Roman Polanski, now 80 years old, is still going strong: the director’s 20th and forthcoming feature film, Venus in Fur, released its first trailer yesterday. Like his last film, 2011’s Carnage, Venus in Fur is an adaptation of a play—David Ives’ Tony Award-winning show of the same name, which was in turn adapted from Leopold von Sacher-Masoch’s 19th century novel.*
The film is in French, but an awkward voiceover provides the plot summary: a stage director (Mathieu Amalric), frustrated with the incompetence of auditioning actresses, vents his fury until Vanda Jordan (Emmanuelle Seigner) waltzes in and begins an intense, unnerving reading of the role that gradually shifts the power dynamic from man to woman. The small, self-contained premise is in keeping with Polanski’s recent work—unlike the sprawling, multi-layered narratives seen in early classics like Chinatown, his latest efforts have featured more focused, insular, and isolated studies of character. Whether that’s a positive development is up for debate, but you can check out Venus in Fur when it arrives stateside on June 20.
*Correction, April 5, 2014: This post originally misspelled the last name of playwright David Ives.