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ANATOMY OF HELL


PRESS

ALEXANDRA SCHAMIS

SANDRA CORNEVAUX

A.S COMMUNICATION

11BIS RUE MAGELLAN

75008 PARIS

TEL 01 47 23 00 02

FAX 01 47 23 00 01

AMIRA CASAR ROCCO SIFFREDI

ANATOMY OF HELL

A FILM BY CATHERINE BREILLAT

PRODUCED BY JEAN-FRANÇOIS LEPETIT - FLACH FILMS - CB FILMS

WITH THE PARTICIPATION OF CANAL + AND LE CENTRE NATIONAL DE LA CINÉMATOGRAPHIE

NATIONAL RELEASE JANUARY 28 2004

RUNNING TIME 87'

Visa n°106 655 ● Format 1.85 ● Dolby SR ● Color ● int - 16 ans

www.anatomiedelenfer.com

DISTRIBUTION

REZO FILMS

29 RUE DU FBG POISSONNIERE

75009 PARIS

TEL 01 42 46 96 10

FAX 01 42 46 96 11

infosrezo@rezofims.com

www.rezofilms.com


ANATOMY OF HELL

In places where people rub shoulders and never meet, where techno drives physical

urge, they dance, sway and blend in a primeval hydra of male bodies.

In their sudden, shared desire, it's just men, with no need of anyone else.

She is the Girl, breathtakingly beautiful and totally overlooked.

In a toilet stall, she cuts her wrists with a razor blade.

Two thin, parallel lines that converge in blood.

That's how they meet.

He doesn't like women. She will pay him to watch, she says.

- Where I'm unwatchable.

- It'll cost you a lot.

- 'll pay you.

Four nights. In a house in the middle of nowhere, perched on a cliff,

the front steps topped by four pillars.

Four nights of confrontation, her against him.

For the obscenity of women takes shape in men's eyes.

Four nights to confront the unspeakable, to explore what can't be

shown: that which is secret.

As in the Hebrew of the Book of Genesis in which "secret" is the same

word as "nudity", literally "that which must not be seen".

When physical nudity penetrates the nudity of the soul, it reveals awareness.

The intimate is the ultimate forbidden, that leaves you lost for

words.


Initiatory taboo versus religious taboo

The film could only ever take place behind closed doors. Within four walls,

you can't escape the essential. The woman is confined to the bed and all will

be revealed. This film is like Pythagoras' theory of obscenity. Truth is persecuted

by religious obscurantism. Religion, as it is conceived, posits us as

sinners for wanting to know. So, it is a film about knowledge. On what was

this terror founded?

Sexuality is something that transcends us and the transcendence is not quite

normal. Between the taboo that means "shame" and the taboo that means

"initiation", between the unnamable, thus the unwatchable, and the unnamed,

there is a huge difference and my film is positioned there. There is the

sacred on the one hand and the ignominious on the other. Ever since Romance, I

have navigated between them trying to find out what it is that is being hidden from

us and the reasons why women are relegated into the ignominious rather than the

initiatory taboo.

Sexuality reaches for the summits since climax is a language whereas pleasure is

a form of consumerism. Climax -- being above one's body -- is akin to speech as

if there were an abstraction from the body that enabled us to exist through a feeling

of eternity. Attaining this presents an obvious challenge to the power of religion.

We live in a post-religious society which has analyzed nothing, nor even opened

the founding texts to try to understand where religion derives its venerability and

respectability. People always say we must respect religion but we don't know it. In

that case, I could say I respect the Holocaust, stoning, etc, on the basis that it is

written.

There are, every time, only two possibilities. Either we talk about it, try to understand,

and abolish, or we respect and live in absolute denial of all our humanist

positions. It's Schizophrenia.

I prefer to understand. Of course, it's not easy. It's a two-headed hydra within us

that we must resolve.

For example, in ancient Hebrew, "nudity" is the same word as "secret". It is possible

to interpret this in a beautiful way for a secret can be a magnificent thing.

Unfortunately, it is also possible to interpret it in a horrible way.

The Gospels are magnificent but as soon as we get to St. Paul, women are relegated

to monstrous servitude. How can we swear on that, for example, in the

name of democracy? The film dismantles the denials on which we live because of

NOTES ON THE FILM BY CATHERINE BREILLAT

a society that hems us in and prevents us from being what we are. Society provides

for us to live comfortably but never profoundly, at the heart of what we are.

Which is why I am totally Socratic, i.e. "know thyself". It's fundamental. In saying,

"I think therefore I am," it's my subconscious talking and I want to know it to draw

from its well whenever I desire.

"The man who doesn't love women"?

I think that we can consider the nightclub at the beginning of the film as an

allegory for humanity (not just of gays).

Men occupy the surface of the planet and the woman is the odd one out. Since

there are only men in the world, they value and love each other. They don't need

to love women. Confronted with that, the woman cannot exist with her human

dignity intact: since she grew out of Adam's rib, she is conceived in his servitude,

say the books.

