require a lot of intense interaction.

Rowlands was born in Madison and lived in Cambria until age 9 when her father took a government job in Washington. She returned to Wisconsin for college and graduated from UW in 1950, when she went to New York to pursue acting.

She did soaps, films, TV dramas over a long and steady career. One of her films was "Lonely are the Brave," a favorite of mine. It also had Kirk Douglas, George Kennedy, Carroll O'Connor and Bill Bixby, among others.

She and Cassavantes had three children. She was a real beauty as a young woman and retained her attractiveness in her 70's. She is still living, age 79.

G Joubert said...

Mia Farrow was a witness on Polanski's behalf in that Vanity Fair sex and libel trial in the UK a few years ago. The money quote from a friend: "Mia regards Roman as a close friend and she says she will do all she can to help him."

But you're right, she IS being strangely quiet right now. Maybe Woody's vocal support of Polanski has chilled her support.

J.J. Schmidt said...

Only someone obsessed with celebrities would think we need to "hear from" Mia Farrow this matter.

But then, diva bloggers, who weigh in on anything and everything, no matter whether they have something interesting to say, apparently thinks that others also need to provide their opinions on thing that really do not concern them.

1jpb said...

I'm w/ pastafarian.

Since it came out on DVD I've started to watch it twice, both times my attention was distracted and I went on to do other real things w/ real folks.

I understand that the movie slowly unwinds and the subtle revelations and insights build, and they are said to be well worth the wait. And, even though the style of the film was/is unique and original, I find it dated and phony. I don't know anybody that is like those two, and I'm not drawn to know their types. That diner conversation seems phony, uber-boomer (aka self-absorbed, self-impressed, self-congratulatory, self-everything), overly acted, and I can hear the script as much as I hear the voices of the actors.

Some day I may get through the whole dinner conversation. Maybe I should start by play my copy of "The Diner Game" to warm up for the diner conversation.

careen said...

Get real. There's no way Sharon Tate would have been anything but miserable married to Polanski had she lived. She was bordering on too young for him as it was, and then he would still have started with the 13 yr olds. He's not that far away from Manson in my book. Yes, I'm serious. Both manipulators, abusers, and con men. I'm sorry his wife had to suffer, but she would have suffered anyway. He's garbage. No need to have an ounce of sympathy for him.

Joe said...

Pastafarian, you wouldn't be able to have a seizure; you're brain would just freeze up and you'd slip into blissful unconsciousness. It's definitely amongst the dumbest movies ever made (though at least most really dumb movies give place for ongoing mockery.)

peter hoh said...

That's a great anecdote about marriage. I was reminded of this line I saw earlier in the day:

Marriage, like a submarine, is only safe if you get all the way inside.
Frank Pittman

William said...

Mia Farrow's opinion would be interesting because she has seen all sides of this cube. Maybe her silence implies not agreement but puzzlement. From the other side of the mirror, she shared Polanski's older-younger fixation and she was also part of the collateral damage such relations cause. Perhaps if she ever tried to locate what was at the center of this Rubik cube,she would find nothing but her own emptiness. Better not to look.....The awful thing about Roman Polanski was not the awful things he did: the awful thing was that a man of such self indulgent crap was capable ot having a successful marriage and a distinguished career and loyal friends and happy children. I prefer my evil straight up and on the rocks like Charlie Manson. The carbonation and sweetness that surrounds a guy like Polanski makes it diffult to tell the alcohol content of his character.

Lem said...

"...each day would become an incredibly monumental creative task... and we aren't necessarily up to it".

"...each day would become an incredibly monumental creative task... and we aren't necessarily up to it".

wv - sting - kid you not.

chuck b. said...

We were talking about this at brunch today. One of our companions said Mia Farrow appears in the Polanski documentary and therein says she thinks the case should be dropped.

Or something like that.

Deb said...

Back to Gena Rowlands, remember her as Steve Carella's wife in the old 87th Precinct series?

ricpic said...

Cassavetes could never get over the fact that he had hit the jackpot, he landed the big blonde.

traditionalguy said...

The Dinner With Andre clip was to the point about Polanski and John Edwards and how many more men. The language of emotions needs to be learned by men so that they can have something to hang onto while letting a woman do her thing, which is the full emotional musical scale, and not run away for fear of the unknown. And God arranged to make that man/woman relationship fulfilling to the courageous duos that want it enough to play by the rules. The Song of Solomon reads like a play by play of the fulfillment that awaits. The Creator designed us for intelligent and passionate love relationships, and that fact itself makes a theory of "chance evolution" leading to the sons of Adam an obvious absurdity. Yes, men can learn emotional fulfillment and appreciation of a woman's emotional range without selfishly destroying her best abilities and throwing her away, but Edwards and Polanski are examples of failed men.

ironrailsironweights said...

It's a bit odd that our society (rightly) condemns Polanski and other pedophiles while at the same time it has become trendy for women to groom themselves in a pedophilic manner.

Peter

Bissage said...

This is one of the great Althouse posts, IMHO. Lots to think about. Thank you.

ricpic said...

We don't keep you around here for appreciative statements, Bissage. Now get busy and say something off-center.

Bissage said...

There’s a Universe of things to say, here, but I’ll limit myself to adding one unadorned fact, for whatever it’s worth: Wikipedia says that John Cassavetes was an alcoholic who died at age 59 from cirrhosis of the liver.

ricpic said...

And what about women, tradguy? Are they under any obligation to learn the male emotional range?

Bissage said...

I doubt that 8:15 is the sort of thing you had in mind, ricpic, but I get serious-minded every once and so often.

If it makes you feel any better, I’ve been toying with the idea of blogging about the time my hysterical mother demanded I look at, and appreciate, her naked body.

LOOK AT ME!!!

LOOK AT ME!!!

WHAT’S WRONG WITH MY BODY???

YOU LOOK AT ME!!!


[ shudders ]

ricpic said...

I had a kind of strange relation with my mother...or maybe not so strange. She was neutral toward me. And I returned the favor. That's probably far more common than our obligatory mother shmaltziness allows.

knox said...

traditionalguy, what a nice comment. The woman in your life is a lucky one, indeed.

Paddy O. said...

Tradguy, Very true and very nicely said.

c3 said...

My dime store psychology of Polanski: He's a director and as such he needs to have great skill at objectifying people so that they can be arranged in a coherent and compelling narrative. These girls are not people but parts to be arranged in the compelling and coherent narrative that is Roman Polanski.

I like Roman Polanski movies except the one that he stars in. (Although I have to admit, given the mileage this story has gotten, he is a compelling narrative.)

The Crack Emcee said...

Ann,

Forget "My Dinner With Andre":

Stick to philosophers who know how to dress.

The Macho Response.

Freeman Hunt said...

Marriage is saying, "You are the soul I want to know through and through and through."

Lili said...

What I don't understand is why Mia Farrow is still friends with Roman Polanski.