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Tuesday, March 23, 2010

BAISE MOI, dir. virginie despentes & coralie trinh thi, 2000


after a chance encounter, two women embark on an explosive journey of sex and murder.


copious amounts of (unsimulated) sex, murder, rape, all at the hands of WOMEN. what? WOMEN? no, but really. apparently that's a big problem. for FRANCE.


controversy rating: 5/10
overall rating: 4/10

this was a huge disappointment for me. it had everything i had previously thought that i would want in a film: tough independent french babes and watching those tough independent french babes rob, fuck and kill dudes. unfortunately, nothing cohered and it ended up feeling like a mess that was maybe at one point near the beginning almost under control of the director, but not really. after a while of thinking about it, i realized that there was something about the specific style of the shots which i found to be the most grating and infuriating thing about the film. they were often unnecessarily close to the actors, and while this might be argued to have been done for some sense of immediacy or engagement with the (sexual and/or violent) events, to me it felt accidental and clumsy.

full disclosure: i did go home after watching baise moi and immediately look up porn that the one of the duo, karen lancaume, had starred in. here at CMC, we take our research very seriously.


controversy rating: 6/10
overall rating: 3/10

i was excited about this movie for a few pretty obvious reasons, mostly: badass girls on the run, killing and fucking the whole way? sounds like a rad movie, right? also, it was the first film to be banned in france in 28 years, and it was banned right here in ontario, as well. unfortunately, it's pretty boring.

honestly. i don't know what it says about me as a person or whatever when i'm bored by a film that includes rape, killing, and lots of unsimulated sex scenes. but the thing is, they're all executed pretty poorly, the movie comes off pretty sloppy, and in the end i didn't find it very effective. it's not that i'm annoyed, per se, by "gritty" or "amateur" looking films, at all; but a film still has to hold up underneath whatever kind of texture it's built on, and this one just doesn't.

which is shitty, too, because i think it has some really badass potential.

i feel similarly about this film as i did about gaspar noe's i stand alone (which even plays on a television set in the background of a scene in this film), and i won't go into too much detail about that right now since i have yet to review that film and will be. however, there's something irritating about the tone of both of these films. and i'm all for nihilism, so i'm confused as to what it is exactly that's bothering me. i'll have to think on it.

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