‘Driving south on the A7 from Lyon to Marseille, I find my thoughts turning to some of the scenes associated with the name of Béatrice Dalle. They include: Dalle as a cannibal, staring vacantly into space, her lips, throat and naked torso smeared in the blood of a lover whose throat she has ripped apart.
‘Dalle as a psychopath who has just torn the unborn foetus from the womb of a heavily pregnant woman. Dalle sleeping in a Paris morgue with friends who sever body parts which they peddle to medical students. And Dalle sitting by the hospital bed of her jealous spouse who has put a bullet in his brain. Of these four scenarios, the first two are from film roles; the others occur in her own accounts of her own extraordinary life.
‘If you had to choose one adjective which least suited Béatrice Dalle, you might do worse than “demure”. The actress, who celebrated her 50th birthday recently, may have become an object of desire to rival Bardot or Monroe, but her behaviour has, on occasions, been more reminiscent of a female Oliver Reed (a remarkable achievement, given that Dalle is not a drinker). The woman who has been described as “a walking grenade,” a “one-woman Vietnam”, “the patron saint of the abyss” and “Joan of Arc: the suicide bomber version” has agreed to meet me in the small village of Grignan, just outside Montélimar, where she is playing the lead in Lucrèce Borgia. Given that, in this role, she only kills seven guys nightly, straddling the corpses with an urgency more suggestive of lust than remorse, you might say that she is mellowing.
‘Dalle is still best known in Britain for her first film, Jean-Jacques Beineix’s Betty Blue (1986), a movie which appeared to confirm certain British misapprehensions concerning French women, for instance that they instinctively prefer to renovate guttering in the nude.
‘As with many divas, her reputation precedes her. Le Monde recently ran a very long magazine story on Dalle despite the fact that when their writer arrived in Grignan the actress refused to speak to her and their story turned into what, by the paper’s own account, was a peculiar game of hide and seek, which the actress won.
‘Some interviewers who have met Dalle might have been happier had she not turned up. Famously, she was once asked, on live TV, where it was that she had first met Julien Maury (co-director of Inside, her foetus-ripping film). This clip is on YouTube. “We met in the chatroom on a farm-sex website,” she replied. “You cannot say that,” warned the journalist. Too late. She already had. What did she think of Maury’s film? “Shite,” said Dalle, who clearly didn’t mean it. And her view of her fellow actors? “Tossers.” Just before she was convicted of possession of cocaine, in the mid-Nineties, a journalist stopped her in the street. “Why don’t you just go home,” Dalle told him, “and f*** your mother. If I wanted to talk to a dickhead, what makes you think I’d choose you?”
‘Such behaviour has inspired unease verging on panic in even the most experienced of broadcasters. Irritated by veteran French television journalist Patrick Poivre d’Arvor, who had asked the star about her arrest on a shoplifting charge in 1991, she replied, “Well, since you’re in the mood for speaking frankly, why don’t we discuss all those love letters you sent me? Why don’t we talk about them?” The presenter known as “PPDA”, a journalist whose reputation for fragility is roughly on a par with that of Andrew Neil, was reduced to a humiliated silence.
‘Dalle and I have met several times before: the first time over lunch in the Hotel du 7e Art, a modest Parisian venue she uses as an HQ, and most recently on the set of L’Étoile Du Jour, a film she was working on in 2011, alongside Iggy Pop, in Le Touquet. Every time I’ve met her she has been charming, funny and, perhaps most surprisingly of all, punctual.
‘Last time we met, three years ago, she was married to Guénaël Meziani. At that time her husband was out on parole, having been sentenced to 12 years for having kidnapped, beaten and raped a former girlfriend. These offences occurred before he met Dalle, in 2004, and the actress had attended his trial. A previous partner, JoeyStarr, real name Didier Morville, is best known for his work with the rap band Supreme NTM, and for having punched a monkey on camera. There are not many of her ex-boyfriends, Dalle once said, that she has not hit. She lives alone and has always said that the idea of being a mother (and especially the idea of having to give birth) is one that repels her.
‘I arrive in Grignan on the afternoon of the day before we’re due to meet. This production of Lucrèce Borgia (the Victor Hugo play marks her theatrical debut) is an ambitious son et lumière affair involving acrobats and a live rock accompaniment; the kind of bold venture that you expect to be either breathtaking or catastrophic. I call her mobile at tea-time and get her voicemail. She calls back around 10.30 that evening. “Tomorrow at 6.30,” she says. “Meet me up at the castle.”
