Ironies Abound as Polanski's Ghost Writer Premieres in Berlin Without Him
02.15.10 by reelz
The Ghost Writer had its world debut at the Berlin International Film Festival this weekend to much acclaim but with more than a fair share of irony. A reviewer from the Guardian went so far as to call it "the most purely enjoyable picture for years, a Hitchcockian nightmare with a persistent, stomach-turning sense of disquiet, brought off with confidence and dash."
But because he is still under house arrest in Switzerland awaiting the outcome of his very long-running extradition battle, director Roman Polanski could not attend the premiere. It's an awkward position that is to some extent reflected in his movie as well.
As an article in the LA Times points out, the former British Prime Minister in The Ghost Writer, Adam Lang (Pierce Brosnan), is living in exile in the U.S. to avoid being sued at home for his alleged complicity in illegal mistreatment of prisoners during the War on Terror. Clearly, the precariousness of this kind of ex-pat existence is something that Polanski, himself, has had a lot of time to think about lately.
The movie has also turned out to be very timely in relation to British politics. The real former PM on which Lang is very obviously based, Tony Blair, was in fact forced to take the stand in recent weeks to explain controversial actions he took during the Iraq war. Talk about foreshadowing.
The PR campaign for The Ghost Writer appears to be making some to leverage this latter connection. The latest TV spot for the movie is definitely putting the political intrigue front and center.