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FilmFemme's Feminist Take on BAISE MOI!!

Published at: May 25, 2001, 2:24 a.m. CST

Hey, everyone. "Moriarty" here with some Rumblings From The Lab.

Well, Hercules The Strong can feel free to cockblock me all day with the lovely Alexandra DuPont if he wants, because I have the even lovelier FilmFemme to keep me company, thanks very much. One of our regular chatters and a filmmaker in her own right, it occurred to me that Femme would be the perfect person to send to a second press screening of BAISE MOI (RAPE ME), which is still rolling out around the country right now. Personally, I didn't care for the film, but not because I was offended. I just didn't see much point. As I was hoping, Femme had her own very distinct take on the film, and I think she's done a bang-up job for her first time here at AICN. Check it out...

Take off those male gaze goggles; hold onto your hats and glasses. You are about to go on a humpy ride.

Women in France have made progress over the course of time, from the bread riots of the French Revolution to Alice Guy Blache, the first French female director. Now co-directors and screenwriters Virginie Despentes (working from her novel with the same title) and Coralie Trinh Thi make their mark with BAISE MOI.

I brought my friend J with me to see this flick. He and I have created ten shorts together, we are the filmmaking crime duo, and I wanted to share this experience with him. We were the first ones there, then Mickey Cottrell showed up and we chatted a bit. Others began to file in as well, and lo and behold, 9 out of 10 were males. I spoke to other filmmakers (there were three there) as well as other reviewers (more of them than you could shake a stick at). J kept checking his watch, asking over and over again when they were going to start it. Finally, the film began...

Going into the film, I was a fright; I have this gag reflex when it comes to seeing porn, for some reason. But I wanted to see this film, to see women’s take on the Femme Fatale. Well, though I must admit that genitalia 8 feet tall are somewhat disconcerting, the film moved me. I felt empowered, as I did when I saw LA FEMME NIKITA.

I could tell by the way the subject matter was handled that we weren’t looking through the male gaze; we had a gaze of our own. I have read several other people's opinions, and some contend that it is triple-x quality porn. In my opinion, an X rating would be fair, but unlike vacuous porn, it had a story. Explicit sexual acts a la fellatio, cunnilingus, and penetration were a vehicle, not the purpose.

It was banned in France as well as in Ontario; cest la vie. I think the issues that men will have with it, along with those who banned it, are that the women aren’t the Femme Fatales of old; Manu (Raffaella Anderson) and Nadine (Karen Bach) are ruthlessly playing God without an attraction to a suave male lead. They are in control; they take what they want, whether it be sexually or through killing.

Men in films can kill without motive; women, on the other hand, to take a life must have been harmed by the person they killed 99% of the time. You would think that by reading other reviews that this was a film about women killing men, which makes me chuckle. They were equal opportunity killers; they killed both genders.

I believe that Anderson and Bach were perfect for the parts. Both have been porn actresses, so playing a prostitute (Bach) or a porn actress (Anderson) wasn’t a huge stretch. Many actors practice method, but these women have lived the lifestyle, and it comes across on the big screen. The main flaw of the film overall is that Nadine (Bach) and Manu (Anderson) really don’t have any redeeming qualities, making them anti-heroines. Through their friendship, you see them as people, not just cold hearted killers, but you never really root for them. Their goal is nondescript as well.

Manu (Anderson) is abused by her brother, sees a friend of hers getting killed, and is raped (penetration is shown) along with another friend. She handles the situation with an eerie calm, taking it as the other girl screams for mercy. Though the scene will make you wince, it sets things in motion. Her brother asks who did it to her, and when she doesn’t reply, he states that she probably enjoyed it or asked for it. She shoots him and runs off with his ten thousand francs. Through it all, Manu displays the same calm as within the rape scene.

Nadine (Bach) has seen too many injustices within her surroundings, and after a verbal disagreement with her roommate, she kills her. This scene seemed somewhat out of place, and the purpose behind her actions are opaque. Both women have been used and abused by society. Manu kills Nadine’s lecherous friend along with a few others, and then kidnaps Nadine. The two of them wind up killing a woman at an ATM machine and withdrawing cash. At first, Nadine reveals she felt sad, then sick, then empowered, which leads them on their wild road trip, killing and screwing at whim, without any provocation.