‘And the following day she’s there, sitting on a bench by the stage (an artificial, semicircular pool filled with two feet of water) in front of the chateau’s impressive renaissance façade. She hasn’t altered since we last met, dressed, as always, in black, like an Italian widow. No longer the giggling ingénue who appeared in her first screen test for Betty Blue (which is posted on YouTube), her more mature Gothic figure can still turn every head in a room, or a street. You would not want to be the person that followed her into a room to audition for the part of Morticia Addams.
‘Her smile still reveals a gap between her front teeth that sabotages the routine perception of her as an object of desire. “What’s it called, that condition with your teeth?” I ask her. “The technical term is a diastema,” she says. “Ever thought of having work done on it? Most actresses would have.” “Are you kidding? All that [plastic surgery] never comes out well. Look at these American women stars who’ve ‘had work’ to the point that their face loses any capacity for expression. I mean, fine, if that’s what they want. But I,” she adds, “am what I am. I don’t want any of that palaver.”
‘She has a smoke and natters to the crew. A younger man called Eddy volleys a football against the ancient castle walls. You notice very quickly what some might consider an unimportant aspect of Béatrice Dalle’s character, but which is a trait that her colleagues confirm and appreciate: her extreme fondness for being just one of the team. “People have said that you’re difficult,” I remind her. “I’m the absolute opposite,” she says. “When I work on a film, I’m a trooper.”‘ — Robert Chalmers
Beatrice Dalle @ IMDb
‘From Betty Blue to cannibalism: the wild times of Béatrice Dalle’
‘Betty Blue actress Beatrice Dalle reveals she ate a dead man’s EAR while high on acid when she worked in a morgue’
‘BÉATRICE DALLE IS THE ULTIMATE FEMME FATALE’
‘Béatrice Dalle: ‘I am naturally quite bashful”
‘‘Domain’ Director Patric Chiha Writes About His Love Affair with Beatrice Dalle’
‘C’est arrivé près de chez vous: la jolie rebuffade de Béatrice Dalle à Patrick Poivre d’Arvor’
‘Béatrice Dalle : “Un homme fidèle, je ne sais pas ce que c’est”‘
‘Béatrice Dalle : “Je redeviens coquette, une nouvelle vie commence”‘
‘Béatrice Dalle, cherchez le mythe’
‘Béatrice Dalle, une Lucrèce rouge sang’
‘Beatrice dalle apres son role de cleptomane’, by Karen Kilimnik
‘The uncertainties of Béatrice Dalle’
‘Béatrice Dalle mise en examen et à l’air libre. L’actrice a passé 60 heures en garde à vue.’
‘Beatrice Dalle insulte Sarkozy’
Premier Casting – Béatrice Dalle
Serge Gainsbourg interviewe Béatrice Dalle
Aux Yeux des Vivants – Les Costumes (avec Beatrice Dalle & Anne Marvin)
Beatrice Dalle in a-Ha’s video ‘Move To Memphis’
Béatrice Dalle Cannes 2002 Interview
How did you become involved with Trouble Every Day?
Béatrice Dalle: I didn’t so much choose the film as director Claire Denis chose me. We’d worked together once before on “J’ai pas sommeil”. I knew her work very well and I knew that if she offered me a role in her movie, it wouldn’t be something stupid. So I agreed to do the film before I read the script.
Were you not concerned at playing a character with cannibalistic yearnings?
Béatrice: I didn’t see my character, Coré, as a cannibal but as somebody who is extremely passionate and who doesn’t have any conscience. She takes her passion to its complete extreme. I never really thought in terms of the character, though. I give all my confidence and trust to the director, and I’ll do whatever she asks. I don’t act in the way other actresses act, in terms of building or creating a character. I don’t transform myself into the role, I invest myself in the role.
The scene where you literally devour the young man is gruesome to watch. How was it to act?
Béatrice: It was a very intense experience. It was very difficult for the crew and especially for me and my young co-star, Nicolas Duvauchelle, who’s an inexperienced actor. We had no rehearsals for this extreme love scene. We didn’t know where we were going and it was frightening.
During the shoot I’d become friends with Nicolas and seeing the fear in his eyes was unnerving. The state we were in by the end of the scene was astonishing – we were in bits. But I’m very proud of the fact that we both surrendered to the moment and didn’t stop and break the intensity.
Did the darkness of the story, which explores the violence of desire, lead to a particular type of atmosphere on set?
Béatrice: There was a strange atmosphere on the set because we were filming in this large house, which was used for troubled children. You’d go in and find walls had been burnt down. The building was charged with this history and it stayed with us throughout the filming. There was no need to say “quiet” on set – you felt silenced by the atmosphere.
Before Inside, you were known as arthouse-actress and you only starred in one horror film, Claire Denis’ Trouble Every Day. Now, you’re a real horror icon, and you continue to do more and more genre-related work. What and how much has changed for you since you started to do horror, acting-wise and career-wise?