I think that if woman is defined by her sex, it is through sex, unhindered by its

reproductive function and by the social denial of humanity, that she can build her

identity.

Refusing to see sex as a means of access to abstract thought and reducing it to a

simple object of derision, totally shameful and devoid of its aura, is, in my eyes, a

denial of humanity. My film rises up against that.

The Christlike blood of women

The Tampax scene comes from the Old Testament. Religion deals with the question

of women's periods. I read the Old testament when we were mixing the movie

and I came across a page where it was written word for word. I had taken it literally,

unwittingly, because we are impregnated with it, while drawing the opposite

conclusion to that of the impurity and servitude of women. If people say to me that

you can't show that, then I'll point them to the page in the Good Book. The Old

Testament is a fine book from a literary and artistic point of view, but making a religion

out of it is barbaric.

To be precise, female menstruation is also the subject of Sura 2 (The Cow), verse

222. It is dismissed in lapidary manner: "It is an evil."

At the time, people had no idea of the cycle of fertility. That of animals was

obvious.


Human fertility is more enigmatic.

For me, that is a good thing.

It has been turned into something evil.

The Christ I film is not the one you find in church. It's the real Christ, bleeding on

his cross. The woman herself becomes Christlike. She is pinned to the bed under

the man's gaze, which could be the gaze of the Pharisee. She is in a state of both

sanctification and sacrifice. There is something sacrificial because she is destined

for cruelty.

The close-ups there, where the woman is unwatchable

They were shot with a body-double on the last day of shooting. I have to say that

the shoot took place in a state of grace that settled over the set at the precise

moment that I was preparing the lighting and framing of each shot. Before, we

were all very afraid. It was a fear we had to fight shot after shot. This state of grace

materialized only on set. The next shot is always an unknown. It follows on from

the previous one and it all becomes simple. The whole crew felt this kind of blend

of bliss and terror. The film haunted everybody.

These close-ups produce stupor proportionate to the dread that the man feels

before that which is unwatchable, this denied part of the woman. I wanted to show

what is increasingly hidden or eliminated, by which I mean the pubis, hairs under

the arms, etc. Corbet's The Origin of the World is, as it happens, a painting I am

obsessed with. It is equally important pictorially as philosophically. It opens people

to moral foundation. Man Ray's photos of women show them with their body hair,

Pasolini's women likewise.

It is the female isosceles triangle. Nowadays, the triangle has disappeared.

In porn movies, the trend is for there to be no hair whatsoever. It's not natural anymore.

That reminds me of an anecdote. I had a stepmother who was brought up

in the highest strata of high society. As a child, she was waited on hand and foot

by butlers and chefs. She often ate artichoke hearts in a very sophisticated sauce.

Later, she married and lived a much simpler life. One day, she was served artichokes

au naturel and she panicked at the sight of the "hairs". She had no idea

what to do with them.

Nowadays, by constantly removing these hairs, we're turning something that is

perfectly natural into an abomination. If we pile this abomination on top of a physiological

reality that hits us with puberty, then our very nature becomes abominable

and we can only conceive of ourselves in shame.

Archaism and origin

We have to come back to what is. When he shot eXistenZ, Cronenberg took his

inspiration from the fatwa against Rushdie and he created these dreadful organic

objects so that we would change our aesthetic codes. Unforgiving morality is

always based on these aesthetic codes that we readily consider a Truth.

Because we are very sensitive to fashion and it impregnates us with its laws.

Yet, we know that nothing fluctuates more than fashion.

And morality cannot be based on fashion. That's what I think.

As soon as you decide to hide part of a woman's body, that part inevitably

becomes obscene.

And now we have two female high school students wearing hijab and telling us

about the obscenity of their ears: can't you see that this is far more terrifying than

accepting our bodies as they are? After all, there are only two sexes. It's hardly a

state secret.

The origin of cinema

I wanted to rediscover some of the emotion of silent movies with, in particular, the

incandescence of the light on the bodies that enables them to stand out against

light and dark backgrounds, to the point where they become almost ethereal. For

me, light is the soul. It was fundamental that for this film, which is rooted in our origins,

the lighting could reveal something primitive. For example, when the man

stares at his finger moistened by the woman's sex, I wanted a kind of fantasy picture

effect, the image of the first man discovering something unthinkable, a bit like

King Kong, who deep down is the first man. I'm talking about the original King

Kong, of course, in black & white, which is so much more poetic and archaic.

When King Kong looks at this tiny blonde in his palm, he whose world view

revolves around power and brute force, who has no conception of love, who just

has to close his hand to crush his beautiful captive, suddenly has a flicker of emotion.

The seeds of the weakness that will cause his downfall are sown. I often

thought about that during the shoot.