The ending petered out, and I expected more than I received. It lacked the substance that was merited in my opinion. But this film is very avant garde, breaking rules and moral codes with every moment. I won’t say that the cinematography was stellar, nor the editing Oscar-worthy, but I will say that these filmmakers have broken previously laid conventions, and for that I applaud Despentes and Thi. They show female characters can be more than victims of love or violence; they can take justice into their own hands, or cold-heartedly commit murder. The film is a satire, balanced with dark comedic moments, serious moments, extreme sexuality, action and violence, and is not for those faint of heart.

So now you can assume one of three things...

1. I like French films with female protagonists in the action genre

2. I am an angry feminist filmmaker frustrated by my plight.

3. I thoroughly enjoyed it.

You are guaranteed to dislike it if you are one of the following: a misogynist, a prude, looking for a blockbuster summer hit to watch, or scared of a film that challenges the status quo of women in society.

You are guaranteed to like it if you are one of the following: a prude with an open mind (such as myself), a fan of simple beautiful raw stories (ala Charles Bukowski), someone who likes dangerous women (ala Russ Meyers) or who likes French girls with guns, or if you are a French girl with a gun or a feminist looking to dispel the male gaze.

Readers Talkback

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  • May 25, 2001, 3:20 a.m. CST

    Still, it doesn`t amount to much

    by Cafeman

    The movie didn`t shock me, but besides the porn there really isn`t much to speak of, theer is some, more than in most pornos, but still not much...if this movie didn`t have porn, nobody would even hear about it...and that`s a fact

  • May 25, 2001, 3:46 a.m. CST

    Banned in Ontario??

    by FPWorm

    That's news to me... Maybe someone should tell all the theatres that are playing it here?

  • what, exactly, is empowering about women being ruthless killers? in the same way that henry: portrait of a serial killer is empowering?

  • May 25, 2001, 4:54 a.m. CST

    Empowerment...

    by The Pardoner

    ... makes small people feel big - be they women, minorities, idiots, children, old people, or white males aged 18-45.

  • May 25, 2001, 5:39 a.m. CST

    yeah of course

    by BComing

    of course this film is empowering to women like henry is to men. yeah, men can have films which imspire them to rape their sister and kill people they meet on the street, so why the hell can't women!!! yeah, go on women, go kill some dick and rape your brother and daddy and mummy. yeah go for it!! the world is fucked. do women really want to be as bad as us? is that it? i don't understand. i don't think i will ever see this movie. number one i don't think it will be readily available to me and i am not interested in these kind of stories, be they male or female. so i say, if women want to be as bad as us, if they want to have stupid shit to help make them feel better, then good on them. let's make it more equal. shitty violent junk films for men and women NOW!!! the world is fucked.....

  • May 25, 2001, 5:57 a.m. CST

    Re: Jed and Empowering

    by Wolfsbane

    Maybe it was empowering to her the way so many men seem to find the ultraviolent films of Stallone and Schwarzenegger empowering? Perhaps seeing women acting just the same way as so many male action stars made her feel she might not have to take some of the crap that life throws at her, just as men say it makes them feel after watching a Rambo or a Commando type movie.

  • May 25, 2001, 6:09 a.m. CST

    SO let me get this straight...

    by PKD

    If this movie is empowering, then shouldn;t action films be empowering to men? And isn't it exactly those films that feminists will argue perpetuate misogynist attitudes? If anything, a film like this (and a review like this) gives justification for men to feel the thrill that they do in seeing their favorite action hero blowing someone's brain's out. I don't believe that women should always be portrayed according to the traditional archetypes, but to say that a film as amoral as this was "empowering" is scary. This is "Taxi Driver" for women. Is there something I missed? Should I have been empowered by DeNiro's psychotic actions? Are you talking to me?