Béatrice: I don’t have a boyfriend anymore. (laughs) Well, the only thing I always demand is to be seduced by the directors who want to work with me, even now as a “horror icon”, it’s still the only think I ask for. The only thing that has changed for me is that my audience has broadened and people who haven’t heard of me before are now interested in my work. Actually, my first real horror movie wasn’t “Inside”, it was actually my first marriage (laughs).
Nice! Ok, you collaborated 4 times with director Claire Denis [I Can’t Sleep (1994), Trouble Every Day (2001), The Intruder (2004), God’s Offices (2008)] and you collaborated 4 times with Maury & Bustillo, but you haven’t worked with other directors more than once once. Any specific reason for this?
Béatrice: Well, Abel Ferrara and Jim Jarmusch wanted to have me in some of their other projects, but due to the fact that I don’t speak English, it wasn’t possible for me to participate, contrary to Jarmusch’s Night on Earth and Ferrara’s The Blackout where my characters were allowed to speak French.
So, you would have done more movies with Jarmusch or Ferrara if they offered you French-language roles?
Béatrice: Yes, indeed. Actually, Ferrara offered me a role in his latest feature about the Dominic Strauss Kahn case, Welcome to New York. He wanted me to play the wife of Dominic Strauss Kahn, but once again, I had to decline because of the language.
Now that would be nice! You as Strauss Kahn’s wife? Hoho!
Béatrice: (laughs out loud)
I’d like to know more about your wonderful role as Dominatrix in Yann Gonzalez’ You and the Night. To me, it felt like you had so much fun with this part. Could you tell me more about how you got involved with this film?
Béatrice: Main actor Eric Cantona is a close friend of mine for a very long time. When he first met with Yann Gonzalez, they both came up with the idea of having me in the movie. At first, I was very concerned because me and Eric are such good friends, I was afraid of being too shy to act together with him…
Really? You shy?
Béatrice: Eric was afraid too because acting with a good friend is difficult, especially for this role (laughs) but on the first day of shooting, Eric came up to me and said “Just go on OM” [=Olympique de Marseille, Cantona’s football team between 1988 & 1991] (laughs) I love the movie and I’m very proud of it.
Your hands are larger than you might expect.
Béatrice: Yes, I’m the daughter of the Mona Lisa and a garage mechanic.
Your whole life reminds me of a line from an old Gérard Depardieu film: ‘You know the trouble with very beautiful women? They wreak havoc.’ How old were you when you first noticed that you were attracting an unusual degree of attention?”
Beatrice: Ever since I can remember. I do not consider myself beautiful. But I’ve always attracted attention, it’s true, ever since I was very young.
I think what you did in Domaine took you on to another level. Which is weird, given that you’ve always said that you never read a page before accepting a part.
Beatrice: Yes, but when you work with great directors…
Wasn’t that Chiha’s first film?
Beatrice: Doesn’t matter. I’ve never read a screenplay in advance. You trust the artist. If you look at an image of a wicker chair, and it reduces you to tears, it’s because it was painted by Van Gogh. Seeing a wicker chair in an Ikea catalogue doesn’t make you weep, does it?
How do you know?
Beatrice: Well maybe you might – yes. That wouldn’t surprise me at all. But you see what I’m saying. When the director is brilliant, there’s no risk. You watch television, you hear these rich actors banging on about ‘taking risks’: it’s all bullshit. They lose their temper then smash a hotel lamp and they think they’re rebels. There are no rebels in the cinema business.
