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Venus in Eros: Cannes 2011 Review

The Bottom Line

The cinematic equivalent of sitting in front of a store window and gaping at the mannequins for 80 minutes.


Cannes Film Festival, Market


Saori Hara, Sonoya Mizuno, Alan Vincent


Takako Imai

Director Takako Imai's latest film is equal to sitting in front of a store window and staring at mannequins for nearly 90 minutes.

CANNES -- Director Takako  Venus in Eros is not so much a movie as it is a museum display, as three largely stationary figures are clothed to represent different sides of  beauty and sexuality. Twixt these prolonged mannequin scopings, filmmaker Takako Imai intercuts with a broad range of stirring landscape shots, which supposedly cast perspective on whatever is not happening.

Overall, best venues might be side rooms in under-funded museums.
The best thing this British film has going for it is its title, Venus in Eros, which suggests a certain distillation and commentary on the inter-relation of beauty and eroticism. No such illuminations are revealed in this impotent offering. It's flaccid camera work – long holds on statuesque figures -- supposedly infuse depth and meaning but rather inspire napping. 
In this static Market offering, there's a lot of posing but no real acting. Because it's somber, with a grating musical score, some might be tricked into thinking Venus has substance. However, boring and annoying does not equal “serious” filmmaking, even by the standards of  film-festival  poseurs. 
On the plus side, the film is resuscitated in parts by a rousing, piano onslaught of minor keys and flashy arpeggios.  
At 80 minutes, it's one very long film, but could be revived with a 76-minute trim. That would leave the nature shots, which could be cut and re-marketed as screensavers.
Venue: Cannes Film Festival, Market
Production company: RME Films
Cast: Saori Hara, Sonoya Mizuno, Alan Vincent, Darren Ellis, Martin Collins
Director/producer: Takako Imai
Directors of photography: Jay Dacey, Peter Ditch, Nick Gordon Smith. 
Music: Libera, Tempei
Editor: Dominic Jacobs
No rating,  80 minutes