  • May 25, 2001, 6:12 a.m. CST

    Interesting....

    by Darth Pixel

    As a film maker, and more importantly a film-lover, I found this to be somewhat enlightening. I rarely have the chance to get a female prospective of films. Most of the women that I know are not really into them. And even the women who are into them rarely give me an opinion on a film as thorough as this. Add her to the crew, Harry. She is quite a catch.

  • In some ways, we cannot understand the thrill a woman must feel watching women onscreen take their vengeance without concern for what is socially acceptable. As men, it is impossible to understand the social strains that may feed the need in women for this kind of empowerment.

  • May 25, 2001, 6:41 a.m. CST

    context much appreciated

    by Hud

    Thanks to FilmFemme for placing "Baise Moi" in context among films like those of Russ Meyers. I haven't yet seen "Baise Moi," but it sounds like an uninhibited version of the great bad-girl cheapies of yesteryear and the Julie Strain-type quickies being churned out today. In which case, the randomness of the violence and the lack of logical precedent for the on-screen action is what makes these films truly watchable. These films dump "backstory," and well they should: it's a tedious concept that obliges the movie to constantly explain itself. Take that necessity away, and the movie is free to be a jarring juxtaposition of harshly conflicting parts and images, just like a dream. Bunuel worked from the same premise: throw out everything that can be rationally explained. The result is a movie you have to really watch. You can't sit back and be more clever than the film, anticipating or guessing where it will go next. Neither can you perch yourself at some aesthetic distance admiring the photography or some other such dilettantism. The more the movie is like your unconscious and less like your consciousness, the more disturbing it is and the less digestible. Which means that it is likelier to consume you than you consume it, and for that it is much closer to art than the great body of movies that are schematically worked out with their "plot points" and "backstory," almost anticinematic concepts that destroy any chance the film has of astonishing you.

  • May 25, 2001, 7:46 a.m. CST

    Why a gag reflex to porn? If sex is just a natural act, and you

    by Sith Witch

    and for all feminists who think that all porn is strictly male-oriented, think again: There is and always has been porn from a feminine perspective, made by female directors. It may be a tad harder to find, but it is out there and cherished by many I know. There is a great website geared exclusively to cataloguing and linking people to places where titles can be purchased. I cannot wait to see this movie though since it may be finally pushing film into a new direction, one that is more honest with society and does not present a false reality to its audience.

  • May 25, 2001, 8:47 a.m. CST

    Holy shit! A seemingly thought-provoking talkback.

    by lostoptimist

    Never thought I'd see the day where people would actually talk about something other then subtextual-inaccuracies or vent over a filmmaker's track-record. To add my my nickel to the current conversation, tho, I'd just like to say that--As far as empowerment goes--Women bring different baggage to the table than men. There are cultural forces at play, not to mention biological ones (and I'm talking about how hormones effect the brain, not the size of one's appendage), that psychologically make women COGNITIVELY think differently than men. As such, their ability to relate, empathize and feel is different than most (not all) men's. Basically, women are not men and men are not women (duh), and therefore the sexes will never be equal or see things in the same way. We, as men, may be able to understand what the women are saying and thinking but can we feel exactly the same way, think exactly how they think? I doubt it. I could be wrong...I mean, Transsexuals open an entire new door but, uh, that's a whole other conversation. Anyhow, back to a seldom but definitely appreciated talkback.

  • May 25, 2001, 8:49 a.m. CST

    Oh, yeah...FilmFemme

    by lostoptimist

    Thanks for the review. Enjoyed it (obviously).

  • May 25, 2001, 9:27 a.m. CST

    Rape onscreen

    by Truculence

    Hmm. Well, from the perspective of a raging feminist who has had to deal (albeit peripherally) with rape, the thought of watching a rape scene with actual penetration makes me think that whatever follows will probably NOT make me feel empowered......I already feel that rape as a concept is something sort of exploited by entertainment--it's been turned into a sort of narrative construction rather than what it really is (need a damaged woman--make her a rape victim! need the bad guy to be really, really bad--have him rape somebody!), and the thought that now I can see it with ACTUAL GENITALS AND ACTUAL SEX! just makes me think that I will deeeefinitely not be seeing this one. Although admittedly, I haven't seen the movie--anybody who has, feel free to comment.