20 of Beatrice Dalle’s 51 roles
Jean-Jacques Beineix Betty Blue (1986)
‘The movie has made millions in France, where it will not have escaped anyone’s attention that Betty is played by an attractive young woman named Beatrice Dalle, who is naked as often as not. Have you ever had the experience of going to a movie and trying to make sense of the plot, and trying to figure out why anyone has wasted his life and money on the project, only to suddenly have a dazzling insight? That’s what happened to me during Betty Blue. Reviews have been written debating the movie’s view of madness, of feminism, of the travail of the artist. They all miss the point. Betty Blue is a movie about Beatrice Dalle’s boobs and behind, and everything else is just what happens in between the scenes where she displays them. This is not altogether a bad thing. In the old days, there used to be such a thing as “skin flicks,” and, yes, they did have a certain basic animal appeal. But they were driven out of business by porno on the one hand, so to speak, and Dynasty on the other. Now comes a throwback to the old days when the phrase “French movie” did not mean art, and “art film” didn’t mean art, either, and everybody knew exactly what they did mean, and had their exact change counted out before they dashed up to the box office, so nobody would see them going into a dirty movie. If you can get anything more than that out of Betty Blue, consider it a bonus.’ — Roger Ebert
the entire film (no subtitles)
Jacques Doillon La vengeance d’une femme (1990)
‘La Vengeance d’une femme is a surprising movie, yet at times the dialogues seem quite familiar. I guess it’s because Proust’s work has a major influence on the plot (rather than Dostoyevsky’s), particularly on Isabelle Huppert’s character as the woman who lost her husband. Seeking her own truth behind his death, she suddenly finds herself at the door of his mistress (Béatrice Dalle). And from that point, they are led into a chaotic relationship. We also watch the movie in a rather uncomfortable way. Jacques Doillon’s direction is simply based on the “walking and talking” actions of the two main characters (where music has absolutely no effect in the background). They are mostly spending their time at hotel rooms, inside a flat. We only see them outside once in a while, and therefore a claustrophobic atmosphere fades in the screen inevitably.’ — Engin Gulez
Jim Jarmusch Night on Earth (1991)
‘One night. Five cities. Five Taxicabs. Jim Jarmusch’s lovingly askew view of humanity from the passenger seat is an hilarious quintet of tales of urban displacement, existential angst and love and dreams that spans time zones, continents, and numerous languages. Along the way we encounter a Hollywood casting agent who feels her age in L.A.; a learner cabbie and former circus clown, driving through Harlem carrying two arguing passengers; a blind woman (Beatrice Dalle) who disorients her driver in Paris; a non-believer (Roberto Benigni) who finds a dead bishop on his back seat in Rome; whilst a driver in Helsinki and his passengers swap melancholy stories. This eloquent visual essay is about the ways in which people communicate and connect despite their differences in race, class or gender. This chain of brief intimacies, like matches lit simultaneously across the globe, flicker brightly for a few short moments to reveal that something as simple as taking a taxi journey can alter your perceptions and even maybe change your life in the smallest but most meaningful way.’ — Watershed
Claude Lelouch La Belle histoire (1992)
‘Jesus is a French gypsy who might have become a bull fighter had he not been framed on a drug charge and sent to prison. Odona is a con artist pursued and protected by a Paris policeman. Marie, who knew Jesus as a girl, loses her job when she teaches reincarnation and lets her young students kiss honey bees. All experience love, all suffer losses, and all seek peace. Throughout, Jesus’s colorful gypsy family provides dance and music, mystery and celebration. As part of the reincarnation theme, the main characters appear in flashbacks set during the time of Christ and the persecution of early Christians.’ — Rare Film
Claire Denis I Can’t Sleep (1994)
‘One of the first things that strike you about Denis’ movies is that she keeps dialogue as sparse as possible. Though seldom visually flamboyant, these are highly visual films, framing, acting, movement, expressions, composition, telling us more than is ever spoken. Unless you count ‘Relaxez-vous’ and the news bulletin there is no intelligible dialogue in the first seven minutes of I Can’t Sleep. Strikingly, throughout the film, Camille’s dialogue is especially minimal. This might be interpreted as a way of concealing his identity as the Granny Killer, but it is less a dramatic convenience than a statement of his character: he is too confused, too uncertain about who he is and what he does – too afraid of what he might learn about himself – to be capable of formulating himself in verbal expression. He is eloquent only when, on stage, he can hide behind a public persona that at once expresses his finer self (sensitive, troubled, deeply hurt and insecure) and conceals the dark side (from himself as well as from the world). The sequence of concise, enigmatic scenes that precedes the climactic unravelling provides a fine example of Denisian inexplicitness, her refusal to spell things out, her insistence that the spectator work.’ — Robin Wood
Yolande Zauberman Lola, Clubbed to Death (1996)