The actors

I wrote the movie for Rocco. The character was for him. And I have to say that he

plays it body and soul, right down to the deepest distress. He uses no artifice and

always tries to find the literal state of what was written. In the scene where he

bursts into tears on the bed, he let the emotion of the moment swallow him up

completely. It was incredible.

As for Amira, she possesses real elegance, the grace of models transcended by


artists. I thought her body was just perfect to film her as an odalisque, like in a

Caravaggio painting. She also has a slightly Byzantine face, that resembles

Christ's with an arched forehead and eyebrows like crow's wings.

The male first person

This movie is my first where I wanted to identify with the man, as I did in my early

novels, such as L'homme facile. I shot and edited the movie trying to get into his

skin. Sure, the voice emanating from the woman is that of destiny but, as I'm a bit

schizo, let's say that I am the man discovering the woman who is me. That's probably

why the character is homosexual. A man who doesn't love women, deep

down, is closer to me, even if Rocco is an exception.

The initiatory nature of the movie

Rocco is original man, emerging from the mammals. His male dignity lies in being

the strongest. Suddenly, he encounters not the female but woman. This woman,

who through desire no longer responds to the laws of the species, endows him

with emotions. He can't help but approach her and in so doing he loses his strength.

But at the same time he gains feeling. And humanity, therefore. He gains by

existing in the abstract rather than just in muscle. But as he is the last animal, at

the point of becoming human, he is scared. Because he loves and senses his

weakness, he kills the woman who sapped his strength. In the café, he tells his

story, he recounts his weakness. And this weakness is him becoming human, finding

words. Then, he returns to the scene without thinking he has killed her. When

he gets there, the house is empty but for nightmares and dreams. It no longer

belongs to the reality of what happened to him. It appears now at the end of the

initiatory rite of he who has become a man. The initiation has taken place.

Obviously, he is horrified to have killed her but he needs to be aware of it to know

that from now on he can accept feelings and weakness.

I have always been for power without power. We have power over ourselves. If we

wield it over others, it's tyranny. Having it gives you stature but you mustn't use it.

Suddenly, the man in my film has the power of knowledge. He abandons brute

force and that makes him grow in stature. I think that it shows genuine love of men

to want to tell that story. I won't let anybody tell me the opposite…

In the beginning, the book

I needed to immerse myself in words. You can't make a movie as primary as this

without dealing with the words. Generally, subjects this fundamental are very slim

in plot, so you have to explore language to bring out the subconscious. There is no

dramatic dynamic within the movie. There is just a mythical dynamic. That is why it

was vital to ground it in a literary way, or to be more exact in a subconscious way.


When I wrote the screenplay, I went through a kind of cut-and-paste process using

my book, Pornocracy, dreaming up voiceovers that related whole passages of text.

It was this voiceover that was my inspiration on set for each shot and its content.

And then, of course, it virtually disappeared. But for me it was a necessary part of

the process. Not just putting: "she spreads her legs and he sees…".

I needed a poetic, almost metaphysical language.

The obscene imperative

I was very afraid when I wrote the screenplay, much more than for the book. I knew

that filming the forbidden was another matter. Unforgivable almost.

But I was determined to make this movie at all costs. I knew it would be the last

on this subject. It closes a cycle. I couldn't dodge it.

I strongly believe that as an Artist there is a "Pornographic Imperative": I think that

the question of the obscenity and fundamentalism of the way people see women is

an essential problem for human civilization.

But it isn't taken into account in politics and the law courts because it is a key issue

in religious power and taboo. Consequently, the words "obscenity", "pornography"

and "human dignity" linked to a woman's body and its (dis)play stifle any possible

argument. Since philosophers are not prepared to argue this case, it is up to filmmakers

and artists to find something that preceded fundamentalism.

It's very difficult because it means rewinding our subconscious almost 3,000 years.

The territory of obscenity, which is said not to be visible, is the territory of artists.

It is up to artists to make it visible. Instead of believing what we are always being

told, in order to stop us thinking. We have to fight for our right to think and to consider

perfectly watchable that which is said to be unwatchable. That's the point of

the woman's contract in the movie: "watching me where I'm unwatchable". She

doesn't specify where this is, even if we know that it includes her sex. So why isn't

it watchable? Because it is vile or because it is initiatory? Society tends to tell us

that it is vile, monstrous and loathsome. That's what makes us dread it so much. I

am puritanical and this film scared me too. I really have to express my thanks to

Amira Casar for taking it on because it required astounding courage.

When, for example, you see these two young girls wearing hijab and explaining

that even one's ears can be indecent and nobody contradicts them, it's terrifying.

For me, that is much less acceptable than overcoming the taboo of obscenity. Like

it or not, that is the real issue facing civilization.

Are women loathsome?

I think that Godard, in Une Femme est une Femme, found a very prophetic

ending.

A difference between men and women?

I don't feel in any way different from men, artistically and intellectually. As an artist

I am not sexual. I am an artist, period.