  • May 25, 2001, 10:01 a.m. CST

    Ah...the glory of Talkbackers talking before they think (once ag

    by Massawyrm

    For all those throwing around the term empowerment, and mixing it in with names like stallone, listen up. You're not listening to the lady. Baise Moi (actually having seen it) is not empowering because of the violence and sex. On the contrary, this film is a parody of such things, ultra violent only for the sake of making an allusion to said Misoginistic vehicals. But not attacking the fact that they are misoginistic, instead it attacks the very nature of the anti-hero itself. These women are anti-heroes to Parody the concept, not glorify it. This film is empowering because the women get all their power through male perception. These women accomplish what they do because men are not afraid of them. When they approach men, in the form of a sexual advance, the men do not hesitate. Much like the charecter from a porn film, they go with it, indulging in the male fantasy, ending up at the business end of a pistol for their lack of caution. This film makes the point that Women are just as capable as men of such attrocities, only even more so, as we as men percieve them as not capable of it. But this movie isn't just a feminist statement, it is a balls out attack on the notion of the anti-hero in films. This is why these girls have no redeeming values. Because part of the whole story is the very flawwed nature of our anti-heroes. They are not heroic, they are not likeable and most of all, things do not end up like we hope for them. It is a story that ends the only way it should, and that is the true power of the film. Don't for one minute that this is a femiist joyride ala Thelma and Louise laquered in an ultra violent venear. No, this is a powerful film in its own right, with multiple layers to be examined. Hell, I saw it monday, and I'm still working through some of the concepts. Its just great cinema. Now get off your misoginist battle wagons and cut the lady some slack boys. Once you've seen the film come back and talk about male empowerment through ultra violence...your argument will no doubt be hollow, because this movie doesn't glorify that kind of film. It shreds it.

  • May 25, 2001, 10:21 a.m. CST

    I hate these talkbacks, but that first headline goaded me into i

    by apocalypso

    I can't speak for FilmFemme, but having a gag reflex for a certain variety of entertainment is totally comprehensible to even my brutally, unrepentantly male point of view. I myself am not a big fan of porn, as most of it is rather pathetic. It's unimaginative, embarassingly pre-adolescent, and rarely sensual. Me, I have a strong gag reflex to "Malcolm in the Middle," for many of the same reasons. I find the mindset it endorses to be of the lowest order, espousing a nonchalant callousness and emotional desperation I find a bit stomach-churning. No, I don't take it all that seriously, but if forced to intellectualize my gut reaction to such material, well, there you go. Frankly, being repulsed by porn, well, it very well may be a sign of a person who is an emotionally underdeveloped, weakwilled prude. It may also be a sign of someone who is aware of the true power of sex and sensuality, and is disgusted by the porn industry's devotion to the simple-minded nonsense that constitutes the average eleven year-old's concept of kinkiness. In other words, the poeple who make and watch porn seemingly have never had a decent lay, the concept of which is depressing. Oh, well, enough is enough, my Schlitz and Lucky Strikes are running low, and, besides, "Passions" is on...

  • May 25, 2001, 10:25 a.m. CST

    forgot to mention...

    by apocalypso

    I forgot to mention, I will be first in line when this sucker hits a theater near me. Why? Cuz I love revenge flicks, the more unforgivingly amoral the better. Revenge is an instinct Hollywood seeks to justify to a ridiculous extent. In truth, it is usually motivated by an unconscious, unquantifiable rage, the product of innumerable experiences. And I dig it.

  • May 25, 2001, 10:35 a.m. CST

    "It's unimaginative, embarassingly pre-adolescent, and rarely se

    by Goodchild

    Sounds like some of the talkbackers... esp. the first few. Anyway, wonderful review, and I'm glad some open-minded intelligence found its way to this thread.

