Venus in Fur

December 20, 2014


This film was adapted from a play and it really drives home the incongruity in the presumptions of the course of civilization through the unveiling of the sexual repressiveness that exists in Christianity. One of the gravest sins I have personally committed until I was set in my ways was presuming the linear, chronological progression of man over time. While I do not disagree with the fact that technically man has progressed, I will disagree that the characteristics of bygone civilizations did not have redeemable value. And most explicit is the comfort the ancient Greeks had with human sexuality, as indicative of their comfort with humanity. They, in other words, would not develop masochism in their culture because there is no need to draw the direction of their consciousness toward repressing such a basic instinct in humanity. In turn, Venus in Fur witnesses the redemption of the origins of masochism from the quote “central text of world literature.”


This would not be worth entertainment or even art in another culture. Yet it impinges on the Christian’s sensibilities and itself challenges the convention that that civilization is paired with a strong repudiation of their own natural desires. What I mean here is that we must make distinct that to be civilized and to keep one’s proclivities hidden from the world is an aspect of Christianity and not even of Western civilization, lest I draw upon Plato’s Symposium to showcase how cavalier a previous cycle of the West took to sexuality. Even further, the entire meditation on the restraint of the female and her independence is clearly synchronous with the overall vigorous attempt at annihilating what is natural in man, for even in Israelite literature do we see strong women lead men such as Deborah and Judith, which the novel which is the inspiration of the play in the film quotes for its epigraph. Venus in Fur is attempting, then, to unlearn the Christian cultural setup through meditating on a production of an artistic work trying to do the same.


This, I think, is a positive attempt at annihilating Christian morality, for clearly, nothing in the work resembles Gnosticism. Instead it is attempting to provoke a clear and level headedness about celebrating what is innate to mankind, which is sex. Sex here is not something craven and vulgar. It is an ideal, an expression of love and hence gratitude to some other soul in the world versus the abject objectification of the soul through what has now been debased.


Unfortunately there is not much originality that is contributed by Roman Polanski as there really is not much room for directorial creativity when adapting a play. Thus I am really killing two birds with one stone.


Grade: A-



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