After his nimble adaptations of the plays Death and the Maiden (1994) and Carnage (2011), Roman Polanski continues his success in bringing the stage to the screen with Venus in Fur, which originally premiered off-Broadway in 2010. (David Ives, the playwright, co-wrote the film’s script with Polanski.) In this constantly surprising, multilayered two-hander, stage writer-director Thomas (Mathieu Amalric), all alone in a Parisian theater, despairs of ever finding the right actress for his adaptation of Leopold von Sacher-Masoch’s infamous 1870 novella Venus in Furs. Just as he’s about to leave for the day, in walks Vanda (Emmanuelle Seigner, Polanski’s wife), a blowsy performer who insists that she has an audition scheduled—and who just happens to have the same name as the character she’s trying out for. Highly dubious, Thomas relents, convinced that this coarse woman will never be right for the part. Yet as the two begin to rehearse, he is astounded to discover not only that Vanda has memorized the entire play but that she is capable of complete transformation, becoming the character right before his eyes. While reality and illusion become blurred, so, too, do the roles of seducer and seduced.
Venus in Fur finds Roman Polanski transferring a New York stage hit to the screen with maximum fidelity and facility, and a minimum of fuss.
—Scott Foundas, Variety
Roman Polanski, David Ives, from the play by David Ives
Vanda: Emmanuelle Seigner
Thomas: Mathieu Amalric
Best Director – César Awards (2014); Official Selection – Cannes Film Festival (2013), Tribeca Film Festival and City of Lights, City of Angels (COLCOA) French Film Festival (2014)
RUNNING TIME 96 min
PRODUCTION France, 2013
FORMAT(S) DCP, Blu-ray, and DVD
PRICE RANGE *
$350 to $500 pending format
*Fees for screening rights are negotiable and may depend on: format, size of screening room, whether admission will be charged, etc. Check with each distributor and make sure to mention your participation in Tournées in your negotiation.