On Saturday, the European Film Awards will air from
. Amidst the current cinema hopefuls, the
will honor the 73 year-old Roman Polanski with a lifetime achievement award. This will be the second such reward for Polanski, who recently received honors for his career at the Jerusalem Film Festival in July. I assume that this decision was partially based on his being Polish. As I previously reported, this year marks the first time that the awards ceremony will be broadcast from an Eastern European nation, and how better to commemorate the moment than to honor the work of a leading Polish director?
His cinematic successes cannot be ignored. Among his most notable movies are the likes of Rosemary's Baby, Chinatown and The Pianist. Each of these received Oscar nominations, but it wasn't until he portrayed Wladyslaw Szpilman's life, one which was similar to his own, that he actually won. What really makes this European nod interesting, however, is that he hasn't had the same nomination success in
. According to imdb's nomination list for the director, he has only won one of the two nods he has been given, and that was for 1999's The Ninth Gate.
Polanski's status as a fugitive has pretty much ensured an inextricable link between his actions and his self, unlike other well-known figures like the convicted drug man Tim Allen, and everyone's favourite alcoholic-turned-Christian president, Dubya. Nevertheless, he's made some significant contributions to the world of cinema. It's hard to argue the value of one's work by their personal life, but should one's personal life be considered when dishing out an award for a lifetime of achievement? Some say yes, and some say no. While I admire a lot of Polanski's work, I can't help but feel a chill when I read Variety's quote by Ronald Harwood: "He once jokingly said to me, 'In order to make a film, I have to get an erection.' But once he knows what he wants, he goes out and gets it."