There is an imperative therefore to see how men and women confront each other.


They are man and woman, not because of their awareness, nor their human dignity,

nor their intelligence, but because they come from mammals and then they no

longer see themselves as man and woman but as male and female.

And with mammals, it's about the survival of the fittest, and thus of the male. It's

just that human sexuality is very specific to our species. I bracket it with language,

the Rubicon that animals will never cross.

Emotion, ecstasy, eternity, the sense of abstraction all involve sex once it is no longer

simply a means of animal reproduction and contingency.

It is clear that in evolving we escape that. But the churches oppose this evolution

because transcendence, artistry and knowledge conflict with the image of "the sinner

who expiates for eternity his error in wishing to attain that."

And at that moment, they lose Heaven on Earth and they realize that they are

Naked: you can see that there is a relationship between elevation, art and awareness

of NUDITY as a mark of infamy and a tool of enslavement.

Hell on earth

Hell is living in a world where they want to blindfold you to stifle your awareness.

This movie is against fundamentalism of all kinds, which draws strength in denial.

Of course, it will be greeted by a wall of hate, proportionate to this hell on earth

that has been created for women.

Yet the censors won't know where to stand or what to say.

For the film is an investigation of censorship, of our fantastical or genuine terror.

I don't fear censorship.

I fear hatred, which is the gut response to a film like this.

Interview by David Vasse,

author of Catherine Breillat, un cinema de la transgression which

will be published early 2004 by Arte Editions/Editions Complexe.


NOVELS

L’HOMME FACILE / Christian Bourgois Editeur et 10/18

Réédition J’ai Lu 2001

LE SILENCE, APRES … / François Wimille Editeur

LES VETEMENTS DE MER (theater) / François Wimille Editeur

LE SOUPIRAIL / Guy Authier Editeur

TAPAGE NOCTURNE / Mercure de France

POLICE / Albin Michel et le Livre de Poche

36 FILLETTE / Carrère

LE LIVRE DU PLAISIR / Editions N°1

ROMANCE / Les Cahiers du Cinéma

A MA SŒUR ! / Les Cahiers du Cinéma

UNE VRAIE JEUNE FILLE / Editions Denoël

PORNOCRATIE / Editions Denoël

SCREENPLAYS

CATHERINE & Co... de Michel Boisrond

BILITIS de David Hamilton

LA PEAU (co-writer) de Liliana Cavanni

L’ARAIGNEE DE SATIN (co-writer) de Jacques Baratier

E LA NAVE VA (co-writer) de Federico Fellini

POLICE de Maurice Pialat

ZANZIBAR (co-writer) de Christine Pascal

MILAN NOIR (co-writer) de Rony Chamah

LA NUIT DE L’OCEAN (co-writer) de Antoine Perset

AVENTURE DE CATHERINE C. (co-writer) de Pierre Beuchot

LA THUNE de Philippe Galland

DEVIL IN THE FLESH (téléfilm) de Gérard Vergez

VIENS JOUER DANS LA COUR DES GRANDS

de Caroline Huppert

SELON MATHIEU (co-writer) de Xavier Beauvois

CATHERINE BREILLAT

FILMS

UNE VRAIE JEUNE FILLE

TAPAGE NOCTURNE

36 FILLETTE

SALE COMME UN ANGE

A PROPOS DE NICE, LA SUITE (AUX NIÇOIS QUI MAL Y PENSENT)

PARFAIT AMOUR !

ROMANCE

A MA SŒUR !

Best Film (Gold Hugo) and Best Actress awards Chicago Festival 2001

Tribute Telluride Festival 2001

Movie Zone Award Rotterdam 2002

BREVE TRAVERSEE

First Prize Luchon Festival 2002

Best Actress award Geneva 2001

SEX IS COMEDY

Opening film Director's Fortnight Cannes 2002

ANATOMY OF HELL


How did you get involved with this project?

I have always appreciated Catherine Breillat's universe. Her ideas always strike a

chord within me. She displays a kind of mythical and mystical poetry that I find very

touching. When she gave me the script to read, I found one line particularly striking,

when my character says: "I want to be watched where I'm unwatchable." Those few

words were enough to get my imagination moving.

My career and my classical training made me receptive to great writing and here

you find lines that are rich in meaning and power. You sense a link to Marguerite

Duras' La Maladie de la Mort. I detected a metaphorical link to Greek tragedy.

I immediately compared my character to that of Ariadne and her rapture, in every

sense of the word. That's where I found my sub-text, the key to my character.

Rocco was Dionysus, who has come to ravish this girl abandoned by Theseus.

Some will see him as Theseus, others as Bacchus. Personally, I preferred a god to

a Peloponnesian playboy!

