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R. Eric Huxley,
The beautiful filming in Venus In Furs reminds me of why it was called "glorious black and white." Claire Mijnals smolders nicely and has a presence similar to Jean Harlow. Shadows abound and cool framing shows that the director may have found inspiration in German cinema or Derek Jarman films of old. It is a very faithful and beautifully made adaptation of Leopold von Sacher-Masoch's novel, which means it is both wonderful and lacking in the same ways as the book.
Venus in Furs is definitely not a film for everyone and even for "arthouse" lovers, it feels a bit incomplete and emotionally distant. It is basically an exploration of masochism, sadism, love, control and lack of control. A central question seems to be whether a lover should deliver satisfaction to her/his partner even when it is not satisfying to her/him. Where is the bond built? Where does trust, love, etc. begin and what does it require? These questions have been asked before and probably in more emotionally resonant movies, but Venus in Furs is worth a look for those who are drawn to their local black and white "arthouse" flick.
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