I could have easily described
Permanent Obscurity as a kind
of “Baise-Moi,” sexploitation/tabloid inspired story set in
the East Village, NYC, a story of two down-and-out gals, both
would-be artists, who set out to make a “dirty movie” with disastrous
then most people would be saying, “What the fuck is ‘Baise-Moi’?
It’s not even Anglish?”
What is “Baise-Moi” then?
It’s none other than the
most edgy, violent “bad girls” movie ever made. (Except that
it was shot on video.)
“Baise-Moi” starts off flashing
its “Visa d’Exploitation” identification number. (Freeze frame
on the title credits and you’ll see what I mean.)
It’s a startling film, and
it shocks me that there hasn’t been a slew of similar movies
made since—movies that combine elements of wild exploitation
and real XXX at once.
Make no mistake, “Baise-Moi”
is a porn film. But a porn film made with keen intelligence,
savage irony, and a solid central arc plot.
This might be what the pioneers
of “porn chic” envisioned when they spoke about the future of
cinema and how XXX and mainstream films would eventually merge
(something which never happened).
Really, it’s the ultimate
on the lam” flick. And about as uncompromising a film as was
ever made. There’s only one other flick that vaguely compares
to it, in terms of sheer misanthropic savagery, and snippets
of that movie show up at one point as one of two characters,
Nadine, is taking it doggy-style and half-watching it on TV.
(“I Stand Alone” is the name of that other movie.)
In the history of sexploitation,
other films tried mixing XXX footage with the main narrative
They Call Her One Eye”).
But in those movies the porn
sections were simply “inserts,” hardcore details performed by
other people and spliced in. In “Baise-Moi” the main actresses
are also the performers, doing all the actual fucking and sucking, sneering
It was after watching “Baise-Moi”
and seeing how far the writer/director, Virginie Despentes went,
that I thought that anything I might come up with would
just seem mild by comparison. And that gave me courage.
I didn’t have to feel like such a perv and freak. I knew I could
try anything, no matter how challenging and obscene.
That’s freedom—the kind that
only art can give you. And I was liberated watching “Baise-Moi.”
I’ll even admit to stealing
the kernel of an idea: the scene where both women “share” a
boy. (I thought that was a fun, subversive idea, playing with
gender reversal and power)
The main difference between
“Baise-Moi” and Permanent Obscurity?
Whereas both characters in
“Baise-Moi” are sociopathic killers full of bottomless rage,
my characters, Dolores and Serena, are just two naïve girls,
quasi-teenagers, trying to make it. Two would-be baddass
mamas, who really know less about the world than they think
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Richard Perez has the
ears of the angels—lend him yours.
—Barry Gifford, author: WILD AT HEART, PERDITA DURANGO
Perez's is an exciting
talent and his work goes far beyond most of what is
—Henry Flesh, author: MICHAEL and the Lambda
Dolores & Serena:
for Russ Meyer—
assuming, that is, if Meyer was around and still at his peak.”
Josh Alan Friedman, author: TALES OF TIMES SQUARE, WHEN SEX WAS DIRTY
They were young and immoral!...
What about sexploitation?