Venus in Fur

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“Mischievous, lip-smacking entertainment. Roman Polanski is in playfully perverse form with this nimble pas de deux adapted from David Ives' stage hit.” – David Rooney, Hollywood Reporter

“Wicked … Polanski orchestrates this cat-and-mouse game with devilish delight, dancing around Ives's play as if it were a pagan bonfire, jabbing at it with his figurative pitchfork.” – Stephanie Zacharek, Village Voice

“It's tricky, tasty and tense... Emmanuelle Seigner holds her own - and then some - opposite the subtly expressive Mathieu Amalric.” – Marshall Fine, Hollywood and Fine


Based on the Tony Award-winning Broadway play by David Ives, which itself was based on Leopold von Sacher-Masoch’s groundbreaking erotic novella, Venus in Fur is the latest film from Oscar-winning filmmaker Roman Polanski (The Pianist). Alone in a Paris theatre after a long day auditioning actresses for his new play (an adaptation of the Sacher-Masoch novel), writer/director Thomas (Matthieu Almaric, The Diving Bell and the Butterfly) complains that no actress he’s seen has what it takes to play the lead female character: a woman who enters into an agreement with her male counterpart to dominate him as her slave. Frustrated by the quality of actresses he has auditioned, Thomas is about to give up, when the mysterious Vanda (Emmanuelle Seigner, La Vie en Rose) bursts into his theater unannounced, knowing every line by heart, wielding her own props and creating chaos with a whirlwind of erratic – and, it turns out, erotic – energy. The two begin a fevered, intense, and at times aggressive collaboration, and the lines between passion and obsession (and theater and reality), begin to blur. As the extended "audition" builds momentum, Thomas moves beyond attraction into a decidedly more dangerous emotional state, and with Vanda taking an ever more dominant role, the balance of power shifts completely. Though originally designed for the stage, master filmmaker Polanski transforms this tense theatrical drama into a piece of a pure cinema in the way that only he can. (Dir. by Roman Polanski, 2013, France/Poland, in French & German with subtitles, 96 mins., Not Rated, Sundance Selects) Digital



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