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
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.
“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
The sensation of the Cannes Film Festival and the most controversial film of the year, Blue is the Warmest Color made cinema history as the first film ever awarded the Palme d’Or to both its director and its actresses. In a star-making role, Adèle Exarchopoulos is Adèle, a passionate young woman who has a yearning she doesn’t quite understand until a chance encounter with the blue-haired Emma ignites a flame and brings her to life. Léa Seydoux (Midnight in Paris) gives a fearless performance as Emma, the older woman who excites Adèle’s desire and becomes the love of her life. Abdellatif Kechiche’s (The Secret of the Grain) intimate epic of tenderness and passion charts their relationship over the course of several years, from the ecstasy of a first kiss to the agony of heartbreak. Pulsing with gestures, embraces, furtive exchanges, and arias of joy and devastation, Blue is the Warmest Color is a profoundly moving hymn to both love and life. ~ ifcfilms
The French Love Without Pity strikes different people different ways. To some, it’s the last word in profundity; to others, it’s a subtitled yawnfest. We suggest that you judge for yourself this story of low-down louse Hippolyte Girardot, who regards the women in his life as little more that doormats upon which to wipe his feet. It’s “just deserts” time when Girardot falls head over heels for Mireille Perrier, who proceeds to treat him like dirt. Continue reading
Mr. K is a do-it-yourselfer and he works very seriously. One day he has a problem with one of his screws. Furious, he decides to complain at the administration office of the Department Store of Non Ferrous Metals!… Continue reading
Quote:Pauline et François contains little in the way of emotive revelations or garment rending histrionics. Its dramatic climax, if one can call it that, is a relatively minor moment of moral weakness thatâs quickly discovered and rectified. The film is neither artfully minimal nor flashily intense. But it is a haunting and compelling construction, built only with the most rudimentary of filmmaking tools. And Felyâs honest labor rewards his viewers with a memorable perspective of one familyâs drift down the meandering river of time.