‘A very odd film this – is it about the club scene or a boxing match. The decaying urban setting is quite apt for this group of semi-estranged characters. There is an unreal atmosphere about the whole film which makes it just about watchable, just the thing to watch on Channel 4 at 12:30am on Sunday/Monday. But there were immense problems with continuity, how did Lola end up in this warehouse party in the first place. She didn’t know about it when she was on the bus at the start, what was she doing – just going on the bus for no particular reason. None of the characters were particularly engaging and I did not have much idea where the plot was going.’ — blinderben
Abel Ferrara The Blackout (1997)
‘An older looking, yet still enticing, version of Dalle appeared in Abel Ferrera’s The Blackout (1997), a film not seen by many (as well as not liked) that to me is, nevertheless, one of the more underrated low-budget films of recent memory. Her hardened look in the movie is offset by her smoldering presence and ability to flash a stare of absolute desire or contempt with ease.’ — Gabriel Alvarez
Claire Denis Trouble Every Day (2001)
‘The first full-blown scandal of the Cannes film festival erupted last night over the lurid French film Trouble Every Day, in which the Gallic sex symbol Beatrice Dalle has sex with, murders and cannibalises four men. Even the French critics booed and walked out of the film by Claire Denis, who also directed the foreign legion drama Beau Travail. In the film billed, “I love you so much I could eat you …” Dalle, popularly known in France as “La Grande Bouche” (the Big Mouth) plays the wife of a scientist performing dangerous experiments on the human libido, who picks up truckers and devours them. Denis, who has a reputation for her sensitive portrayals of women and individuals on the edge of society, insisted last night at a tense press conference, at which Dalle pointedly refused to appear at the last minute, that the film was not “explicit or violent. It’s actually a love story. Being explicit is not what I’m interested in and I don’t think it’s about cannibalism either. It’s about desire and how close the kiss is to the bite. I think every mother wants to eat her baby with love. We just took this on to a new frontier.” Her scriptwriter Jean-Paul Fargeau said they wanted to look at the way such block-busters as Hannibal had made gore acceptable in the cinema. “I wanted to write something about desire and about the unknown areas within the brain, where we go, but would rather not admit we go.”‘ — The Guardian
Nobuhiro Suwa H Story (2001)
‘A French actress (Beatrice Dalle) arrives in Hiroshima to begin work on the remake of Alain Resnais’ Hiroshima Mon Amour. Scenes are shot, discussed, re-shot. A writer friend of the director asks him why he is remaking the Resnais film. The director can answer only that it is because he has yet to make sense of his feelings. As the shoot progresses, the actress begins to question the motives behind the director’s obsessive desire to film the city of his birth, and to confront the memories and complex emotions evoked by this mythic city in the psyche of his generation. Later, walking on a beach with the writer, the actress learns that the director is cancelling the shoot. Her time in Hiroshima is over.’ — Wild Bunch
Christophe Honore 17 Fois Cécile Cassard (2002)
‘a portrait of a woman in 17 fragments, a woman who has just lost her husband, a woman who leaves behind her a life in the provincial city of Tours where every person, every object and every gesture holds memory of a love she cannot bear to have lost, a woman who proceeds forward, a bit blindly, as she essays to remove a great distance that has between her and her heart, which has become, in her mind, an unsafe place. beatrice dalle incarnates this woman, cecile cassard, giving a beautiful performance worthy of recompensation. perhaps even the cesar for best performance for this year. she doesn’t merely act well, she inhabits this woman: dalle doesn’t lie when she tells us, as she often does, that she lives a character while she is making a film. the director, christophe honore, not forgetting that it is he who illicits dalle’s wonderful performance, demonstrates a masterful command of visual storytelling in remembering that, in film, pictures have a more important weight than words in advancing a narrative story-line. much is heard in the french press and on television that this is an experimental film, a film without a linear narrative. no, in fact, the film is a conventional narrative at heart for it follows a linear journey of a woman as she strives to refind herself. and it is a beautiful story, mixing pain and loss with laughter and love. i look forward to more films by him in the future.’ — t_reddy
t.o.L. Tamala 2010: A Punk Cat in Space (2002)
‘It’s the year 2010 on the planet of cats, where lies Meguro City, a megalopolis entirely controlled by the super-corporation Catty & Co. The nefarious influence of this corporate empire extends malignantly across the feline galaxy. Tamala, a carefree, one-year-old kitten, decides to flee this cruel reality and boards her spaceship in search of her planet of origin. Featuring the voices of Béatrice Dalle, Takeshi Katô, Hisayo Mochizuki.’ — collaged
Michael Haneke Time of the Wolf (2003)
‘Haneke is an exceptional filmmaker and has quite an eye. The combination of lingering camera-work and lack of score create an uneasy tension. Some might argue that the movie is boring because there isn’t much action, but I thought it was visually stunning. The movie attempts to be about post-apocalypse social struggle and power–including conflict between different nationalities and genders–but it could have been more successful in doing this. The acting is outstanding (especially by Huppert and the actress that plays her daughter). Even though she gets co-billing, Beatrice Dalle is only in the film for a bit, but she does have a Betty Blue-style freak-out.’ — ThrownMuse