  • May 25, 2001, 11:01 a.m. CST

    Am I a prude?

    by Chickenfat

    I consider myself a feminist and a supporter of feminist art, but I do not want to watch film that features graphic rape. (Or any rape for that matter) Does that make me a prude? is that a failure on my part? I haven't seen this film, obviously, but it seems to me that aversion is a valid response to ultraviolence. I don't know if that makes me unsophisticated or whatever, but I find depections of rape harrowing and upsetting and am not interested in being exposed to them. I am suspicious of any film which claims to be amoral, violent, sickening etc. and justifies that by what has gone before, or claims to be "ironic" about its attitude. If it walks like a duck and quacks like a duck.... That said, enjoyed the review and the talkback, this is what makes Harry's site the best.

  • May 25, 2001, 11:06 a.m. CST

    To each his/her own, but...

    by Sith Witch

    my wife and I share a very satisfying and adventurous sexual relationship, and still find the time to enjoy porn (she has hers, I have mine, sometimes we watch together). To all you who say supporters of porn are immature are being a little naive. No, porn is not a substitute for the glories of sex, but it IS a fabulous staple to enhance it. People who are comfortable with their sexuality, both exploring it and understanding it usually lead more productive, less stressful lives...but then again, maybe you do not. Hey, some people are visual people, some are mental people, and some are emotional people, or a combination of all three. Believe me, having been through many marriage/human sexuality courses, I know the general logistics of these things. As for me and my wife, we are both visual people (hence her being an artist and me a filmmaker), thus porn probably appeals more to us than some others, but we still value the actual intimacy as the deep mental and emotional act it is.

  • May 25, 2001, 11:08 a.m. CST

    So why is it that when males go on a bloody rampage of sex and v

    by AtomoPrime

    Would it not be a better argument for equality of the sexes to damn both equally for the same actions? Even if they were French? This movie seems to bring out the hypocrisy in viewers. The main characters in FALLING DOWN and HENRY: PORTRAIT OF A SERIAL KILLER are not heroes. Both had been through the ringer of society and snapped along the way, but was what they did justified? It seems like the makers of this flick simply rewrote I SPIT ON YOUR GRAVE and MS. 45 (and

  • May 25, 2001, 11:38 a.m. CST

    Banned In Ontario???

    by joyrider4

    This filmed Premiered here (Toronto International Film Festival) over a year ago honey. It has been playing in 2nd run movie houses since. It may be too much for the major theatres to carry; not that anyone would go, but it certainly got more play here than you seem to be aware of. THX Joyrider4 P.S. This flick stank. The acting stank. The ending stank. By the time I got out of there my brain even stank. The word porn should not be used to describe it. I don't know people who get off watching rape scenes, but I'm sure if you go to the X-rated section of any video store there isn't any Rape section.

  • May 25, 2001, 1:01 p.m. CST

    Boise Moi....My Ass!!!

    by DrunkenLoudMouth

    I happen to have a region 2 DVD of BOISE MOI and can state unequivocally that it is a whole dung load of CRAP! Hey...don't get me wrong, I like revenge flicks, women with guns, and porn just as much as any undiscriminating viewer. I can even sit through an art film without fidgiting. My problem with this flick has nothing to do with femminism...it's just poorly directed and filmed. I felt it was amateur night at the movies. At least with porn I expect bad film quality, direction and acting. With this turkey I got all three but in the context of trying to be a "real" movie. Well...it's not a real movie in my opinion. Most of us could film better home movies than this. What's with that horrible grainy film stock anyway? I guess being one step beyond porn doesn't make you a director and it certainly doesn't make this a "real" film. Go back to film school!

  • May 25, 2001, 1:10 p.m. CST

    Dunce Cap

    by DrunkenLoudMouth

    Yeah...okay, I spelled that damn french title wrong. But really, WHO CARES! The "movie" still stunk. It just shows I have to stop drinking this early in the morning. GLUG...GLUG!

