Rupert Cadell: After all, murder is - or should be - an art. Not one of the "seven lively," perhaps, but an art nevertheless. And, as such, the privilege of committing it should be reserved for those few who are really superior individuals.I've seen many defenses of Polanski (see my previous post on two high-profile petitions for his release), and they typically argue that his greatness as a movie director makes it somehow wrong to imprison him upon his conviction for child rape.
Brandon Shaw: And the victims: inferior beings whose lives are unimportant anyway.
Rupert Cadell: Obviously. Now, mind you, I don't hold with the extremists who feel that there should be open season for murder all year round. No, personally, I would prefer to have ... "Cut a Throat Week" ... or, uh, "Strangulation Day"...
Maybe they're right: Roman Polanski is a superior individual. Maybe his victim just didn't matter as much as he does.
Well, I really don't think so. But wait a minute -- I could be wrong. After all, you and I might both be among the inferior beings. Maybe we should defer to those with more refined moral faculties.
Actually, I shouldn't even refer to what's "moral." It's a lowly concept, as you might remember from Brandon's speech in Rope:
The few who are privileged to commit murder ... are those men of such intellectual and cultural superiority that they're above the traditional "moral" concepts. Good and evil, right and wrong, were invented for the ordinary, average man -- the inferior man, because he needs them.Likewise, the petition signed by over 70 movie-industry figures (including Martin Scorsese and David Lynch) doesn't dwell on unimportant details like what Polanski actually did to the 13-year-old girl; it doesn't even refer to a victim at all. It tells you only what you need to know:
His arrest follows an American arrest warrant dating from 1978 against the filmmaker, in a case of morals.That's it -- that's all the petition says about the nature of the allegations. Surely a mere case of morals doesn't provide a sufficient justification to punish a great man, does it?