Separate greatness of art from loathsomeness of artist

From what I’ve read over the years about the filmmaker Roman Polanski, I would agree with letter-writer Janet Burhoe-Jones in the Mountain Xpress [“Promotion of Roman Polanski Film Appalling,” July 30, Xpress] that Polanski is a sex criminal and an altogether horrible person. I think he fully deserved to spend the rest of his life in prison — or in an insane asylum. But the fact is that he didn’t, and it was your film critic’s duty to his readers to review Polanski’s newest film and give his honest opinion about it.

I am planning to see “Venus in Fur” because I don’t want to deprive myself of viewing a worthwhile movie just because I don’t like the character of the filmmaker. I would likewise not deprive myself of the beautiful music of Richard Wagner because the man was probably a thoroughly detestable egomaniac and anti-Semite.

We must separate the greatness of the art from the loathsomeness of the artist, unless we want to miss out on some very beautiful music, drama, fine arts, dance and, yes, cinema.

Fred Flaxman

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