This week, BUFS is pleased to present Venus in Fur (La Vénus à la fourrure) as part of the Francophone festival taking place at Brock in November.
On a rainy night in Paris, a tired director decides to call it a day after a slew of unsatisfying auditions for his new play, which is based on the infamous novella Venus in Furs by Leopold van Sacher- Masoch. (The auditions have taken place, for the record, against the backdrop from a recently closed production of Stagecoach). As he prepares to leave the theatre to head home for a quiet night in with his fiancée, an actress appears. She claims her agent sent her and insists that he let her read for the part.
Against his better judgement, he agrees to read with her for a short audition. As soon as she begins to read, however, she transforms into Vanda, the playwright’s nineteenth-century heroine, so effectively that he has trouble believing it possible. The transformation gives her power, and the play reading soon begins to overlap with the present day. Before long, it isn’t clear what is being acted, what is being spoken, or who is directing whom.
Roman Polanski’s adaptation of David Ives’s Tony-winning play looks at claustrophobia, adaptation, sexual politics, and theatre, and stars Emmanuelle Seigner (The Ninth Gate, Frantic) as Vanda and Mathieu Almaric (The Grand Budapest Hotel, The Diving Bell and the Butterfly) as the playwright.
For more information on the November Francophone festival, please visit brocku.ca/webfm_send/33624
Venus in Fur screens Wednesday at 7:00 p.m. at the Landmark Cinema, Pen Centre. Visit brocku.ca/bufs for details.