Roman Polanski came to Cannes on Monday to show an old film, and also to debut a new one.
But the new Polanski film is an oddity in the controversial director's career: It's an ad for Prada, though Polanski described it as "an anti-ad" afterwards.
The short, which screened before a restored version of Polanski's 1979 film "Tess," features Helena Bonham Carter as a Prada-wearing patient and Ben Kingsley as a psychiatrist who finds himself distracted by the beauty of the purple fur coat his patient has hung on a rack.
"Prada Suits Everyone," reads the caption as Kingsley dons the coat and strokes his face with its fur collar.
Italian Vogue ran a pirated image from the short, and many viewers went to Twitter to share their amazement that the "Rosemary's Baby" director had made a fashion ad – which festival chief Thierry Fremaux had teased on Sunday, when he mentioned that Polanski would be debuting a new film.
Polanski also had a presence earlier in the festival, when Cannes screened the documentary "Roman Polanski: A Film Memoir," which is made up of filmed interviews with the director.
That film, wrote Sharon Waxman at TheWrap, will likely prove to be as divisive as Polanski himself:
"Like everything else in Polanski’s life, reactions to this new documentary will be bifurcated: the French will love him all the more as a victimized genius. Americans will think he’s concocted a tendentious piece of drivel to excuse his past.
"Neither are right. And both are."
At the screening of "Tess," Polanski escorted that film's star, Nastassja Kinski, down the red carpet.
(Photo by Gareth Cattermole/Getty Images)