P U B L I C I T Y     I N F O R M A T I O N
RAFFAELA ANDERSON KAREN BACH DELPHINE McCARTY
LISA MARSHALL and ESTELLE ISAAC
music by VAROU JEAN
production designer BAUDOIN CAPET
editors ALIO AUGUSTE FRANCINE LEMAITRE VERONIQUE ROSA
director of photography BENOIT CHAMAILLARD JULIAN PAMART
produced by PHILIPPE GODEAU and ALAIN SARDE
screenplay by VIRGINIE DESPENTES and CORALIE TRINH THI
directed by VIRGINIE DESPENTES and CORALIE TRINH THI
Running Time: 87mins Certificate: 18
Cowan & Symes
Contact: Phil Symes
Tel: 0207 323 1200
Fax: 0207 323 1070
BAISE-MOI will open in the UK on May 3rd 2002
Based on the novel by Virginie Despentes of the same title. Manu and Nadine lose their last tenuous relationship with mainstream society when Manu gets raped and Nadine sees her only friend being shot. After a chance encounter, they embark on an explosive journey of sex and murder. Perhaps as revenge against men, perhaps as a revolt against bourgeois society, but certainly in a negation - almost joyful in its senseless violence - of all the codes of a society which has excluded, raped and humiliated them. Controversial for its violence and real sex scenes: a vividly nihilist road movie set in France.
In 1995, I sold the film rights to my novel BAISE-MOI to Philippe Godeau, who suggested that I direct the film myself. The project was set in motion: the problem was finding two actresses to play Nadine and Manu, the heroines. During this period, I got a taste of what it means to make a film. I learned the need to film characters, to give a physical face, a voice, a look and a body to what I had previously only imagined.
In 1999, I saw EXHIBITIONS 1999, (John B. Root), a docu-drama featuring interviews with ten French porn actresses. Karen and Rafaella stuck me immediately as the only choices for Nadine and Manu. I also called Coralie straight away: she barely paused, sharing my enthusiasm from the beginning.
We quickly wrote an adaptation which remained entirely true to the novel. Then met Karen and Raffaela, who were seduced by the project.
I proposed to Coralie that she co-direct the film as she both knew and understood the world I wanted to show, and because she had a vision that was entirely at one with my work.
She and I shared the vision of a feminist battle, an avant garde battle, as well as certain fondness for provocation.
Baise Moi is a brutal book, a troubled book. Nadine and Manu aren't "bad girls", they simply want to live, truly live, whatever it takes. An unfortunate combination of circumstances is all it takes to push them across the boundary between good and evil, the possible and the impossible. Music,violence, sex, the road, humour: it's all adrenalin, a sure way to avoid the worst fate of all: obedience, submission, renunciation of the self -boredom.
Music is everywhere in the book. We wanted to carve out an equivalent place in the film. Soundtrack duties were handed over to Var. Jan, a truly experienced musician and composer who understands perfectly my take on music. Music conveys raw emotions: it surrounds Nadine and Mann incessantly, echoing everything they feel.
They feel alive when they murder, but it's not as simple as that. A moment, a single misplaced gesture and the whole thing will collapse. The trigger pressed too late, through pity, through remorse. They are outlaws. No excuses, no explanations, no intellectualization.
They are close to us, because they are beyond judgement. Sensation, not thought.
When they fuck, they let themselves go, they feel alive. They don't ask why, they don't think about what will happen next. While it's happening, it feels good; they don't think about anything else: they are set free. To film the sex scenes "for real", without stand-ins, was vital, as this was the first time that women being fucked would be shown, but also a lot more than that. Time to finish with fragmentation. These scenes had to be real, to do that. Time to return their complete bodies to women, of which they have always been deprived.
To reclaim women's rights over their true sexuality, to seize it back from the male gaze. It's always men who have a problem with a woman's sex: that's their problem, not ours.
It was vital that the film should remain faithful to the spirit of the book. A blood-soaked road movie, but human, without artifice. Also, the decision to work with two directors, with a tiny crew, in natural light, on video, with non-professional actors who were nonetheless very close to their characters, with a hardcore soundtrack... all this came naturally. We had to get to the heart of things, to places normally avoided. We wanted to dig deep, in order to end up right inside.
- It's not my idea of literature.
- Nor mine.
