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Venus in Fur

New Roman Polanski film that has two actors and takes place entirely on a stage; it begins with Vanda who shows up very late to an audition for a play based on a book called Venus in Fur. Thomas, the director, tries to send her away, but she reads a few lines and is captivated by her. I really enjoyed the movie because (a) it is an interesting examination of the politics of sadomasochism through a gender lens; (b) the way the scenes from the play and the actors’ realities become blurred is quite fascinating and enhances the psychoanalytic and social exploration of male-female interpretations of experience; (c) it is playful and funny; and (d) it is incredibly well acted – the two actors have a wonderful chemistry together that is key to making the film work. Thumbs up for a film that does a much better job than Polanski’s previous one, Carnage, of exploring the depths of male-female relationships.

About Gary Burkholder

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