  • May 25, 2001, 3:13 p.m. CST

    As A Male (A Male and Half In My Case) I Don't Find Action Films

    by Buzz Maverik

    Sometimes they're even sort of insulting. I found AMERICAN BEAUTY empowering, but not for the Meen Suvari teen queen thing you might think (I've always preferred older women or women around my own age, call me weird, call me strange) but because the Kevin Spacey character takes charge of his life and does what he wants to do, which is why he can turn Meena down at the end. Some have said that the film is hypocritical because we're supposed to dislike the Annette Benning character for having an affair and target shooting, but that's when the character became likable to me. Kevin's character even said in the drive thru scene that he wanted her to be happy. Also, I don't dig porn. It's not the acts, it's the way their presented. It's the vibe, ya know? I like this talkback. This must be where the intelligent people hang out. Up on the PEARL HARBOR talkback they're not getting me. Lots of filmmakers talkbacking here, huh? I'm a filmmaker who doesn't actually make films. Speaking of action films and men, I've written a screenplay for something so simple I could shoot myself if I had a little dough. It's a script about mind control called MARIONETTE and I've tried to be clever in that I've written all these set ups for action but the characters solve their problems in other (hopefully) interesting ways, simply because I cannot afford to film action and might do the sucker guerilla style some day soon. Good luck with your films.

  • May 25, 2001, 3:20 p.m. CST

    I am Not DuPont...here are my answers to tb's.

    by FilmFemme

    First off I would like to wish my fellow filmmakers best of luck with their endeavors and happy filmmaking. I know plenty of women that enjoy pornography, but I am not one of them. I don't think it is necessarily man oriented. I just don't dig it. Maybe it is because I was traumatized. An ex-boyfriend of mine when I was 19 and naive decided to throw one in when he said he was going to throw another flick in, it was "Alice and Anal land." I almost puked, literally. It was the sickest thing I had ever seen. Mind you I grew up in a very conservative town, with very conservative parents, I didn't even see my first R-rated film until I was 18. Second experience was I was taking my friend J somewhere and his father asked me if I was a good girl. I said I guess. Then he turned on a porn, and said does that bother you. And you know there is something wrong with both case scenarios. I would rather do than watch. Personal opinion here. Though it did premier in Toronto, and was approved by the provinces of Quebec and British Columbia, Ontario wouldn't show it unless it was edited. REMSTAR according to their press release is not willing to cut it. Drunken Loud Mouth it was shot on DV and transferred to film. So, it's actually pixilated Also, the reviews interestingly enough that are in favor of the film are mostly female. Susan Gerhard, of the San Francisco Bay area Guardian stated "BAISE MOI may be just too hot for France...or too violent, or maybe too pornographic, or just too female... PKD and others action films with men as the heroes are male empowering. I have seen many a film with my boyfriend, my dad and my best friend. I have seen the excitement in their eyes regarding what is being lain out in front of them on screen. I have no issues with men as action heroes, or films about men, but BAISE MOI is a fresh take on the action genre. And you can't compare TAXI DRIVER with it, because Travis (DeNiro) is practicing vigilante justice, he has a purpose behind his killing. All that he has killed or attempted to there is a reason. With BAISE MOI they kill because they want to, not out of any sense of moral order. A general rule of thumb for lead characters is that they should be someone you wish you could be, someone you wish you knew, or someone like you. Manu and Nadine are neither of these things, because they are anti-heroes. I believe that the film could have worked without actual sexual penetration, but the fact that they had it made more controversy and created more press for them. It made some of the scenes have more of an impact. It is empowering to me, because woman can be just as lethal, just as Fucked up as men, but in cinema it is hardly ever shown. These women aren't victims (though they have been abused by society) they are aggressors, they take what they want, without thought. A friend of mine that worked for a governmental agency once said to me that they learn, that when dealing with terrorists males can usually be talked out of the situation more readily than women, that women's maternal instinct transposes itself to the cause, they are fanatical and the cause becomes their child, they have no choice but to take them out because they will die for it. Trucelence/Chickenfat, I wasn't meaning that the rape was empowering. Rape is never empowering, and I too have issues with it in film. Since someone compared it to TAXI DRIVER I will say this, like Travis' character who has experience injustice (via a Vietnam vet), Manu is powerful, she takes it and is unwilling to be broken like her friend. There is a line after it where she says something to the effect "they can't hurt me, I don't hold anything dear they can touch in my pussy, their prick can't hurt me." She though rendered powerless remains in control, yes a violent act is being committed against her, but when the guy tries to get her to move to please him she says something to the effect "you are raping me, it's your prick doing the work" the man unable to complete his gratification gets off of her...all three men leave, her friend is damaged. She can't handle what happened (and who in their right mind could), she calls Manu a bitch, for not doing anything, and letting them have their way with them. In actuality the girls where powerless, out weighed out sized by the men as well as outnumbered. Manu wields her gun not as a victim but as an aggressor. It is empowering because Despentes and Thi broke cinematic ground with the film, these women weren't victims lashing out. They weren't logical about their killing. They killed because they wanted to. The first act of murder on Manu's part was however do to the fact she was sick of her brother abusing her with words as well as with his hand. After that all acts of violence, were just violence. The great thing apocalypso is that Despentes and Thi don't try to justify it. AtomoPrime, these women are monsters and they are deviants. And from what I gather we watch films as a form of escapism to a different world to a different reality. Another film that you didn't mention is AMERICAN PSYCHO, which was also directed by a woman. I saw it because a lot of feminists were angry with it. Which makes sense, because first off it was all in his imagination (or was it?) and the women are as interesting and as dynamic as a cardboard box. The women were unwitting victims (much like both males and females in BAISE MOI). But to me it was more of a take on a woman's perception of what she thinks men view women as. Not stating this is how both men and women are. It was more like this is my perception of what men are thinking about women. In the film the lead says something like "There is no such thing as an intelligent girl that is hot, intelligent girls are just making up for the looks they lack." BAISE MOI It was empowering, because the women were not victims (though they were victimized), they were aggressors, it showed a new dynamic to the female character.