Olivier Assayas Clean (2004)
‘Emily is always in motion, driven by disquiet, unhappy with herself and the decisions that got her here. Her mind seems elsewhere, focusing on what would bring her peace: heroin. She and her partner Lee are rock stars whose moment of fame has passed and stranded them in a Canadian motel. They fight, she drives off into the night, scores drugs, shoots up, and sleeps in the car. When she returns to the motel, Lee is dead of an overdose. She should quietly back away and leave town. Instead, she gets herself arrested and sentenced to six months for possession.’ — collaged
Claire Denis L’intrus (2004)
‘The film is not visually stunning in the conventional sense. It doesn’t present a series of pretty pictures. Instead it is a visually interesting film. It forces the viewer to constantly process or perhaps imagine the context of the various shots. This sort of thing is easy to try but hard to succeed at. The film refuses to use the crutch of a genre to help the less than fully engaged viewer get what’s going on. Instead the film touches on and moves through a number of different genres. The trick to loving the film is being able to enjoy this playfulness. I suspect 99% of North American viewers will just not get it. If you try to pin down the narrative of this film, or the philosophical message, or the symbolist structure, etc. you will waste your time. There are none of these. The film only feints towards these genres and others at times. The only unifying force in the film is Claire Denis’s own sense of what fits together. There are so few feature length films that come close to satisfying Kant’s description of what art is, namely the enjoyment of the power of judgment itself instead of simply subsuming experiences under concepts.’ — kinaidos
Julien Maury and Alexandre Bustillo Inside (2007)
‘Inside tells the heartwarming Yuletide tale of a single mother near the end of a pregnancy who spends her Christmas Eve fleeing a deranged woman who wants to cut the baby out of her stomach and claim it as her own. So far, so good. Not to all tastes, granted, but a perfectly hooky premise for the new breed of French horror movies, which thrive on intensity and provocation. While having an involuntary C-section performed with a blood-spattered pair of scissors creates a degree of risk for the baby, it’s important to keep in mind that both women are interested in a healthy delivery. Their dispute is over who should be the baby’s mother. And settling such disputes with sharp implements is what slasher movies are all about. Where Inside crosses the line is a visual device that periodically checks the baby’s status as it sloshes around the uterus, like a CGI ultrasound. Sometimes it’s as peaceful-looking as the star baby in 2001; at other times, after a scuffle or a blow, it’s tossed about so violently that its survival is in question. While I recognize that no digital fetuses were harmed during the making of Inside, there’s something unseemly and grossly manipulative about treating the baby like some helpless variation on the “Final Girl” in a Halloween knockoff. Directors Alexandre Bustillo and Julien Maury delight in drawing connections between the violence between adversaries and the essential violence of childbirth, but the cutaways to the pinballing baby are, to my mind, beyond the pale. Can we please get back to adults jamming each other in the gullet with knitting needles?’ — Scott Tobias, The AV Club
Patric Chiha Domain (2010)
‘Béatrice Dalle is the cinema. She reminds me of Ingrid Bergman who walks in Naples in Viaggio in Italia by Roberto Rossellini. She has the same strength and fragility. She reminds me of the beautiful and combative heroines who are running through Baltimore in Pink Flamingos by John Waters. And she reminds me of Madeleine and Judy who are both walking, but differently, through San Francisco in Vertigo by Alfred Hitchcock. She is Madeleine, the woman you pursue but never reach. She is a sensual and dangerous ghost that slips through your fingers when you think you hold her. And she is Judy, the real woman, alive, but mysterious and ultimately generous, because she’s always willing to resuscitate ghosts. In Domain, there is a scene where Pierre chooses the clothes and the lipstick for Nadia, as if he already felt, that the woman who fascinated him so much does no longer exist. In his own way, he tries to resuscitate Madeleine. Isn’t that also what I tried to do?’ — Patric Chiha
Alexandre Bustillo, Julien Maury Livid (2011)
‘The film went into production in 2009. It was initially intended to be Bustillo and Maury’s English-language debut and shot in the United Kingdom but they moved to a lower-budget French production after they found that they were losing creative control over their story. A promo was shown at the American Film Market. The film was described as being more of a fantasy film than their previous film; “If Inside was meant to play as horror taken from fact then Livid plays as horror taken from fairy tale, the Grimm kind with all the bloody bits left in.”‘ — collaged
Gaël Morel Notre paradis (2011)