Catherine Breillat has a singular way of filming actresses. She magnifies them, sublimates

them. When we met for the first time, there was a kind of connection between

her world and my imagination. Even though the subject matter is so strong

and dealt with so uncompromisingly, I was captivated by her artistic ambition. She

has extremely powerful vision. This film is in some ways a kind of anthology of her

universe. That inspired me.

Working with her was an experience in itself?

I have made many varied movies. In 2003 particularly, I switched between

genres. I arrived on the set of Anatomy of Hell having just completed Christine

Jeffs' Sylvia, starring Gwyneth Paltrow, which is the story of Sylvia Plath's life

with Ted Hughes. Heading off into Breillat's world necessarily was a break with

what I had done. But I had great trust in her and was ready to throw myself into

it within the limits I had already laid down.

I agreed to everything, except live sex. I had a body double for that and the limits

of my performance are specified at the beginning of the movie.

Once that was settled, I could allow the camera as close to me as possible in the

interests of the story and the fable dimension. The man and woman have no

names, they are emblematic of an encounter. To emphasize her approach,

Catherine uses symbols and metaphors like in tragedy or in a fable. She does it

with unyielding honesty and the desire to destroy all pretence. Her method

AN INTERVIEW WITH AMIRA CASAR, The Girl

means she avoids vulgarity. Catherine often says that there is obscurantism in

our puritan world. Her avant-garde approach is in reaction to that. She displays

genuine courage.

Despite the distance between you and the character, your commitment was

exceptional.

My character evolves in a dimension that goes beyond anecdotal. The

symbolism is very strong. I embody the female sex and its questions and

doubts. Through this ritual, the Girl completes a journey. Each night is a

different stage. To build the character I used the Ariadne subtext but I

also found inspiration in something else.

For some time now, I have been interested in Dora Maar and Picasso and,

having seen various exhibitions, amidst the fabulous wealth of work, I

found my personal thread in a sketch torn out of a notebook and colored

in wax crayons: Dora and the Minotaur.

Facing this half-man, half-beast, Dora recoils, and in her eyes you can

detect both total abandonment and refusal to submit, which makes her

the mistress of her actions. Her black hair and pointed, red nails are instantly

recognizable. I wanted exactly the same nails for my character.

Sometimes, an image says more than any words can. It's a double-edged

struggle that I saw as part of the movie. Some people will think that the

Girl is mistreated and won't understand the film's feminist argument. In

order to liberate her heroine, Catherine has her engage in a process of

self-debasement that she alone controls. She chooses the man, she pays

him.

If it is a rite of initiation, where does it lead?

Liberty. For me, the film deals with the sacred and the profane. Catherine flits between

these two notions, exposing the frontier between them. My character liberates

herself in going towards a mythical death that transcends her existence. She

is like an animal that knows it is going to be sacrificed. From the very beginning, she

senses she is going to die. She gives herself up to this destiny that she will fulfill in

four days and nights. From the opening shots, the notion of sacrifice is present. It's

one of the strongest aspects of the movie, the opposition between the person sacrificing

and the person being sacrificed.


How did you work with Rocco?

We come from very different worlds but in this movie Rocco is an actor, not a porn

actor. He respected my limits and was very respectful towards me.

How did Catherine direct you?

Catherine is not concerned with an actor's pat psychology. I was often moved by

her, carrying her burden come hell or high water, arriving on the set in the morning

and finding herself in the same emotive state as the actor because she is in the

same labyrinth and feels the same nervousness.

She becomes a real scene partner. The actors are an extension of herself, of her

imagination and of what she is trying to say. We are the raw material that she molds.

She is uncompromising in terms of her work. She doesn't censor herself and,

through her intelligence, she leads you into her way of thinking. With Catherine, you

walk hand in hand in the dark. The wealth of her culture relies on a shared experience,

a handing down, and that inspired me enormously. I always hope for emotion.

When I buy into a filmmaker's vision, I can push myself very far, although I think

I'll only do a project like this once in my life. Catherine was aware of my reservations,

my protestant upbringing and my self-discipline, which she appreciated. I

gave myself over to her voluntarily, as a woman in charge of her destiny, a woman

who shares her way of thinking.

The dialogue is very literary in a tragic register.

It is beautifully written. It was important to avoid theatricality. The scansion is complicated,

the sentences are long, discontinuous sometimes, always meaningful and,

from a syntactic point of view, heavy for an actor. It is all very fragile.

There is a whole world between the original screenplay and what appears on

screen.

Every day, an image needs to be created and that's not easy. The whole crew has

to engage in a creative process that can be brutal, demanding and conflictual in

terms of oneself and one's doubts, in order to achieve the harmony that gives birth

to that image. Starting from a void to form an image and a conception is totally abstract.

To my mind, Catherine's work can easily be compared to that of a painter.

Was this role a challenge you set yourself? Did you learn something about yourself?