  • May 26, 2001, 3:40 p.m. CST

    ummmm, natural born killers anyone?

    by Gentle_Fury

    ok, for starters this review is very hypocritical. Starts off by saying that all female characters have to be victims to be killers.......ummmmmm hmmmmmm, if im not mistaken the name of the movie is RAPE ME!!! the main character.......the killer, was raped!!! ummm, wouldnt that mean she was a victim??? And to say it is empowering to see a woman comitting violent acts with no regard or purpose is just silly!! I mean come on!! if the movie had the exact same script only with male leads you would have said it was nothing more than a meaningless adrenalin and penis driven action porn and deamed it as useless cinema, but make it two women that go around senselessly killing and fuckin everyone in sight and its "art". Sad!!! very ignorant!! Did we happen to see Natural Born Killers???? that was a couple that go around killing people.....why, because they were both abused and she was raped on a daily basis by her father. That movie had a point, didnt need to be a porn to get contraversy it relied on a story and visual feast!! Tell me, was that movie empowering??? The mallory character was a free minded woman that had enough and decides to go on a killing spree...... but tell me, did the fact that she does things out of love (yes if you really pay attention this is a love story at its root) make you feel like it wasnt empowering?? and why is anyone portraying senseless acts of violence empowering?????? Erin Brockovich is an empowering movie.....not some porn with violence thrown in to make it more controverial!!!!

  • May 26, 2001, 5:31 p.m. CST

    easy to categorize

    by m.i.r.k.o

    I saw the film recently and I can't share your (the article's) optimism (sorry). Let me say first, that I really liked "La Femme Nikita", "Thelma and Louise", etc. But this film simply doesn't belong in the same category as these. It was just a simple porn movie (sorry again). The way it was "filmed" was so voyeuristic and cheap that its purpose can't have been other than to show butts and blood (and more...). The actors were bad (to put it mildly) and the dialogues must have been a joke (given that this were supposed to be a real movie). To me there was absolutely nothing feminist about this. Quite the opposite. Nothing but an exploitation of what might have been an interesting starting point. To me this piece of ...well... is not a scandalous picture, like "The Last Tango in Paris" or "Empire Of The Senses", just bad (and ridiculous on top of it) porn. By the way, I'm male (in case anyone's interrested...)

