June 08, 2000 01:08am
Controversial French Film to be Shown Uncut
by: Alison James
(PARIS, FRANCE) -- French cinemas will show the uncut version of ``Rape Me'', a violent and sexually explicit first film by author Virginie Despentes, following the French film censorship board's decision not to give it a restrictive X rating.
Despentes, a writer with cult status among French youth, adapted the film from a bestselling book and co-directed it with porn actress Coralie Trinh-Thi. The road film's two female leads are also porn actresses. They play two bad girls who want nothing but sex.
The recent Cannes screening of ``Rape Me'' drew wide-eyed interest from distributors, and the film's sales agent went on to sell the film to 35 territories.
In Europe these include Italy and Spain, while negotiations are under way with distributors in Germany and the U.K. Prints are also being viewed in the U.S., said Vincent Maraval, head of sales agent Wild Bunch. He welcomed the French censors' decision.
``It shows that France is a civilized country. The censors realize the film is good, that it represents a certain subculture in France and its aim isn't to excite people like a porn film.''
The film's ``not for under 16'' classification could prove helpful to distributors in other countries, Maraval said.
The film will be released June 28 in France on about 50 screens.