‘Vassili is an aging Paris hustler who has a hard time accepting he is growing too old for his profession. He lashes out by strangling one of his clients who had commented on his age. Later that night he finds an unconscious teenager in the Bois de Boulogne (a cruising park) who was apparently also hustling and has been beaten and robbed. The boy claims not to remember his name or anything else from his past, so Vassili takes him to his apartment and christens the boy Angelo due to his angelic appearance and an angel tattoo on his abdomen. The two begin a relationship that is purely sexual at first but later develops into a romantic connection.’ — collaged
Virginie Despentes Bye Bye Blondie (2012)
‘Author, director and certified provocateur Virginie Despentes follows up her controversial debut feature, Rape Me, with the far less risqué and much more tenderhearted tale of punked out lesbian love, Bye Bye Blondie. Starring Emmanuelle Beart and Beatrice Dalle as a pair of Sex Pistols-worshipping gals who try to rekindle an affair they began several decades earlier, the film is as cinematically freewheeling as it is emotionally sincere in its portrayal of a star-crossed couple struggling to make it together for a second time. Overseas stints in Francophone and LBGT fests, plus a few art house pick-ups, should keep Blondie on tour after its mid-sized March 21 local release. Similar to 2000’s X-rated Rape Me (whose French-language title was the much more blunt Fuck Me) in its depiction of amour folle between two volatile femme outcasts, but without that film’s over-the-top onslaught of violence and pornography, this altogether more accessible sophomore effort has Despentes tackling her preferential subjects of feminism and social deviance within the confines of swanky modern-day Paris. Based on the filmmaker’s own 2006 novel, the story follows the travails of two middle-aged women – successful talk show host Frances (Beart) and scraggly installation artist Gloria (Dalle) – who reunite when the former pops up and invites her long lost b.f.f. to move into a luxurious Left Bank apartment, where she lives in a faux couple with the successful gay writer, Claude (Pascal Greggory).’ — Hollywood Reporter
p.s. Hey! I wasn’t sure if I’d ever get to say that to you again. But here we are! Obviously, it’s been a rough two months, but I’m ready to go back to normal, if you guys are. This was the post that was up the day the blog was disabled. I’m leaving the p.s. and the comments that came in before the shut down as they were, and of course please add your comments today. Between now and next Monday, you will be getting posts that were already set up and originally intended to launch before the blackout, and then on Tuesday we’ll go all new. The archive of the old blog will slowly appear here, but I have to do hands-on restoration on each one, so it’s going to take virtually forever. Okay, enjoy the day, and I look forward enormously to getting to talk with you again! ** Marilyn Roxie, Hi, Marilyn! How really nice to see you! Yes, yes, please do send me that post to my email, it’s a very, very good idea. Do you have my email? email@example.com. Nice music list, thanks! I need to get that Autechre. Take care! ** New Juche, Hey there. Yeah, I was surprised too, about the stuff re: Augieras, not that it’s a ton, but enough. I hope Scotland does do the new referendum or stop the results or something. There seem to be a million conflicting things out there about what will or can happen, so I’m not letting myself get hopeful until something actually happens. Thank you for the list. Again, hm, do I know Winkler? Huh. My head’s still fucked from my cold, so I don’t trust my memory this morning. I’ll find out. I hope the rest of your weekend did the trick! ** Wolf, Wolf! Holy motherfucking moly! Jesus h. christ, it’s so good to see you! Did you see that I reposted your great Iceland volcano day here a little while back? Oh, fuck, yeah, about what happened. Total shock, but there’s so much confusing stuff being said about whether it’s going to happen or not right now that I don’t know what to think or expect. Anyway, yeah, I’m good. Busy, very busy with all kinds of potentially great projects and stuff. What about you? You good, great, somewhere in between? Yeah, my buddy Zac and I are coming over there. Are you in London? We’ll be there for our movie screening around the 20th. Are you there? Then to Brighton in October, if you’re there. Can not even incredibly wait to see you! Man, oh, man, don’t be a stranger unless it makes sense to be, but I hope it doesn’t. Tons of love, me. ** Dóra Grőber, Hi! How were the photo exhibitions and the rest of your weekend? Whoa, did you finish the zine? Whoa! Sorry about the awful heat. We went through a gross 24 hours of sky hell the other day, and more is on the way soon, I guess. My head cold is still operative and being obnoxious, but luckily it hasn’t been immobilizing. My weekend was all right. What did I do …? Oh, I saw two films. I finally saw ‘The Witch’, which has finally hit theaters in France. I thought it was quite good. I thought maybe the set up first part was a little slow, but, basically, I quite liked it. On the other hand, I finally saw the documentary ‘The JT Leroy Story’ that I’m interviewed in for a minute or so. I really hated it. It’s a totally superficial whitewash that treats Laura Albert like she’s some kind of kooky folk hero instead of as the psychopathic, destructive user that she is. I regret allowing the director to interview me for it. It put me in a really bad mood the whole weekend. Disgusting. But, otherwise, ha ha, the weekend was okay enough and kind of fuzzy. How are you today? ** David Ehrenstein, Hi. Thank you very kindly for that about ‘LCTG’! ** Tosh Berman, Hi, T. Your listening tastes and experiences are