BAISE-MOI (VIRGINIE DESPENTES, 2000)

A SCREENING & PERFORMANCE  

BY JEANNE DIELMAN & BJØRK GRUE LIDIN

SCENE I

Bjørk: I am asking you something.

Jeanne: At the moment there are no trains. Insane. (Delir)

Bjørk: This is going to be a long night.

[Pause]

Bjørk: You aren’t very social. Where are you going?

Jeanne: Paris.

Bjørk: Can you drive a car? If you can drive, I have a car. And I want to go to Paris.

 

Jeanne:

Baise-Moi is a porn worker and a sex worker on a mad killing spree

They are French and they are dark-skinned

Their killing is arbitrary and non-ideological

           Bjørk: We’re just two girls, one big and one small.

Baise-Moi is “kind of Thelma & Louise on crack”

 

Bjørk:

I want to crack your skull when I hear this.

Pure killing is part of no exchange system or transaction

possible but impossible.

 

Prohibiting her from violent expression is violence done to her.

 

        Jeanne: You must have suffered a lot to become violent like that.

 

Pure killing must have no meaning. No finality. No intelligibility. No purpose or intention attached. Unconditional killing. A utopian way of killing.

 

None of your bullshit trigger warnings.

 

Jeanne:

The premise of the film is pretty much a rape scene.

And when the hand-held video camera,

that follows everything like a sloppy creep,

doesn’t turn away from the scene but

pans between one woman’s desperate cries

and another’s quiet rage, the stakes of the film are set.

 

          Bjørk: How could you let him take you like that? 

        Jeanne: They could have done much worse. We’re still alive, right?

 

Bjørk:

And the best thing about being alive is you can refuse life.

        Jeanne: That’s against my principles.

We were already dead when we met

 

[Musical Intermission]

  

SCENE 2

 

Bjørk:

They say rape will traumatize her

a victim that should have known better.

A victim that is only a “true victim” when she is dead.

 

Contain her, isolate her, protect her, look after her

she is made safe and thus anything but.

 

        Jeanne: Her unsafety is a problem to be solved

 

But he doesn’t exist unless he solves the problem

 

Baise-Moi refuses safety provided by him.

Baise-Moi demands her right to danger.

Baise-Moi moves into territories not intended for her and claims it as hers.

Baise-Moi denies his pleasure.

Baise-Moi appropriates his aggression.

Baise-Moi turns her into a perpetrator

 

Jeanne: What came first: patriarchy or the father?

Bjørk: You can’t prove a father. There is no father.

Jeanne:

Is this a revenge flic? Against what:

porn culture – rape culture – male culture

 

Bjørk: I don’t bother to keep dicks out of my pussy, there is nothing valuable in there.

          You wouldn’t leave your car behind with valuable stuff either.

 

JeanneIt’s only a dick and we’re only two girls.

 

Jeanne:

The limit to the female form is rape.

Thus, when you move past fear, stigma, the trauma of rape, to ask for more dick, you arrive in the zone of pure lawlessness.

 

You move up from slut to gangster.

 

We’re just two girls. One big and one small.

 

Bjørk: Her pleasure is always controlled and violence is not her domain.

Jeanne: Violence is not her domain. (reverb)

 

Jeanne:

What all men are afraid of is when women become THE LAW

Bjørk: lawlessly

 

Jeanne: What we didn’t like about you, pal, is the condom. You’re a condom prick.

 

Bjørk: Don’t worry: these girls are not feminists.

Only everyone’s guilty somehow and everyone has to pay up eventually.

 

[Musical Intermission]

SCENE 3

 

         Jeanne: We don’t have the right answers at the right time.

          Bjørk: But we do have the right actions; that’s already a start.

        Jeanne: These dialogues need to have some class. It’s essential to killing.

          Bjørk: Will we prepare some lines?

        Jeanne: Of course not. Then we wouldn’t have any ethics.

 

Jeanne:

What would you rather have: the inciting and ravenous female, who turns out crazy, clingy, and criminal after the act? Or the slut who reduces fucking to fucking and only says “thank you” in exchange?

All heterosexual desire is structured around this panicked choice.

The third option is a gun up the ass.

 

         Jeanne: You don’t even look traumatised. You slut.

         Bjørk: Find me a fuck-club.

        Jeanne: From now on we have to drink a lot and catch some guys…

         Bjørk: Would it have a better moral if we wanted money?

 

Bjørk:

Rather than fighting for safety that is no safety at all, Baise-Moi fights for the right to take risks, the right to be uncontained and untamed, contradictory and incoherent, wasting your rights.

 

Jeanne:

But they kill women too, you know?

And apparently the book version also included

the murder of a grandmother and her insolent nephew.

This is not militant feminism; it’s terror feminism.

Do I scare you?

 

Bjørk:

I don’t know you

 

Coexistence insists symmetry

Equality presumes equivalence

 

I am not your sister.

 

[breathe]

 

Yet I am.

 

I could eat you up, my Other

 

Jeanne: She doesn’t like sisterhood.

 

Bjørk:

Not the death drive is what’s dangerous, but its sublimation

its diversion into a culturally higher and socially more acceptable drive,

like building and preserving civilization,

like climbing on top of yourself and others to manage the shit pile.

 

Jeanne:

The biggest madmen are those who cannot be who they were assigned to be.

 

Bjørk:

They will not be assimilated

They will not be ejected

They will not be hosted by the system

 

No gratitude, no guilt in my pussy.

 

Jeanne:

The scene we return to again and again is sex with men. Heterosexual sex, straight sex, the most compromised combination of them all.

How long will it take to remove heterosexuality out of the heterosexual moment?

 

Bjørk: Sex differences are here to stay

 

And sex always contains the seed of danger.

The distance to another body gets filled with meaning made of our unconscious desires, desires we cannot master or understand, desires raised by mommy and daddy, history and the state, pharmacy and aesthetics.

The truth is you get off on power, even when you’re the one being fucked by it.

 

          Jeanne: But killers on the road need to fuel up with sex

           Bjørk: Damn it, I am getting anxious to fuck.

           Bjørk: The more you fuck, the less you think and the better you sleep

          Jeanne: Filthy fucking bitches

 

Jeanne:

Let feminism, then, be done with the virtuous work of social reproduction, the nursing of our collective unconscious, the picking up the pieces, the filling in the gaps of conversation, the holding and forgiving, the apologising and restraining

Let feminism be done with Truemmerfrauen. 

A girl is a man’s sickness,”

and it takes courage to look at your own abjection

 

Bjørk: Baise-Moi “gives feminist filmmaking a bad name

Jeanne: Baise-Moi doesn’t give a shit about what you think.

 

These women are SCUM

Crawling in the gutter awaiting to enter your bloodstream

 

We urge you: Let. Them. In.

Malise RosbechComment