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Acquisitions – Foreign Films

No Staginess on the Part of Sundance Selects; Polanski’s “Venus in Fur” Heads to U.S. Market

Unlike the beating he took for his stage to screen translation of God of Carnage with Carnage, Polanski’s Venus in Fur, a film that was scheduled so late in Cannes Film Festival’s Main Comp that in many respects became an end of fest delightful surprise (see our festival wrap-up) has found a home (potentially beating out SPC) in the U.S. via Sundance Selects. We expect some added fall film festival showings (possibly Telluride or TIFF) before it secures an end of year slot.

Gist: Set in modern-day Paris, VENUS IN FUR follows writer-director Thomas (Amalric) and a pushy, foul-mouthed actress named Vanda (Seigner) who bursts into auditions in a whirlwind of erratic energy. Vanda’s emotionally charged audition for the gifted but demanding playwright becomes an electrifying game of cat and mouse that blurs the lines between fantasy and reality, seduction and power, and ultimately, attraction and obsession.

Worth Noting: A shame that it just ended its run, but this was a TONY award winning Broadway number for Nina Arianda (attached as Joplin in Sean Durkin’s Janis) and nomination worthy bit for Hugh Dancy (he also worked on Durkin’s Martha Marcy May Marlene).

Do We Care?:  This delicious number relies heavily on performance, and we couldn’t agree more with Nicholas’ take: “Seigner’s role demands precise timing, calling for an agile ease that allows us to follow the quickly turning dynamics as well as hide just what it is she’s playing at. She nails every minute of it, fooling us at first into thinking this would be another broad and obvious stab at the machinations of the theater. As for Polanski, add Venus in Fur to his successfully staged adaptations of intriguing theatrical productions, such as Macbeth (1971) and Death and the Maiden (1994).”

Eric Lavallée is the founder, CEO, editor-in-chief, film journalist, and critic at, established in 2000. A regular at Sundance, Cannes, and Venice, Eric holds a BFA in film studies from the Mel Hoppenheim School of Cinema. In 2013, he served on the narrative competition jury at the SXSW Film Festival. He was an associate producer on Mark Jackson’s "This Teacher" (2018 LA Film Festival, 2018 BFI London). In 2022, he was a New Flesh Juror for Best First Feature at the Fantasia International Film Festival. Current top films for 2023 include The Zone of Interest (Glazer), Inside the Yellow Cocoon Shell (Pham Thien An), Totem (Lila Avilés), La Chimera (Alice Rohrwacher), All Dirt Roads Taste of Salt (Raven Jackson).

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