Interestingly, the film is hardly licentious. Looking down her resume, in fact, you discover that her interest in the topic of sex has been lifelong. Her first novel, published at the age of 18, was restricted to people over 18 in France when it appeared in Breillat spoke to indieWIRE about sex, censorship, independent cinema and giving into your subconscious. I have no idea. I discover it as I go. In the end, it all comes down to finding out something about myself.
Why did you cast Rocco Siffredi? The first reason was that I simply wanted to. The second reason was that for some time now mainstream actors have refused to act in my films. Very often, they read my scripts and suddenly they imagine their own execution of the film which, of course, is nothing like what I imagine the film will be.
So I chose Rocco because he was interested and willing in playing the role. The other reason I chose him was because he had the physical qualities I needed for the role. In the past, they were handsome, but not these days. Are you aware of the controversies over the Academy ratings in the U. It basically forces people to censor themselves. What has been the reception in France? We were really nervous, but it was, in fact, really great. And not just financially. They have been very open to discussing the sexual content of the film.
Were there any difficult moments in shooting your film, especially for actress Caroline Ducey? There was only one scene that was difficult for Caroline Ducey. It was the scene with Rocco. Otherwise, Caroline was very strong throughout the shoot. The filming, however, was very hard on me.
I carried a strong moral obligation, especially toward Caroline, who had to work very hard to believe in what I was asking her to do. She not only had to overcome the sense of limitation that came from the social stigma attached to the subject of the movie, but also her own self-censorship.
She needed to get to a place where she could be free from what in my view is a mental and emotional cage that poisons our sexuality. She understood that to make it work, she had to get beyond her own censorship, and do something altogether different from what one normally expects in the movies.
On the one hand, she had to be the consummate actress; on the other hand, she needed to feel confident in giving in to the sexuality that I was trying to capture. What do you think of the way sex is treated in American film? Is it something you pay attention to? You have year-old actresses playing year-old roles.
They know how to do it. What do you think of American independent cinema? This is an old cliche, but movies are both an industry and an art. Sometimes, the industry moves closer to the art, sometimes the art moves closer to the industry. I try not to believe in the dominance of the screenplay. It makes for very boring cinema.
This is especially true of remakes. How could you remake it? What have I written? Where am I going with this? What is this going to become? The hardest part of all this is to contain your fear enough so that you can bring it to the next level and make it sing.
The temptation is to totally pre-imagine the film in order to quell the anxiety.