May 22, 2012
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Polanski surprises Cannes with Prada ad

May 22, 2012

CANNES - Roman Polanski on Monday delivered as promised his latest film at Cannes but it turned out to be an ad for the Italian luxury design house Prada.

The Oscar-winning director attended the screening of the short film titled "A Therapy", which has British actors Ben Kingsley and Helena Bonham Carter play a shrink and his pouting Prada-clad patient.

"It's a sort of anti-ad," he said afterwards, joking that he wanted to show the world that he was as good at making short films as he was at long ones.

The Kingsley character quickly loses interest in Bonham Carter's chatter as she lies on his couch, and he turns his attention to the fur coat she hung on a rack upon her arrival in his office.

He ends up stroking his face with its fur collar as a final caption reads "Prada Suits Everyone".

The ad was screened before Polanski presented a restored version of "Tess", his 1979 adaptation of a Thomas Hardy novel, starring Nastassia Kinski, who was also with him at Monday's event.

Cannes artistic director Thierry Fremaux had tweeted on Sunday that Polanski would present a new work the following day after the screening of "Tess" but gave no hint about the nature of the film.

The festival earlier screened a documentary on the director which features him chatting about everything from his childhood in Nazi-occupied Poland to the sexual assault case that caused him to flee the United States in 1978.

The film-maker was arrested on an international warrant over the child sex case in September 2009 when he arrived in Zurich on his way to the city's film festival.

Polanski spent 10 months in Swiss custody before convincing authorities not to honour a US extradition request, and instead to release him.

In the new documentary, "Roman Polanski: A Film Memoir", presented out of competition at Cannes, he again says he regrets having sex with a 13-year-old girl in 1977 after plying her with drugs and champagne.

Polanski is currently planning a film about one of the most high-profile miscarriages of justice in French history, the Dreyfus affair.

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