Venus In Fur - Mistress & Slave is about their relationship.
Venus In Fur was written by Leopold Von Sacher-Masoch. The word sadomasochism was derived from his name.
Owning the film, I have seen the film and been to the theatre but never read the book. I’m told it is pretty hard going.
The film - Venus In Fur is by director Roman Polanski. It’s an adaptation of the book, into a stage production, that is both clever and funny. The two main characters are the only actors in the film, so demanding your attention is important. He cast two amazing actors; Emmanuelle Seigner (Polenski’s wife), who expertly she plays two characters seamlessly, whilst Mathieu Amalric is convincing as the submissive - Thomas.
The duo become spirited adversaries in a psychological battle for supremacy. Lines are blurred between the characters of Thomas and Severine, as you realise they are one and the same - submissive! This is a smart, analysis of the sex-and-power dynamic between the sexes, that gets its point across without taking itself too seriously.
The film - Venus In Fur - I could watch over and over again.
Emmanuelle is both sexy and funny. Both actors are sublime. The chemistry between the two adds to the authenticity. I have watched this several times and love it for it’s intricacies, wit and charm. It bothers me not, that the film is in French and I have to read subtitles.
During Dec 2017 I saw the stage adaptation of the book Venus In Fur into a play, at the Haymarket Theatre, featuring Game of Thrones' Natalie Dormer, who is Vanda Jordan auditioning for the part of Wanda von Dunajew in the original story. Along side actor David Oakes who plays Thomas Novachek, the playmate who adapted the book for theatre, who in turn end up playing Severin von Kushemski. Severine whose early childhood experience of being birched by an aunt, while lying on a fur cape has left him longing to be dominated. He asks to be her slave, and encourages her to treat him in progressively more degrading ways.
The act also gave him a fetish for fur.
Sophisticated lady Wanda, has the role of dominatrix arguably thus upon her by an eager Thomas. Her change of heart from domme to submissive, is part of the original story. Of course, there are lots of dominatrix who switch. I personally would have liked her to stay domme and turned Thomas into her full-time bitch.
Natalie is convincing and funny. She seems to lack a bit of sex appeal, which could have been added. David Oakes portrayal of both characters, did nothing for me. He was too handsome and not believable.
Favourite dialogue from Venus In Fur:
Thomas: She taught me the most valuable thing in the world.
Vanda: And what did she teach you?
Thomas: That nothing is more sensual than pain. That nothing is more exciting than degradation.
Top ten lines from Venus In Fur:
1. "If deep pleasure is born most of all from suffering, then this is the woman of whom I've always dreamed!"
2. "It's very difficult to act like a prostitute when one is in love."
3. "You're all the same, you men! When you love a woman, you want to lock her up in the most secret cell of the Pyramid of Chaos."
4. "Women are always forbidden the most amusing things."
5. "Wanda, will you marry me?" "Yes, yes, I will marry you, because I want to betray you, bring you to desperation! I will make you unhappy, you'll see!"
6. "Such happiness as this... almost makes me unhappy."
7. "Sometimes women are whores uselessly, and the vulgar side of this is its uselessness."
8. "You're too beautiful to belong to just one man." (Did I hear an "amen" in the house?)
9. "All I can say is, after two months, you've become like any other husband!"
10. "I must resign myself to being normal."
The band Velvet Underground captured the spirit of the book in their Venue in Fur track.
When the Venus In Fur play ended after two hours, I looked around wondered, who in the audience was a bonafide pervert, and who had come to just watch a play. I didn’t spot anyone I knew, but do know many friends had been to see it, during its run. If it was still on, I would be recommending everyone saw Venus In Fur.
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Miss Kim x