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Polanski Unauthorized, biographical film, biography, review, biopic

Polanski Unauthorized (2009)

Damian Chapa wrote, directed, produced and starred in this ninety minute show-reel masquerading as a biopic. He should have restricted himself to just one task. By showcasing his abilities in all four disciplines, he may be hard-pressed to ever find employment again.

With a timeline that jumps around like a blue-arsed fly, the film opens in Poland 1939 before flashing forward to New York 1966 and then onto Hollywood 1969. And that’s just during the credit sequence! The film then travels back to Poland to catch Polanski’s parents mid-coitus, forward to Hollywood 1977 where Roman is taking photos of a very young model poolside, then back to London 1966 to meet Sharon Tate before returning to war-torn Poland to meet the motliest bunch of Nazi’s since the glory days of Hogan’s Heroes. By the time we get a back to Roman and the model they have retired to the guesthouse. Unfortunately, unless it was a very long walk, the captioner has got confused and informs us it is now 1978. 

Rather than these snippets providing an overall understanding of Polanski the man, they instead highlight the deficiencies of Chapa the filmmaker, with each disastrous scene lurching onto the next. Interior scenes look and sound like they were filmed in a garage, exterior shots are sparsely populated and extreme close-ups expose a threadbare budget (Polanski’s fake sideburns barely have enough hair to cover the glue).

To bookend the movie’s opening mishmash, the movie ends with Polanksi wandering around Europe in 1977 before flashing back to Poland’s liberation in 1945 which is then followed by Satan being hung at the Nuremberg Trials in 1946. In this movie’s twisted time-frame, Satan would later serve as Technical Advisor on Rosemary’s Baby.


Damian Chapa, Roman Polanski, Brienne De Beau, Sharon Tate, Mia Farrow
Elena Talan, Charles Power, Frank Sinatra, Robert McAtee, Hugh Hefner

Producer Eugene Gatowski is a fictional character

Brian McArdle, John Cassavetes, fact check, factcheck, fact vs fiction

Only attempt at a scene recreation is a brief bit of dialogue from Rosemary's Baby.

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