An enormous amount. I think I came out of this experience both highly vulnerable

and extremely strong. Being a committed actor, who invests deeply in a part,

requires huge energy. Being naked on set is not easy. Personally, I don't like it. And

at the same time, I felt extremely protected by the second skin constituted by the

make-up and lighting. All that contributes to the sublimated dimension of the movie.

How does Catherine talk you through a scene?

We don't work on the scenes together. They come out of the moment on set. You're

on the razor's edge. You have to know your lines perfectly because Catherine is

capable of altering any single element of the context. She works instinctively. It's

what happens at any given moment that counts, not what was planned or set down

on a storyboard.

It's not improvisation either because she doesn't like that but it's a process that's

very alive, instantaneous, which, without changing the lines, can alter their direction.

As an actor, you are constantly being molded. Catherine has an incredible way of

directing actors and her method is both extremely strict and vulnerable.

The director is there to manipulate the actress. If the idea of being manipulated is

upsetting, it's because there is no trust. If I hadn't accepted it, I would have been

out of place. Anatomy of Hell may shock those who don't buy into what it is saying.

This movie wasn't for just any actress and quite a few of them would have been

constantly having second thoughts. As for me, I see Catherine as an avant-gardist

and I don't want to clip her wings. I allowed her to construct her vision. When you

work with someone like Catherine, if you understand what she has to say -- not

intellectually but deep within -- it can be so elevating..

What will be your strongest memory of this experience?

Things aren't set in stone. This is neither my first nor my last movie but it is an

important stage in my life as an actress. It counts a lot to me because I gave a lot

of myself.

I am glad to have met Catherine. She is everything and its opposite. Both brazen

and shy, brutal and extremely gentle. I like those paradoxes within her. I like giving

myself up to her vision because I know it sublimates the actress and the woman.

Some people won't agree but that's how I feel. For me, she is the heir to Pasolini.

If this film shocks people, it will be in the same way that Salo did because, with its

own distinct ideas, it is in that tradition.

Even if my protestant upbringing taught me a sort of stoicism, Catherine has added

something essential to my life: detachment.


CINEMA

1989 ERREUR DE JEUNESSE by Radovan Tadic

1991 LE SILENCE DE L'ETE (short) by Véronique Aubouy

1994 DEPART IMMEDIAT (short) by Thomas Briat

SORTIE DE LYCEE (short) by Caroline Champetier

AINSI SOIENT-ELLES by Patrick Alessandrin

1995 SHARPE'S SIEGE by Tony Clegg

LIMITED EDITION by Bernard Rapp

1996 WOULD I LIE TO YOU? by Thomas Gilou

César nomination for Best Newcomer 1998

Trophée du Film Français 1998

MARIE BAIE DES ANGES by Manuel Pradal

MIRADA LIQUIDA by Rafael Moleon

1998 WHY NOT ME? by Stéphane Giusti

SOONER OR LATER by Anne-Marie Etienne

FROM BEHIND by Valérie Lemercier

LE COEUR A L'OUVRAGE Laurent Dussaux

2000 ONCE WE GROW UP by Renaud Cohen

WOULD I LIE TO YOU? 2 by Thomas Gilou

HOW I KILLED MY FATHER by Anne Fontaine

BUNUEL AND KING SOLOMON'S TABLE by Carlos Saura

2001 NOURRIR LA LUNE by Jacques Baratier

HYPNOTIZED AND HYSTERICAL by Claude Duty

RENEE by Catherine Corsini

2002 UNDER ANOTHER SKY by gaël morel

2003 MARIÉE MAIS PAS TROP by Catherine Corsini

SYLVIA by Christine Jeffs

ANATOMY OF HELL by Catherine Breillat

AMIRA CASAR

TELEVISION

1996 BEETHOVEN, UN AMOUR INACHEVE by Fabrice Cazeneuve

2001 MURDER ON THE ORIENT EXPRESS U.S.A./ Grande-Bretagne

2002 LES CHEMINS DE L'OUED by Gaël Morel

FORTY by David More pour Channel 4

2003 LES THIBAULT by Jean Daniel Verhagues

THEATER

1999 AUNT DAN AND LEMON by Wallace Shawn - directed

by Tom Kairn, with Miranda Richardson, Glen Hedly - Almeida

Theatre, London

HEDDA GABLER by Henrik Ibsen - directed by Raymond

Aquaviva, with Jean-Claude Dauphin - Petit Théâtre de Paris


When did Catherine Breillat first mention this project to you?

For at least ten years, she has wanted to make a movie with me. We talked over

several ideas and then there was Romance. Before that, she didn't know me, she

had only seen me in porn movies. So, she had no idea what I would be like in a real

part. I think she was happy with it because she offered me another.

She wanted to adapt her book, Pornocracy, but she also wanted to write a film with

me as the lead. It took a number of years for the project to take shape before I got

to read the script.

What did you think of it?

