Sex in the Cinema: Baise-Moi hits our shores

April 24, the most explicit film allowed hits Australian cinemas. Baise-Moi (renamed Rape Me in the US) has been given an R-18+ rating, but it will be shown uncut. Rather surprisingly, Australia’s Office of Film and Literature Classification has not imposed a ban on Baise-Moi. Surprising, since in 2000 Romance, another French film which showed actual sex, not simulated sex, met with an OFLC ban. In contrast, Baise-Moi has got a go-ahead-and-shock-me.

(For now, that is. I imagine the usual puritans are rallying around their pristine white banners. [Australian note: Senator Harradine is building up his usual mouthful of froth.] For myself, I can’t hardly wait. Not to see the film, but to tune into talkback radio and read the letters to the editor. There’ll be Bob Fraser from Carlisle and Mavis McMahon from Wagga and a great gnashing of teeth. It’ll be great!)

Let’s backtrack. I should rephrase my first sentence: Baise-Moi is the most sexually explicit film allowed to Australian cinemas. Without even seeing Baise-Moi, I can guarantee I’ve seen a dozen films more explicit. I’ve seen graphic murder, rape and a thousand physical assaults. It’s been said a thousand times before, but maybe it’s true: to allow vicious physical violence into our cinemas, but at the same time ban actual sex is a massive hypocrisy. It’s irrational and patronising and demeaning to cinema-goers.

While we’re on hypocrisy, lemme send a huge :rolleyes: to the general policy of censorship in Australia. Under an R-18+ rating, actual sex is a no-no, but simulated sex is yes-yes (YES! :p). Rid-dic-errous! I am permitted to see people striving their utmost to convince me they are having sex, but I can’t view people who are actually (gasp!) doing the ugly? (And here’s a preemptive thwap! to the back of the head of the first person who draws the analogy that showing a staged murder is okay, but clearly actual murder should be impermissible. :)).

So where am I going with this? Oh, that’s right, opinions and the such. Australians: do you think this is sign that we are becoming less censorious. Foreign types: How did this movie fare in the US and in Europe? What do y’all think about the inevitable furore that bursts over this movie and its like? And finally, is the movie any good? :cool:
Mods: I struggled over where to throw this thread. First, I intended a thread a la Cafe. Then it turned a little BBQ-ish. Then a little GD’y. It’s ended up back at the Cafe anyway… one thousand apologies if this aint no good.

I do note that Salo is stilled banned in Australia - despite a brief stint of un-bannedness. So we obviously haven’t loosened up entirely.

I dont’ know that changes are exclusively Australian - it’s a worldwide thing. Compare television of fifteen years ago to today’s offering.

And cheer up, Harradine can’t live forever :smiley:

On the other hand, today’s offering includes the reissue of E.T. with a PG rating. 'Twas only rated G in 1982, or so I read.

I remember Baise-Moi causing quite a stir at the Toronto Film Festival. I think that the critical consensus was that it was exploitative crap posing as avant-garde art. Unfortunately, I don’t think it was ever picked up for distribution here so I doubt I’ll ever get a chance to see for myself.

I was quite intrigued by Romance, a fascinating portrait of sexual dysfunction. God, that boyfriend was a dickhead.

I’m surprised by this decision. I’ve seen both films, and Boise Moi is both more graphic and less “artistic” than Romance. It seems strange that if one was being banned, it would be Romance. Maybe it was just the passing of time.

Personally, I thought Baise Moi was crap. (My review.) I agree that sexual hypocrisy is rampant here in the U.S., and I’m distressed to hear it’s almost as bad in Oz. I’m especially disturbed to learn they barred exhibition of a Catherine Breillat film, but they let this exploitative garbage through. Whatta buncha maroons.

It’s about the violence. Violent sex acts are considered ok to show. Great intimate, wholesome sex is not.

People pretending to hate each other is good.
People pretending to like each other is bad.

Realeased in the U.S. as My Own Private Idaho