7:30 PM, 30th October, 2014
Thomas (Amalric) has written a play based on Leopold von Sacher-Masoch’s pivotal novel that inspired the term ‘masochism’. His attempts to cast it have not gone well – until Vanda (Seigner) walks through the door. She’s distinctly scatterbrained and odd. But there’s something about her… and as she starts to read for the play, the more and more Thomas falls under her spell. As the conversation turns to the erotic, who’s really in control?
Director Roman Polanski is, ahem, no stranger to the more controversial aspects of sexuality. This adaptation of a David Ives play resets the action to Paris, and plays it in French (rather than Ives’s original, set in New York in English) – but otherwise keeps the action to one empty theatre and only the two characters. And the tense tightrope maintains the 90-odd minutes – Seigner is Polanski’s wife, but there’s no hint of nepotism here – although this does present her to great advantage – witty, adaptable, powerful, whip-smart and sexy as hell. Prepare to get your brain very thoroughly seduced.