'Polanski Unauthorized'

Roman Polanski won't lose any sleep over "Polanski Unauthorized," a basement tape-quality slum through the most famously traumatic episodes in a sensation-riddled life.

Roman Polanski won’t lose any sleep over “Polanski Unauthorized,” a basement tape-quality slum through the most famously traumatic episodes in a sensation-riddled life. Straight-to-DVD auteur Damian Chapa invested little money, and less talent, in depicting the subject’s escape from the Nazis, flirtation with devil worship on “Rosemary’s Baby,” relationship with Sharon Tate and arrest for raping a 13-year-old girl, moments from all of which are shuffled together almost at random. With production values no better than homemade porn — most scenes are played in front of drapes — and dialogue that makes you feel sorry for the actors, this Friday the 13th Los Angeles vanity release isn’t even fun in a bad-movie way. Paying customers will feel gypped.

Too tall and too thick through the middle to play Polanski, Chapa does have something of the horny ferret about him that convinces on that level. Sight of Polanski coming on to the underaged model while plying her with drugs and drink is particularly gross, while representations of Frank Sinatra (mulling breaking Polanski’s legs) and early producers Gene Gutowski and Martin Ransohoff are ultra-ludicrous.

Polanski Unauthorized


An Amadeus Pictures presentation. Produced by Damian Chapa, Edmund Druilhet, Silvia Suvadora. Executive producers, Sara Sanchez, Michael Chapa, Octavio Armando Ortega. Co-producer, Melissa Mullins. Directed by Damian Chapa. Screenplay, Chapa, Carlton Holder.


Camera (color, video), Pierre Chemaly; editor, Keita Ideno; music, Mark B. Buys, Vladimir Martinka; production designers, Madla Hruza, Lode Geens; costume designer, Hruza. Reviewed on DVD, Los Angeles, Feb. 7, 2009. English, French, German dialogue. MPAA Rating: R. Running time: 89 MIN.


Damian Chapa, Tom Druilhet, Leah Grimsson, Brienne De Beau, Silvia Suvadora, Paul Saunders, Elena Talan, Jeff McCreedie, Charles Berg, Gilbert Azzafrani, Kevin De Ridder, Monica Ramon, Christian Serritiello, Charles Power, Kerry Winchester.
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