Venus in Fur for a discerning audience

A Feast of Tales is proud to publish a guest post from Sharon Emmerich

Avid theatre and film critic and lover, Sharon Emmerich

Avid theatre and film critic and lover, Sharon Emmerich

Venus in Fur film review

I have always loved the nuances of foreign language films. Venus in Fur, in French, with English subtitles, does not disappoint in that regard. However, given the subject, it will not be everyone’s cup of tea; the darker worlds of sadism and masochism, bondage and fetish, are put, quite literally, under the spotlight. It is tastefully done though, subtle and implied, as opposed to overt, crass and vulgar.

Roman Polanski’s production is true to the two-person stage play, written by David Ives. The plot takes place solely in a theatre, mainly onstage, post-audition, when a latecomer beseeches the director for a chance to audition. It becomes apparent it is an ambush and the characters unfold into their true selves.

Clever use is made of minimal props as well as lighting which changes constantly to reflect the mood.

I thought the lead actress Emmanuelle Seigner was excellent as she toyed with Mathieu Amalric’s thoughts and emotions, stirring his mind into frenzy and desire – then punishing him.

I watched right until the credits rolled and in my opinion, the best was saved for last – a sumptuous visual feast of many famous Master’s paintings, depicting Venus in all her glory.

Venus in Fur is adapted and directed by Roman Polanski. It forms part of the Cinema Nouveau Erotic Art-House Film Festival running through August and September 2014. It releases on Friday 15 August. See www.cinemanouveau.co.za for screening details.

Venus in Fur is a film for broadminded and discerning movie goers.

Roman Polanski, Emmanuelle Seigner and Mathieu Amalric at the Cannes film festival in 2013. Photo: Creative Commons

Roman Polanski, Emmanuelle Seigner and Mathieu Amalric at the Cannes film festival in 2013. Photo: Creative Commons

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