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Posted at 05:40 PM ET, 05/21/2012

Roman Polanski attends Cannes screening of “Tess”

Cannes isn’t usually associated with sneak previews, but an audience got one today when they got a glimpse of Roman Polanski’s new film – as well as the auteur himself.

“Roll it!” The tuxedoed Polanski yelled playfully from the back of the salle du Soixantieme, where a sold-out crowd had gathered to watch a restored print of his 1979 film “Tess.”
Director Roman Polanski arrives on the red carpet for the film "Vous n'Avez Encore Rien Vu" in competition at the 65th Cannes Film Festival, May 21, 2012. (JEAN-PAUL PELISSIER - REUTERS)

The new movie is a short film called “A Therapy,” and it stars Ben Kingsley and Helena Bonham Carter as a therapist and his stylish patient, the latter of whom flounces into the office, kicks off her shoes, collapses on to the couch and begins to natter on about her troubles while the good doctor eyes her fur-trimmed coat with increasing interest.

By the way: the shoes and coat are by Prada, the fashion label that sponsored the short film. When Polanski came up front – with “Tess” star Nastassia Kinski and members of the restoration and production team – he spoke only in French, so at this writing it’s unclear whether “A Therapy” will be eventually be seen as an advertisement. But it possessed all of the sleek production values and bravura gestures associated with Polanski, who at 78 betrays none of his years living on the run from U.S. legal authorities for fleeing the country on the eve of being sentenced for unlawful sex with a minor in 1977.

Today, Polanski was greeted with a standing ovation at Cannes, where a documentary about his life, “Roman Polanski: A Film Memoir” screened last week.  Describing “Tess” as being “like a baby” that took nine months to make, he then said he was going to stay “and watch it with all of you.” Which he did.

More on the Cannes Film Festival:

Politics and activism take center stage at Cannes

At chilly Cannes, few films raise the temperature

Nicole Kidman said to star in White House Butler movie based on Washington Post story

By  |  05:40 PM ET, 05/21/2012

 
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