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Roman Polanski, the film director who fled the U.S. for France in 1977 after pleading guilty to unlawful intercourse with a 13-year-old girl, has some things to say about women. For one thing, Polanski isn't really keen on birth control — it has "masculinized" the " woman of our times," he said Saturday at the Cannes film festival. For another thing, he thinks gender equality is "idiotic." 

Polanski was at the festival for his latest, Venus in Fur, which is based on a David Ives stage adaptation of the book by Sacher-Masoch, from whom we get the word "masochist." The film stars his wife Emmanuelle Seigner, and Mathieu Amalric, who bears some resemblance to the director's younger self:

Photo: AP

Almaric, of course, plays a theatre director who is eventually dominated by Seigner's character as they attempt to stage an adaptation of Sacher-Masoch's book. 

Speaking at the festival on Saturday, Polanski said the following after a well-received viewing of his film (via Raw Story):

 "I think that now offering flowers to a lady becomes indecent, that’s how I feel about it,” 

There's more: 

"I think that the Pill has changed greatly the woman of our times, ‘masculinising’ her — how would you say it?” he said, looking to his cast for a prompt. He added: “I think that it chases away the romance from our lives and that’s a great pity.” 

And on gender equality? Here's the longer version of the "idiotic" quote mentioned above, from the Toronto Star

“I think that trying to level the genders is purely idiotic. I think it’s a result of, like everything else and I will be Marxist here, of progress in medicine and these are outcomes of it." 

Polanski's film, for its part, was well-received. It was up for a Palme d'Or, the festival's top prize (he didn't win). 

This article is from the archive of our partner The Wire.

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