As ever with Catherine, it's full-on. She doesn't play with feelings, she tries to tame

them. Personally, there was one thing that posed a problem. I know Catherine hates

pretence. You have to be totally committed as an actor in her movies, but the script

contained a gay scene and, even though I'm not a homophobe, I won't go that far.

Seeing as she really wanted to do the movie with me, she found a compromise. I

suggested that we could get across the character's homosexuality by a kiss in the

nightclub. Even that wasn't easy. It's fairly intimate!

What attracted you to the project?

For me, as an actor and as a man, this film was a challenge. The script was complex

and the dialogue was so demanding I didn't think I would be able to speak the

lines. After all, French is not my first language. But Catherine had faith in me and

that motivated me. I have always enjoyed playing a part, even in adult movies. Even

with a terrible director, I try to be credible and act properly. In Romance, I only had

a minor role but I got a glimpse of how difficult acting can be.

This time, I was being given a chance to leave behind Rocco Siffredi and act a totally

different character. Making mainstream movies as opposed to porn made me sit

and think about where I was going. I had to ask myself some tough questions. I was

confronted with my own limitations, but in spite of that each experience has made

me want to come back for more. With Anatomy of Hell, I had the chance to go even

further.

AN INTERVIEW WITH ROCCO SIFFREDI, The Man

On set, did you have an overall vision of the movie?

My perception of the movie came as we were making it. Beforehand, with just the

screenplay, I had no real handle on it. There was the meaning of the dialogue and

the strength of the situations. When I didn't know, I put my trust in Catherine. I was

scared she wouldn't like how I played the character but, according to her, I immediately

took the right approach to him.

Do you recall the first scene you shot?

It was one of the most difficult for me, when I arrive at the Girl's house for the first

time. I had a lot of text, a lot of business. I was immediately confronted by what had

intimidated me. I had built my character as best I could, far from what I was familiar

with. I was riddled with doubt. Catherine reassured me. That's when I became

aware of the commitment the part required. I couldn't do a take and go off to make

a few phone calls. I had to be totally there the whole time. Even though I often felt

quite lonely, I never forgot how lucky I was to be there playing that part. As I often

have in my career, I made sure I faced up.

For the first time in my life, I was able to slip into a character that wasn't me and

enjoy it. Acting is a fascinating business. I got into porn movies for reasons of physical

attraction but this was something else. Acting really is something else.

What's it like working with Catherine Breillat?

It's Ivy League. She is a great director of actors. She takes hold of them and drives

them to give the best of themselves. She is a force of nature with a huge personality.

She sees everything, senses everything. Nothing escapes her. She is a fabulous

director.

She lives the scenes with us. She plays a scene out with her assistant to get the feel

of it. Afterwards, we talk about the mindset of each character. You have to respect

her desire to leave nothing to chance. I really hope our paths cross again.

Did any of the scenes cause you particular problems?


I found the scene where I have to drink the blood hard. It was very disconcerting.

Besides that, nothing was that difficult. The problems came afterwards. I didn't

sleep for two months because I had really got into the skin of this guy who realizes

at the end all that he has lost.

Seeing the movie for the first time was also a shock. It is so powerful and meaningful,

it left me in a state of real confusion.

That maybe also comes from the fact that I was scared to watch myself on screen.

I was incapable of judging my performance, of knowing if I had won my bet with

myself. On the other hand, I thought that Amira was excellent. What you see on

screen functions differently from what happens on set. The result escapes the

context of its creation. It's quite magical. You may think you were good or bad when

the camera was rolling and the film shows you the opposite.

Do you think another actor could have played this part?

Yes, lots. Harvey Keitel could have done it no problem because he's one of those

people who can throw themselves heart and soul into a movie. Before, in mainstream

cinema, whenever it came to sex, they'd dodge the issue with lots of close-ups of the

actor's faces. Nowadays, actors and directors are more comfortable with the reality

of what they're talking about. Pasolini and Kubrick were pioneers. I don't think you

can talk about sex anymore without showing the reality of it. Which means that porn

will restrict itself increasingly to the extreme, all the fantasies that you can't live out at

home.

Mainstream cinema is all about emotion, porn is about sensation.

You are a sex symbol and in this movie you play a homosexual who's thrown

into total disarray through losing dominance over a situation. How do you feel

about that

Fine. Its obviously one of the most important roles of my life. I was able to be what

I'm not. What I am is not at the other end of the scale either. This experience has

simply given me the desire to continue and to take my acting even further.

It's an unusual, difficult movie. People won't necessarily give it a positive reception.

Personally, I was looking for an intense acting experience and I got it. As for judging

my performance, I'll leave that to Catherine and audiences because I just can't. My

wife can't either. She doesn't speak French and can't read the English subtitles, so

she saw the movie without understanding a word of it!

Despite that, she found it very strong and searching.

Has the movie changed your outlook on women? Did you feel yourself being

challenged as a man?

