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and Coralie Trinh Thi
At Visions Cinema Bistro Lounge
Dec. 14 to 16
There are two memorable lines in Baise-Moi, the banned-in-France shocker whose title is being politely translated as Rape Me, but it’s probably best not to reveal them. That’s not because they both contain the word “cunt”—only one does—but because the film is so short on wit that it would be uncharitable to spoil either of its bons mots. Widely compared to Thelma & Louise, this loosely scripted, sexually explicit account of two pissed-off female killers is actually more like Godard’s Pierrot le Fou, albeit with genitalia substituting for brains. (Godardian touches include some Brechtian dialogue and snippets from other films, notably Gaspar Noé’s I Stand Alone, which is far more disturbing than Baise-Moi.) The script is based on co-director Virginie Despentes’ own novel, which may contain some ideas, but onscreen the tale is reduced to 77 minutes of—with apologies to Liz Phair—fuck, kill, and run. The other writer-director, Coralie Trinh Thi, is a veteran of “adult” films, as are lead actresses Raffaela Anderson (as murderous porn star Manu) and Karen Bach (as murderous hooker Nadine). When the action begins, the women are unacquainted, living lives of orgasmic desperation in a downscale Paris suburb. One night, each cracks and kills someone and then heads to a commuter-rail station, where they happen to meet; Nadine, a smut fan who’s just dispatched her bourgeois roommate, recognizes Manu from her porno-flick career. Discovering that the last train to downtown has already left, the duo steal a car and begin their spree, slaying men because the guys (1) want to use a condom, (2) are rich, (3) ask the women to have sex with each other while they watch, or (4) are men. (There’s also a sex-club massacre where our heroines kill lots of women.) Baise-Moi has a certain appeal as the anti-Amélie, but Despentes and Trinh Thi’s provocation is more interesting in theory than in fact. —Mark Jenkins