We need more directors willing to take risks with films like Get Out.
As the new Europe edges uncertainly toward its future, the parts uneasily eye the whole. There are not only the obvious problems of language and culture, but also ideas about work and love and art.
"Meeting Venus" uses an international opera production as a way of showing them all in collision.
The story takes place in Paris, where a new production of "Tannheuser" is contemplated. The conductor (Niels Arestrup) is from Hungary. The diva (Glenn Close) is a temperamental superstar from Sweden. The baritone is a rotund East German who thinks mostly about obtaining hard currency to use in his auto-painting business. When his voice fails, his substitute is an insipid American who is constantly reminded of how things were done differently, and better, in previous productions he has been involved in.
And then there are, of course, the musicians, and the members of the chorus, and the stagehands and electricians and painters and property masters, all members of unions that are ferociously protective of their contracts. And in the front office, management tries to keep everyone happy by taking no clear position on anything.