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CANNES, France (AP) — Roman Polanski says the birth control pill has had a "masculinizing" effect on women.

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The director said the pill has "changed the place of women in our times," while talking to reporters Saturday at the Cannes Film Festival. He was there to premiere his film "Venus in Fur," adapted from the David Ives play.

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Polanski said the leveling of the sexes is "idiotic" and lamented that "offering flowers to a lady" has become "indecent."

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The film stars Polanski's wife, Emmanuelle Seigner, and Mathieu Amalric as an actress and theater director rehearsing an adaptation of Leopold von Sacher-Masoch's 1870 novella, "Venus in Furs."

The film plays with gender roles, and features Seigner as a strong, feminine actress who comes to dominate her director.