Vanda is an unusually talented young actress determined to land the lead in Thomas’ new play based on the classic erotic novel, Venus in Fur. Vanda’s emotionally charged audition for the gifted but demanding playwright/director becomes an electrifying game of cat and mouse that blurs the lines between fantasy and reality, seduction and power, love and sex. “As always with Polanski, the narrative’s eccentricities are cloaked in an expert veneer of classicism” (Keith Uhlich: Time Out); “Roman Polanski’s penchant for psychosexual mind games conducted in claustrophobic spaces is deliciously revisited in ‘Venus in Fur’ (…) Emmanuelle Seigner is a fresh revelation” (David Rooney: The Hollywood Reporter); “‘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); “‘Venus In Fur’ is a playful if occasionally heavy-handed jeu d’ésprit on the subject of sexual role-play (…) illusion and reality, and directing as a sexual act. (…) Rating: *** (out of five)” (Peter Bradshaw: The Guardian). Continue reading
Quote:Erika has it all: a good job, lots of friends and a secure relationship. Until the day it all falls apart. Suddenly this perfect life means nothing, and the feelings she once was able to control are no longer within reach. She starts going to group therapy and meets other people suffering from various forms of trauma. One day Erika and this eclectic group of four people decide to take matters into their own hands and heads off together in search of a way out. They start checking into hotels – a place of complete anonymity where one can wake up as a different person. Continue reading
Temmuz is an openly gay sculptor living at a flat with his dog in Istanbul. He lives a bohemian lifestyle and has a happy go lucky, carefree, eccentric (such as believing in good luck charms) character, frequently distracting him from his work as a children’s book illustrator, and eventually leading him to be abandoned by his boyfriend via e-mail. He is given solace and affection by her wealthy mother, who is fully supportive of him, and best friend and co-worker, Beste. In the meantime, he keeps seeing a young man in his dreams, who repeatedly calls him for help and rescue. One day he runs into this guy while getting on the bus, who is accompanied by his mother, and helps them get into their home as the young man was born without limbs. From then on, two lives would collide into each other, starting a brotherhood full of discoveries and mutual help.
Making a rare visit to Canada, Claude Chabrol cowrote and directed the low-pressure psychological melodrama Blood Relatives (Les Liens de sang). Donald Sutherland and Donald Pleasence head the cast in this story of the aftermath of a brutal murder. The victim, a 17-year-old girl, was apparently raped before she died, leading Carella (Sutherland) to believe that she was killed by a sex maniac. Pedophile Doniac (Pleasence) tops the suspect list, but don’t be too sure. The truth is much “closer to home” than anyone realizes at first. Lisa Langlois, who made something of a career of Canadian scare flicks, makes her screen debut in Blood Relatives; also appearing, is Chabrol’s wife Stephane Audran. Blood Relatives was based on a novel by Ed McBain (aka Evan Hunter), of 87th Precinct fame; the film was released in the US in 1981, three years after its completion.
The Bolivian fiction feature Yawar Mallku is one of the most famous examples of Latin American militant cinema. Like most Latin American militant films, this one was made on a modest budget in spite of major obstacles. Bolivia has no significant filmmaking traditions or facilities. Mules had to be used to transport the filmmakers and their equipment to a high and remote Indian community where parts of the film were shot. The Quechua-speaking Indians of this Andean community were initially hostile to the filmmakers until a coca-leaf divination ritual confirmed the filmmakers’ good intentions. Continue reading
“This critically acclaimed French drama blends film noir and science fiction elements in a story about a strange and deadly plague. A sexually transmitted disease called STBO is sweeping the country; it’s spread by having sex without emotional involvement, and most of its victims are teenagers who make love out of curiosity rather than commitment. While a serum that can treat the disease has been formulated, it’s been locked away in an inaccessible government building, and most of those suffering can’t get at it. A woman known as “The American” (Carroll Brooks) has hired Marc (Michel Piccoli), who is deep in debt and desperate for cash, to steal the drug; Marc enlists the aid of Alex (Denis Lavant), the teenage son of one of his close friends, to help pull off the robbery. Alex is in love with Lise (Julie Delpy), a girl his age that he’s been involved with, but he finds himself attracted to Anna (Juliette Binoche), Marc’s younger lover who is determined to stand by her man. Mauvais Sang received the Alfred Bauer Prize at the Berlin International Film Festival and the International Fantasy Film Award at the Fantasporto Film Festiva”. — Mark Deming (AMG) Continue reading
Mario Bava’s Black Sunday (1960) and Black Sabbath (1963) were world wide commercial successes. As a consequence, Bava was given creative control over Blood and Black Lace. An Italian-West German co-production, the film’s backers were expecting a routine murderer-on-the-loose yarn in the Edgar Wallace-tradition. In Europe during the early 1960’s, movies based on the murder mystery novels of the incredibly prolific Wallace had become a mini-genre of their own. Forty or so of these movies were ultimately made, most of them produced in West Germany. Although some of the murder sequences could be vicious, the emphasis was on the police procedural and mystery aspects of the narrative. Continue reading