always very instructive. Huh, about the new Strokes EP. I never even thought of trying it, to be honest. I’ll take the auditory equivalent of a peek. And I do want/need to get the new Eno. You think something’s wrong with your manuscript? Hopefully just little teeny, detail-y things? It’s very exciting that you’re in the clean up phase! ** Steevee, Hi. Very nice interview with Davies. I liked it very, very much! Everyone, Steevee has interviewed the great film director Terrence Davies over at LA Review of Books, and it’s a very fine, enlightening interview that I highly recommend. Go here. Excellent films list. I really want to see ‘The Lobster’. It isn’t here yet. And your music list, too. A couple there I don’t know that I’m going to listen in on pronto: Heron Obliviion, William Tyler. ** Bill. Hi, Bill. The Steve McQueen is a film/video made to be seen in a gallery. Double sided, simultaneous projection. Very good. I know and also like just about everything on your books list. A bunch in your music list that’s new to me, but not for long. Thank you for listing ‘LCTG’! And thank you in general, man! ** H, Hi. Thank you for your wonderful list! Wonderful through and through. I was just thinking the other day that I haven’t read James Merrill in ages and that I’m curious to do so again. And, yeah, I really want to read that Ocean Voung book. I’ve meaning to. I’ve heard and read such great things about his work. Thank you! ** Scunnard, Hi! Oh, so you have now vamoosed out of LA, I reckon, I only played the first ‘Animal Crossing’, and I loved it and everything, but it was so manipulative it scared the shit out of me. ‘Count Zero’! I haven’t read it since it came out but, yeah, I’m a huge fan of that trilogy: it, ‘Mona Lisa Overdrive’ and, duh, ‘Neuromancer’. Stuff is good here. I’m under the weather, but I think the weather is starting to improve. I hope that horrible 12 hour flight, which I know all too well, ponied up with some decent movies at least. Welcome back! ** Bernard Welt, Hi, Bernard! I miss you! Yeah, I mean I’ve read so many things that are/will/could/can’t/won’t/etc happen that I can’t hardly even think about it anymore. I guess tomorrow’s parliament vote on the second referendum idea will be a clue at least? Very nice that there and those who are there are nice. Oh, oh, oh, so great about their consent re: a post about their thing! That’s very exciting Wow, cool, thank you for angling for that and for your willingness to do that! Continue having interesting moments and lengthier stretches in an atmosphere of niceness! Love, me. ** Jonathan, Hi, Jonathan! Oh, samples. Hold on. Shit, it won’t work because my Flash is out of date or something. I’ll do the update and hit it later. Yes, yes, I want the 1 hour full length version, you can bet. If it’s no trouble. Oh! Everyone, artist extraordinaire plus long time denizen of this blog Jonathan Mayhew did a live performance thing at IMMA, and you can and should (!) experience samples with a mere clicking motion atop that blue word a few words back in this very sentence. Do it, trust me. I saw that the Berkeley Books maestro was over there. You saw her! I need to get over to the store. It’s been a while. Well, your Paris pangs have a reason, man, so follow their lead and get over here. Excellent list, top to bottom. Gonna get my ears and probably hands on the ones I don’t know: Valerio Tricoli, Ling, etc. Thanks, buddy! Clusterfuck of horrors to say the least! ** _Black_Acrylic, Hi, Ben. Yeah, I’ve reading as much as I can about Scotland’s abilities in this case, and it seems almost impossible to find out anything factual. Spin has eaten the world. Man, I hope you guys can save the day. Thank you for your concise and impeccable list. How are you today, Ben? How are you feeling, what’s the latest and the progress? ** Misanthrope, Dude, your life, your call, but not reading a book in a year?! I mean … New pain? Call your doctor? Is that normal? Really, check on that, don’t play with that shit, okay? My ears and eyes induce temporary deafness and blindness if they hear or see even the first syllable of the word Kardashian. … Oh, fuck, where am I? ** Chris Dankland, Hi, Chris! Really great to see you! An internet break, eh? Wow, that must be tougher than tough but it’s a good idea. You’re writing a ton of stuff! Yay! Okay, it’s working, so milk it. I’m quite good apart from being under the evil spell of a crappy head cold at this very moment. Well, theoretically, the TV show will be less work because, theoretically, Zac and I won’t be involved in the casting and shooting and all of that, but I have a very strong feeling that Gisele is going to want us to be involved in all of that, and, if she does, it will be more work than the movie we made and the one we will make since it’ll be more than twice as long and shot in distant places and all of that, so we’ll see. The ‘LCTG’ DVD is out in the US. It came out in late May. Yeah, right, about ‘The Forbidden Room’. I was really really impressed and tripped out by it. I think it’s one of Maddin’s very best. Of course I love the GbV. Granted, I’m a serious Pollard fanatic, but I do think it’s his best work in a few years. You know, I don’t know how healing crystals work. Huh. I guess I imagine people rolling them around in their hand like they were dice? But that’s probably way off. I super appreciate you lending me their powers, man. Again, so good to see you, but prioritize your work, okay? If sneaking in here doesn’t fuck your work up, that would be awesome, duh. ** Okay. I think we’re done. Today is Béatrice Dalle Day! Hooray! See you tomorrow.