Lisa, the brothel madam of the luxurious “Le Vénusia” in Geneva, and Lena, an artless prostitute as unpredictable as she is lazy, are filmed in the intimacy of a smoking room—where their relationship will combine tenderness and cruelty.
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As situations-turned-concepts go, staff smoking room of a small brothel's a pretty great one; it'd make a mean short story. As a film, though, Venusia coasted on its characters - Lisa's facial expressions, Lena's staggering laziness - and I'm not sure any of Carrin's artistic choices at all enhanced the conceptual brilliance preexistent in her idea to film it. Like something by Shirley Clarke, but w/out the artistry.
Elles se prennent moins au sérieux que l'endroit ne le laisse à craindre : http://venusia.ch/ Quant au film, les coupures au noir sont agaçantes et rompent la continuité. === The place is dodgy but the 2 girls do not take seriously: http://venusia.ch/ As for the film cuts to black are annoying and break the continuity.
An interesting experiment on how to bore Mubi viewers. Someone should just put the word "documentary" on the synopsis. And save future reviewers from the tedious job of confirming just how bad prostitutes and madames are playing the roles of... prostitutes and madades. Reality is so lame.
I'm always gratified to see a movie about authentic & abundant relationship between two women, especially beyond generation. Lazily easygoing prostitute & practical brothel madam talk about whether you believes fortune-teller or not, what do you wanna do at sea, aftermath of economic recession etc. Since being very minimal style with fixed & long-take, "Venusia" captures their joy, anxiety & sadness delicately. GREAT
After all, it really does come down to this doesn't it? The mundane grind of existence. When told in such stark terms, we are all whores are we not? Anyway, this is surely the most interesting space of a brothel and I'd rather have a chat about life with these two women than have their bodies for an hour at any price...with all due respect to the beauty of their legs and thighs.
Taking place wholly within one location and using a bare minimum for a cast, the film allows language to take center stage. The conversation never goes into exposition and the clips along, treating you like a peer who knows these women personally already. Venusia remains fresh and tells the story of the two women gracefully, providing stellar moments between the two. A very believable pair on screen.
3.5 Lovely to watch and listen to this excellent, quirky, quiet slice of backstage life. Chantal Akerman would approve. The logistics of managing a brothel are similar to any small business: finding employees who are conscientious and punctual; dealing with bills and taxes; making marketing decisions; anticipating seasonal fluctuations in cash flow. You can't expect your employees to love you, only to respect you.