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You would be hard pressed to envision a seemingly perfect fit of director and substance compared to Roman Polanski and”Venus in Fur.” Too bad it is not a wickeder, subtler, more inventive film. Polanski’s second phase adaptation at a row (later”Carnage”) is a two-character play place almost entirely inside a Paris theater, and largely on a point. As this lively little film unreels, the playwright and the celebrity behave and speak their way through pieces of this drama, flirt with each other (mostly tactically but occasionally dearly ), workout motivation and dialogue issues, and go over the story’s source material, the 1870 book Venus in Furs by literary writer Leopold von Sacher-Masoch, by which the word”masochism” springs.
Their connection is all about art and sex, but mostly it is about power. Within this drama’s version of reality (along with the movie’s, which can be simpatico) girls are second-class citizens but trump guys in their capacity to inspire awe and lead to distress. That is a sexist opinion, one which the drama itself interrogates as it is dressing up its top woman in tight-fitting leather and stiletto-heeled boots and placing her loose on the movie’s protagonist, that never appears more boyishly living than once he is abasing himself. “Nothing is more sensual than annoyance,” he informs her early , searching her face for signs of joy and recognition. “Your perfect woman might be crueler than you look after,” he warns him.
He is perfectly cast as a pipsqueak whose artistic success has changed to a smugly qualified actor. How Thomas casually bosses Seigner’s heroine Vanda Jordan about from the first couple of scenes–condescending to her, speaking over herwill ring true to some girl who’s spent some time at the worlds of theatre or movie. And how in which the script facilitates and out of different performance styles is intriguingly sly. There are a few areas where Thomas and Vanda look like constructs too –individual bracketing apparatus for a play in a play, and a play within a play within a playwith. Despite the fact that Vanda initially professes near-total ignorance of this drama, the playwright and pretty much anything else, she keeps moving off-book, as they state, nevertheless still nailing her traces. How can she understand the text too? How can she know so much about the ancient sources for the drama, and on the playwright? How can she know to attract the leather?
Very few filmed plays have adhered closely to the physical limitations of the stage source nevertheless still generated a completely cinematic experience. This isn’t among the better cases of bare-bones version. Polanski, among the most visually innovative yet economic directors in movie history, shoots in a boringly plain manner here. The repetitive shot/reverse shot pattern appears more interested in catching the behaving than tapping, amplifying or even introducing it.
Worse, Seigner, the manager’s wife and frequent collaborator, only does not increase to Amalric’s degree. Her operation is as”large” because Amalric’s but much less surprising or precise. She will go to the very obvious, head-on strategy in each scene, enjoying orgasmic minutes deviously, sensual scenes lustily, etc. The function had a force of character –an erratic and magnetic existence who might reveal a description of this playwright’s aunt, a formative effect in his novelty:”voluptuous and frightening.” Seigner is the prior, to be certain, but seldom the latter. When she places a minute across, it is because you have made your mind up to select the picture’s word she did itor since Amalric is behaving for the two of these.
As a list of a specific performance of a specific drama,”Venus in Fur” is right. It is of historical interest because Polanski led it. However nothing about it instantly suggests that it had been led by a fantastic artist, much less one whose very own dark life (that comprised a statutory rape conviction, years of global drifting, a spouse hacked to death by the Manson family, along with household members maintained from the Holocaust) was honestly researched in just four decades’ worth of movies that, taken together, amount to a continuously evolving stealth memoir. I know intellectually why it talked to him, but I needed to feel it in my bones, such as music or love. I’d rather hear Polanski discuss why he had been attracted to the stuff than see his variation of it more time.