From carnal to carnivorous, Beatrice Dalle in Trouble Every Day

She was the wild child of the 703 who always knew she was going to be a star. Fifteen years on from her screen debut, Betty Blue’s BEATRICE DALLE continues to court scandal with Trouble Every Day. Words: Richard Mowe

hat is it about Beatrice Dalle that invites

whiffs of contrm'ersy'.’ She‘s spent a lot of

her time naked on screen. thrashing around with assorted partners. she pouts incessantly. splodges on the eyeliner and has a louche dress sense. For her first job at 2| she fired up male fantasies as Betty Blue in steamy scenes with her equally athletic co-star Jean- Hugues Anglade. Before then she just hung out with friends without a care in the world. ‘But we all thought we were future superstars.‘ says Dalle. flashing a cinemascope stnile.

lnevitably. after the success of Berry Blue she was deluged with hundreds of scripts in which directors wanted her to continue playing girls with psychological problems and insatiable carnal desires. ‘There was not a single one where the guy allows me to leave my clothes on.’ she says. '11 was terrible.‘

Nevertheless. Dalle has maintained a cool screen persona. working with cult directors such as Abel Ferrara (The Blackout) and Jim Jarmusch (Night ()1: [fart/1). Dalle continues to suffer valiantly for her art‘s sake. except in Trouble livery Day she‘s progressed from carnal to carnivorous. In (‘laire Denis’ film. which caused ructions at this year‘s (‘annes l’ilm Festival on a par with those surrounding David (‘ronenberg’s ('rash. she plays a character with such an insatiable desire for sex that her boyfriend has to imprison her. Her (‘ore's love-making Usually ends in cannibalism. The publicity material promises ‘an obscene pile-tip of bost-coilal carnage'.

‘lt‘s really about a dance of desire and death.’ says Dalle. 'Maybe you do want to look away. htit l know

that (‘laire did not set out to shock. That's just not her

‘It’s really about a dance of desire and death - Claire Denis did not set out to shock, I was happy to go along with her extremes’

way of doing things. She‘s one of the most exciting directors working in France today. and that‘s why I was happy to go along with her extremes.‘ Dalle. who worked with the director previously on .l'ai pas~ sommeil. has a point; from 1998’s ('hoeolat to this year‘s celebrated Beau Travail. Denis has proved herself one of France's finest contemporary filmmakers.

Aligning herself with the mood of the moment is one of Dalle‘s fortes. At fifteen she left school in her home town of Le Mans and set off for London with a female friend. They were turned back by immigration officers at Dover because they had nowhere to stay and no money. so she settled in Paris. Dalle‘s career began when she ran into a friend on the Champs lilysees who asked her come to his photographic agency. At a petit live feet she was deemed too short for a catwalk model. but a magazine was keen to use her for a photo story. They liked the result so much that they adorned the cover with her sultry features. bringing her to the attention of filmmakers.

ller chequered personal and professional life keep France’s media gossips in material. She‘s been married and divorced. went through a period of personal instability during which she developed a penchant for hitting Parisian traffic wardens (she was twice arrested and convicted) and also was convicted of illegal drug use. She was declared an undesirable immigrant by the American Ambassador in France and denied a work permit to play Bruce Willis' wife in The Sixth Sense. because of two arrests for cocaine possession in Miami two years earlier while filming The Blackout.

Stripping off presents Dalle with few problems. but she prefers discretion. ‘Why did Monroe or Bardot make men dream so much‘.’ Because they wanted so tnuch to see them naked. but they never did completely. and so they fantasised about them.‘ she says. ‘This stuff about nudity is really something hanging over from the (i()s. There are still 40—year-old guys out there who think that a liberated woman is one without any clothes on. It's really old hippy shit.‘

Trouble Every Day, Filmhouse; Cameo, 24 Aug, 10.30pm.

I Dogtown And Z-Boys Stacy Peralta's hugely invigorating documentary, narrated by Sean Penn, about a group of skate punks from a run-down suburb of LA. See review. UGC, 24 Aug, 9pm; Cameo, 25 Aug, 72.453m. I Down From The Mountain Legendary rockumentary maker D.A. Pennebaker’s filming of the Nashville concert bringing together the top country musicians who performed on the soundtrack to the Coen brothers’ film 0 Brother, Where Art Thou? See review. Cameo, 24 Aug, 8pm, ,‘5 Aug, 5.30pm.

I Freaks First new print in twenty years of Tod Browning’s 30$ weirdo cult classic about the terrible revenge a group of wronged circus freaks exact on a trapeze artist and her strongman lover. See review. Cameo, 24 Aug, 7 2. 303m.

I The Man Who Wasn’t There The Coen brothers tackle hard- boiled crime in this moody. monochrome neo-noir tale of infidelity and revenge. starring Billy Bob Thornton, Frances McDormand and James Gandolfini. See panel. UGC, 25 Aug, 7pm.

I The Pledge + Sean Penn Reel Life The top actor of his generation comes to Edinburgh to give a masterclass and premiere his new film starring Jack Nicholson. See feature and panel. The Pledge, UGC, 23 Aug, 8.30pm; Sean Penn Reel Life, UGC, 24 Aug, 7pm.

I The rise and fall of lnternet company Goonrks is at the centre of this constantly fascinating documentary. See review. Cameo, 23 Aug, 8pm; 24 Aug, 5.30pm.

I La Ville est Tranquille (The Town Is Quiet) Robert Guediguian’s most ambitious and tragic work to date sees his hometown of Marseilles beset by racial tensions. the rise of the Far Right, social deprivation and civic corruption. Filmhouse. 25 Aug, 7pm.

3‘s All; (3 Sop 2001 THE LIST FESTIVAL GUIDE 27