It’s been written off as porn in France, but for star RAFFAELA ANDERSON the revenge thriller Baise-Moi has changed her life.

Words: Tom Dawson

rthouse porn movie shocks even the lirench.’

was how one British broadsheet reported the

controversy over the release in lirance of the fetnale rape revenge fantasy liaise-lint. ()riginally it was granted a PCi-lb rating. but following fierce lobbying from the "family-values‘ pressure group Promouvoir. the government backtracked and withdrew the film's commercial certificate. causing the liaise-Moi to be pulled frotn cinemas after just three days. (As a compromise the state reclassified first it as an X. and then as an IR).

This side of the Channel. the British Board Of

Film Classification has praised the film for ‘its serious cultural purpose‘. and so liaise-lint (whose title translates as Fuck Me though the filmmakers prefer the less of a come-on Rape Me) is finally being distributed in Britain.

()ne of its lead actresses. Raffaela Anderson. believes that it caused such furore across the Channel. primarily because it was about women characters and because it was made by women with no formal qualifications. "l‘he idea that these women should have any power is anathema.’ says Anderson. ‘lf it had been tnade by an established auteur. it would have been applauded and it would have won a prize at Cannes and it would have been described as subversive.‘

Anderson herself was spotted by Buisv-Moi's co- director Virginie Despentes in a hardcore porn flick called l:'.\'/iil)iti(m 9‘). Having been sent the source novel at that stage there was no screenplay Anderson was unenthusiastic about the project. ‘I didn‘t like the scenes of violence] says the petite. mixed-race. 25-year—old. ‘lispecially the one where a child is killed. I didn‘t want to do the sex scenes ~

28 THE LIST 97.22.71,. 2’

‘At first I’d approached it in the same way as I would a porn movie; M g I great close friendship wasn’t a piece of crap’


Faster pussycat, kill kil !

Baise-Moi, branded as porn in France

and there were many tnore in the book than in the finished film. And because there were so many points of contact between myself and the character. .\lanu. I felt I would be exposing myself and my private life

on the screen. liventually they offered me a lot of

money. and 1 said: “Oh yes. why not. it‘s a very interesting part.”

The three month preparation for Bruise-lint and the shoot itself were emotionally turbulent: Anderson and Despentes had many arguments. and the actress. along with co-star Karen Bach. took solace in alcohol. "l‘he atmosphere was amusing in a wayf she recalls. ‘lior the tnost part the actors were drunk. It was more like a children‘s game we were indulging in. rather than making a film.‘

Yet by the time the film became the focus of a frenzied debate about freedom of expression. and she found herself being verbally attacked on television programmes. Anderson's perspective towards liaise— .l/Iui had changed. ‘At first l‘d approached it in the same way as I would a porn movie.‘ she says. ‘(iradually I realised it wasn‘t a piece of crap. but that there was a lot more to it. because it dealt with this

between two women who share the same disgust with society. In order to be somebody in society. you have to have contacts or money. and these girls don't have either.’

Anderson remains reticent about her childhood background in the outskirts of Paris. although she admits that. like Manu. she herself was raped. tller autobiography. Hard. dwells only on the four years in which she was involved in porn films.) The experience of making liaise-.llui. however. has proved transformative. ‘I used to see myself as a victim of the porn industry. now I see myself as a woman] she says. ‘l'm writing another book and I‘m thinking about becoming a film director. Virginie has inspired me in my whole life. She took me out of the ghetto and put me in an honourable place.’

Selected release from Fri 10 May. See review, page 30.

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FORGET KEATON AND Chaplin, Edinburgh’s Filmhouse is screening a retrospective of the films of Italian king of comedy Toto. Laugh at the clown’s physical dexterity, verbal ingenuity and spot-on comic timing during Totally Toto, running from now until Sunday 26 May.

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opportunity to catch a screening of Hitchcock’s dark adaptation of Daphne Du Maurier’s classic Rebecca at Edinburgh’s Cameo Cinema Tuesday 21 May. The screening coincides with the publication of Sally Beauman’s book Rebecca’s Tale, which looks at Du Maurier’s greatest literary work. Beauman will give a talk after the screening.