The Death of Venus
Adonis: I’m not sure if you changed numbers or if you’re still using that dumb rotary phone, but it’s Adonis. I’m back in town. I know it’s been a while, but I’d love to see you again.[Venus steps out of the tub onto a shell rug and puts underwear on, resembling Botticelli’s “The Birth of Venus.”] [Screen switches to Venus smoking in her bed that night.] [She walks down the hall into the bathroom and picks up the phone, dialing Adonis.] [We cannot hear Venus speaking but the creators’ subtitles for her dialogue appear.]
Venus: I want to see you.
Adonis: Hello? Are you calling through your bathtub?
Venus: You can tell?
Adonis: Yeah. I can always tell. I didn’t think I’d be hearing from you.
Venus: Yet here we are.
Adonis: I’m free at seven tomorrow. Can I see you then?[Screen switches to show Adonis and Venus in a movie theater on a date. They kiss.] [Screen shows Venus and friend speaking conversing.]
Friend: So you’re seeing Adonis?
Venus: Adon, and maybe.
Friend: When are you planning on inviting him to dinner?
Venus: I’m not sure that I want to invite him to dinner.
Friend: Doesn’t that give you all the more reason?[Venus drops her cigar and sees herself in the mirror when she goes to pick it up.]
Venus: So this is what I look like falling into the pool of my favorite question.[Venus is sitting at her dinner table, with two plates set. The phone rings.]
Adonis, on the phone: Hey, I’m so sorry I’m late. There’s a ton of traffic. I’ve been on the same strip of highway for over an hour. Do you think we should just reschedule?
Venus: Yeah, that’s fine.[The screen shows her hands twisting the phone cord.]
Adonis: All right. Love you.[We see Venus’ lips move when she speaks for the first time.]
Venus: Love you too.[Venus hangs up the phone and looks across the table. She untucks her chair, gets up and switches sides of the table. She is now in what would be Adonis’ chair. She hesitantly picks up the fork, takes a bite of the green beans and falls into the plate. Screen shows her unblinking, face sideward on the table.] [Text reads: The death of Venus.]
Sabra Binder created “The Death of Venus” in Advanced Motion Picture Production: Double Exposure. The class pairs students from the Jacobs School of Music with students from The Media School to collaborate on a film.