Date - 22/06/2008 | Days - Sunday
Time - GMT 19:00 | UAE 23:00
Director - Istvلn Szabَ
Actors - Glenn Close, Niels Arestrup
In MEETING VENUS, a Hungarian music director, Zoltan Szanto (Niels Arestrup), always perceptive of the sly slights of Western Europeans toward those from the East, arrives in Paris to conduct Wagner's TANNHؤUSER at an opera house beset with labor and union problems. In addition, the large multinational cast only adds to the confusion and ultimate chaos. Although she arrives a week late, the Swedish diva, Karin Anderson (Glenn Close), is at first warmly supportive of Zoltan and quells the complaining of the company. But when she falls into an affair with the married conductor, their passionate personal relationship spills over and has an contagious effect on the cast and crew. Close, her singing voice dubbed by Kiri Te Kanawa, gives a commanding, impressive performance as the emotional diva--she's as sweet as sugar and as hard as steel. When Zoltan goes with her for a weekend performance in Budapest, the close proximity of his mistress and his wife nearly causes him to have a nervous breakdown. He returns to Paris to find the opera company on the verge of collapse too. Szabَ, who cowrote the script--perhaps drawing on his own experience as a theater director in Paris some years earlier--clearly designed his film to reflect the problem of working with temperamental artists and also as an allegory of the problems the nations of Europe face as they try to form closer economic and cultural ties. While not as dramatic or sweeping a work on theatrical artists as his majestic MEPHISTO, MEETING VENUS is nonetheless a realistic look at the effort and sacrifice needed to produce an opera.