(Sagan and Sollers on the book Baise-Moi)
It won't be their idea of cinema either.
Manu - Raffaela Anderson
Nadine - Karen Bach
Severine - Delphine McCarty
Karla - Lisa Marshall
Alice - Estelle Isaac
Martin - H.P.G
Architect - Marc Rioufol
Radouan - Ouassini Embarek
Barfly - Adama Niane
Blonde guy - Christophe Claudy
Francis - Patrick Eudeline
Lakim - Hacene Beddrouh
Rapist 1 - Philippe Houillez
Rapist 2 - Steven Jhonsson
Rapist 3 - Ian Scott
Nadine's client - Gil Stuart
Big guy - Karim Sabaddehine
Cute guy - Titof
Receptionist - Marc Barrow
Flasher - Rodolphe Amtrim
Gun shop assistant - Jean-Marc Mineo
Condom-wearing wanker - Gabor Rassov
Lady at cashpoint - Elodie Cherie
Barman - Tewfik Saad
Girl at the bar - Celine Beugnot
Guy in front of bar - Patrick-Kodjo Topou
Hoodlum - Simon Nahoum
Arsehole - Jean-Louis Costes
Philippe Godeau and Alain Sarde present
A film by Virginie Despentes and Coralie Trinh Thi
Screenplay Virginie Despentes and Coralie Trinh Thi
From the Virginie Despantes novel BAISE-MOI published by Grasset
Produced by Philippe Godeau and Alain Sarde
Assistant producers Beatrice Hureau and Emmannuelle Labonne
Financial director - Alexandre Mallet-Guy
Dirctors assistants - Ketal Guenin and Estelle Isaac
Locations manager - Jerome Dubusschere
Casting director - Jeanne Biras
Director of photography - Benoit Chamaillard Julian Pamart
Sound - Eric Boisteau Jacques Sans
Film editor - Ailo Auguste Francine Lemaitre Veronique Rosa
Production director - Baudoin Capet
Production manager - Joseph Martineau, Sylvain Cahen-Delabre
Clauss Gigli, David Caujolle, Sebastien Brun
Administrator - Anne Serrie
Set design - Irene Galiitzine, Paul Fayard, Christophe Mureau
Costume designer - Isabelle Fraysse, Magali Baret
Make-up - Charlotte Arguillere
Stunts advisor - Jean-Marc Mineo
Fight advisor - Christophe Maratier
Fight choreographer - Stephane Bourdon
Special effects - Guillaume Catagne, Perrine Poirier, Pierre-Paul Jayne
Frederic Laine, Christophe Chabenet
Original Music - Varou Jan
Music publisher - Pan-Europeenne Musique
Camera - VIDEO PLUS
Laboratory - V.D.M.
Synchronisation - D.C.A.
Sound material - TAPAGES
Editing - TELE EUROPE
Insurance Assurances - Continentales Audiovisual
With the participation of Canal +
A Pan-Europeenne Production - Les Films Alain Sarde co-production
International sales - Wild Bunch (a division of le Studio Canal +)
November 1994 BAISE-MOI
Publisher Editions Florent Massot
Second Edition - May 1999 Publisher - Grasset
Paperback Edition - September 1999 Publisher - J'Ai Lu
Also published in:
March 1996 LES CHIENNES SAVANTES
Publisher Editions Florent Massot
Paperback - September 1997 Publisher - J'Ai Lu Sales - 25,000
October 1998 LES JOLIES CHOSES
Publisher Editions Grasset
Winner of the Prix de Flore
September 1999 MORDRE AU TRAVERS
Adapted Screenplay of BAISE-MOI for Pan-Europeenne
Completed screenplay - SUGAR and SPICE for Pan-Europeenne
CORALIE TRINH THI
1997 Sombre dir. Philippe Grandrieux
Deja Mort dir. Olivier Dahan
1995 Parfait Amour dir. Catherine Breillat
Le Coeur Fantome dir. Philippe Garrel
En A Voir Ou Pas dir. Laetitia Masson
1999 Seven Lonely Girls: Cowboy Hat and Ministere's Of Blood
dir. Pierre Emery and Gilles Lesage
1998 Les Jolies Doses dir. Virginie Despantes
Exercise of Steel dir. Marc Caro
Sodomites dir. Gaspar Noe