Roman Polanski: A Film Memoir (2011). Julian Wasser's best shot: Roman Polanski at the scene of the Manson family killings, 1969
Roman Polanski: A Film Memoir (2011) - IMDb
rating: 7.2/10 - 863 votesDocumentary · A documentary about Roman Polanski, the man and filmmaker. Roman Polanskispeaks about his eventful life story and career in conversation ...
Cannes 2012 review: Roman Polanski – A Film Memoir - The Guardian
https://www.theguardian.com › Arts › Movies › Cannes 2012
May 16, 2012 - Laurent Bouzereau's film about Roman Polanski is not merely a documentary, but a full-length, wide-ranging interview with the man himself, ...
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Julian Wasser's best shot: Roman Polanski at the scene of the Manson family killings, 1969
'Polanski asked me to take shots of the murder scene and give them to a psychic – to find out who did it'
Interview by Ben Beaumont-Thomas
The Guardian, Thursday 10 July 2014
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Julian Wasser: 'I felt awful, like, my God, why was I there? What an invasion of privacy'
One August day in 1969, I was listening to a police radio when I heard all this strange talk about something going on in this residential area next to Beverly Hills. It was the kind of neighbourhood where people would say nothing if they heard screaming. They'd put pillows over their heads if murders were going on.
That was how I first heard that Roman Polanski's wife, Sharon Tate, had been shot, along with four others. When I went up there shortly afterwards for Life magazine, Roman asked me to take Polaroid shots of the scene as well – and give them to a psychic who could study them and find out who the killers were. You can see my Polaroid on the chair beside Roman.
At that point, no one knew the murders had been committed by theManson family. The police couldn't figure out anything – the knives and the bloody clothes were found by an ABC camera crew. There was this kind of new age belief at the time: "The cops aren't up to it – we'll get psychic vibrations instead. The police, the establishment, they're not like us – we're artistic, we're special. We'll do it our special way."
I went with Roman through all the rooms, all the belongings, all the photographs, and shot him looking at it all. When he went into the nursery, he opened a drawer and it was full of beautiful pictures of Sharon. She was such a good-looking girl. And he started crying: it really hit him, the loss. I felt awful, like, my God, why was I there? What an invasion of privacy. But that's what being a professional is. You feel terrible, but you still shoot. You're a journalist, an observer – you're not a participant, you can't be someone's pal.
Hollywood was afraid because they didn't know what was going on. They thought it was a strange cult that was going to kill everybody. It led to security mania, everybody putting in special alarm systems. If you said hi to someone in the street, they'd think you were another Manson. Total paranoia.
But I didn't hear anyone say: "Oh, that poor Polanski. He's been through so much." I used to live in Paris and I still visit there a lot. I see Polanski around, but I don't talk to him. I don't want to remind him of how he knows me. Hopefully, he's forgotten all that.
I was working for Life magazine at the time. It wasn't like it is now: there were no paparazzi, no VIP sections, no security. It was a really innocent time. You'd just walk up and there they were. They'd stop and smile and pose. Now it's a business. If you want exclusive access to a celebrity, you have to pay big money. You weren't considered some sort of psychotic menace who's going to rob or kill them either. Now they'll call their security person and you'll get beat up. Now you go to a party in LA and you have the right badge or you're just some slob. It's too goddamn depressing.
When I was 14, I used to steal my dad's car and drive all over Washington listening to police radio. There was segregation then and all the best murders, robberies and bloody events were in the black part of town. I'd photograph them and give the shots to the Washington Post. I was so naïve. Of course they wouldn't run them – it was black people.
It's a rough world now. I think Manson started it and 9/11 finished it. Reality has fallen on us like a ton of bricks.
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