  • May 27, 2001, 9:43 a.m. CST

    Everythings seems to be "empowering" these days.

    by Bottacelli

    Among the people who have claimed that they are trying to encourage women's liberation or "girl power" are: Hugh Hefner, the Spice Girls, Britney Spears, Madonna, Sir Mixalot, Destiny's Child, TLC, the list goes on. All of the aforementioned people make a profit off of their "empowering" work (except for maybe TLC), so I think there are some ulterior motives involved. As for BAISE MOI, it sounds to me as if some director thought it would be a great idea to make a smutty film, portray it as a "legitimate" film (as they tried to do with CALIGULA) and rake in the dollars. This movie might eventually be banned in nearly every country, but that would just make it more attractive to some viewers. A lot of money could be made off of this, all in the name of "empowerment." As for me, I don't find anything empowering about senseless violence and emotionally unfulfilling sex.

  • May 27, 2001, 12:03 p.m. CST

    It's just a weak exploitation flick.

    by virkku

    Let's face the facts: Baise Moi is badly written, badly directed and badly acted. The fact that it has HC sex in it doesn't make it any better. The violence is kind of tame by today's standards, but there is some HC sex to give it shock value. Baise Moi doesn't have much depth in it. It's just an exploitaion flick and has the substance of an exploitation flick. Of course you can read all kinds of hidden meanings and symbolism even in Plan 9 From Outer Space or Speed 2. Just take your time and you can turn even the most horrible piece of cinema to seem something more substantial than it actually is. If Baise Moi wouldn't have any HC sex in it, nobody would have noticed it.

  • May 27, 2001, 12:43 p.m. CST

    by audiris

    i saw this film a couple of months ago already when it got released in europe. i only went to see it because i wanted to know what the fuss was all about. and i just don't get it. you have a couple of close ups of penetrations, so what? it has all been done before (lars von trier's the idiots comes to mind) and it didn't bother me at all. but the real problem i had was that this movie is just a incredibly bad. i realise that most of english viewers will have to go by the subtitles, because they do not understand french, but to me these dialogues were absolutely laughable. the same goes for the acting, i constantly had the feeling that here was a couple of porn actors who decided to make a 'real' movie, but constantly fell back on their old hardcore habits, for lack of knowing better. instead of making porn they just made trash. and it just doesn't deserve all the publicity it gets and there are so many better movies out there that will never get released.

  • May 27, 2001, 7:04 p.m. CST

    yeah, baned in Ontario is bullshit. Stupid Mike Harris!!!

    by Tall_Boy

    can we get our hands on this through DVD or Video or will they not even sell it? cashcarstar69@hotmail.com

  • May 28, 2001, 2:56 p.m. CST

    GRRRRRRR

    by Randall Flagg

    Ok.. this is the first time this personal pet peeve has come out in an AICN talkback.... It's not an ATM Machine. It's an ATM or an Automatic Teller Machine or if you prefer an AT Machine. Saying ATM Machine is saying Automatic Teller Machine Machine. Also, it's not a PIN Number. It's a PIN or it's a Personal Identification Number or a PI Number. It's NOT a Personal Identfication Number Number, is it? Would you say VCR Recorder? Would you say the MPAA Association?! No!!! So stop saying ATM Machine!!!!!!!!!!

  • May 29, 2001, 7:15 a.m. CST

    BAISE doesn't translate to RAPE

    by Gherkin

    I think it's odd that this film is being promoted as "Rape Me" in the US when "baise" doesn't really translate to "rape". When I lived in France, I heard the word used to mean "f***" - without implying rape. If you look it up in a French dictionary, you'll see the same thing. Did they just want it to be more controversial? Did they just want it to sound like a Nirvana song? Maybe they wanted a title that people wouldn't hesitate to speak or print. However, I think there's a big difference between F-Me and Rape Me.

  • May 29, 2001, 8:50 a.m. CST

    My Girlfriend loves porno.....

    by Darth Pixel

    But I do not. I am more into James Cameron films.

  • May 29, 2001, 5:03 p.m. CST

    Gherkin, you are correct

    by FilmFemme

    Baise Moi translates into kiss me or fuck me, I guess American's are more comfortable with seeing the word Rape on a title, than fuck. Which personally I think is sad.