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Venus in Fur
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David Ives's hit Broadway play is the basis for Roman Polanski's psychodrama exploring the gender politics of dominance and submission. On a claustrophobic theatre stage, unknown actress Vanda (Emmanuelle Seigner, Mrs Polanski, in an ultra showy turn) arrives late to audition for director Thomas's (Mathieu Amalric) adaptation of Sacher-Masoch's 1870 novel
Venus in Furs
. Convinced she's too brassy and loud for the lead role, Thomas changes his mind when she gradually becomes the demure seductive heroine of the novelist's - and his - fantasies. It's similar in terms of alternating power plays to
Death and the Maiden
, which Polanski transferred from stage to screen in 1994, but the tone here is less even and the changing perspectives less well handled. This makes everything feel flatter and heavier than it should. But there's lots of sexy badinage to be had during the complex battle of wills as life imitates art and kinky illusion hypnotically merges with mundane reality.
Premiere. A director despairs of ever finding an actress to star in his latest production, when a final applicant walks into his theatre. He feels she is everything he personally despises, yet also perfect for the part and becomes obsessed with shaping her to fit the role. Roman Polanski's drama based on David Ives' stage play, starring Emmanuelle Seigner and Mathieu Amalric. In French and German.
Cast & Crew
Curzon Film World
Swearing, scenes of a sexual nature.
DVD and Blu-ray
30 May 2014
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