Here’s a story that’s likely to make you squeamish. Director Roman Polanski, who famously had to flee the United States after being caught violating a pubescent girl in the most thorough way a person can be violated, is all set to direct an “erotic black comedy” about a director who engages in sadomasochistic role play with the actresses who audition for him. Cute, right?
The film in question is called Venus in Fur, and it’s an adaptation of the award-winning play of the same name, which was about a writer/director who was trying to put on an adaptation of the 1870 novella of the same name. The play was by David Ives, the original novella by Leopold von Sacher-Masoch (which is where the term “masochism” comes from), and the film will come from an adapted screenplay by Polanski and Ives, acting as co-writers. Venus in Fur will be French-language, and actors Emmanuelle Seigner and Louis Garrel are set to star.
Of his decision to make this his next project, Polanski said in a press release [via ComingSoon], “I’ve been looking for a chance to make a film in French with Emmanuelle for a long time. Reading Venus in Fur I realized the moment had arrived. I got so fired up to put this brilliant black comedy on film that I decided to fit it in before D., whose screenplay and pre-production will demand a few more months. Louis Garrel and Emmanuelle Seigner will make for a stunning duo.”
What’s your reaction to an infamous name like Polanski making a movie about a deviant director? Do you think it will be a misstep to try and sell this to a public who’s already uncomfortable thinking about the man’s past crimes? Is art something that should be judged on its own merits, with no consideration given to where it’s coming from? Or are you going to take the cynic’s approach and say that none of this matters, and, if anything, a little controversy will land the film some welcome publicity? Like with most Polanski ventures, Venus in Fur muddies the morality waters quite a bit. Will this guy ever not have us talking?