A lot of things gave me pause for thought. When the woman talks about blood and the

fact that a lot of men find menstruation repugnant, it's true. We don't like getting intimate

with women when they have their period. But that doesn't mean we hate them. I

don't share the totality of the film's philosophy.

I'll definitely talk about it one day with Catherine and she'll give me one of those very

tightly argued answers of which she has the secret. It won't necessarily change my

mind either!

Up until now all your non-porn roles have called on your sexual attributes. Is

your next challenge to take on a part that doesn't?

Exactly. I've only made three non-porn movies so far, with a female director each

time. And each time, they wanted to use that side of me. Not using it could be my

next challenge, to see if I can be as convincing without the sexual aspect. I'd like to

know if I can have the same appeal in mainstream as in porn. Various projects are

in the works. Only time will tell.

.


Rocco Siffredi was born in Ortona Mare, Italy.

At the age of 16, he enlisted in the Italian navy and served until

1982, when he joined his brother Giorgio in Paris.

In 1985, he met Gabriele Pontello, a renowned adult film director,

who introduced Rocco to the industry. Rocco made his

debut in Belle d'amour. Even though he enjoyed the experience,

he moved to London to pursue a career as a model after falling

in love with an English girl.

In 1990, he resumed his acting career in adult films, quickly

meeting with huge success: he won his first award as Best

Adult Film Actor at the AVN Festival for the movie Buttman's

Workout.

One award followed another: 3 AVN awards in 1992, the Hot

d'Or in Cannes that same year for the movie The Adventures of

Mikki Finn. In 1993, he won the Hot d'Or as Best European

Actor for the movie Portrait Passion, directed by Molitor. In

1995, the Hot d'Or as Best New Director and, in 1996, the AVN

award as Best European Actor for the movie Never Say Never

to Rocco.

In 1997-1998, Rocco embarked on the production of big-budget

adult movies with more inventive screenplays, such as

Rocco Never Dies.

In 1999, with the movie Romance, he appeared in a so-called

ROCCO SIFFREDI

traditional production for the first time.

After Romance, Rocco became the figurehead for the Olly Gan

ready-to-wear brand in France and was seen in a number of

advertisements (TV, newspapers, magazines, dream cast, video

games, etc…)

In 2001, he appeared in another mainstream movie, Amore

Estremo, directed by Maria Martinelli.

Between 1999 and 2002, Rocco shot a number of big-budget

experimental movies, such as www.roccofunclub.com, which

marked a turning point in adult film. He is the first adult movie

star to have appeared in a film using state-of-the-art technology

and virtual imagery. The film was a huge success and won

awards around the world.

In July 2002, he played the lead in The Fashionistas, a 35-mm

film produced and directed by John Stagliano. This film, probably

the most ambitious to date in the adult film industry, won

several awards at the 2003 AVN Festival in Las Vegas, where

Rocco also screened his latest movie, The Ass Collector, the

biggest he has ever been involved in.

The Ass Collector has been enthusiastically received around

the world and won the Best Actor, Best Director, Best Adult

Movie and Best Porn Scene awards at the Barcelona Erotic

Film Festival.


FEATURES

FAMILY LIFE by Jacques Doillon, DUST by Marion Hänsel, THREE MEN AND A CRADLE

by Coline Serreau JOUR ET NUIT by Jean-Bernard Menoud, LA FEMME SECRETE by

Sébastien Grall, SALE DESTIN by Sylvain Madigan, L'ETE EN PENTE DOUCE by Gérard

Krawczyk, LES NOCES BARBARES by Marion Hänsel, UNDER SATAN'S SUN by

Maurice Pialat, LE GRAND CHEMIN by Jean-Loup Hubert, CHINE MA DOULEUR by Dai

Sijie, SEPARATE BEDROOMS by Jacky Cukier, IL MAESTRO by Marion Hänsel, RIO

NEGRO by Atahualpa Lichy, LE BRASIER by Eric Barbier, ISABELLE EBERHARDT by Ian

Pringle, DIEN BIEN PHU by Pierre Schoendoerffer, BUSINESS by Nouri Bouzid, LEOLO

by Jean-Claude Lauzon, FAR FROM BRAZIL by Tilly, BONSOIR by Jean-Pierre Mocky,

LA NUIT SACREE by Nicolas Klotz, LA CHAMBRE 108 by Daniel Mosmann, WOMEN

HAVE ONLY ONE THING ON THEIR MINDS by Charlotte Dubreuil, PUSHING THE LIMITS

by Thierry Donard, L'AFFAIRE by Sergio Gobbi, KILLER KID by Gilles de Maistre, BAR-

NABO OF THE MOUNTAINS by Mario Brenta, FATHER AND SON by Pasquale

Pozzessere, POLIZIOTTI by Giulio Base, PASOLINI MORT D'UN POETE by Marco Tullio

Giordana, MARIO AND THE MAGICIAN by Klaus Maria Brandauer, DEATH AND THE

MAIDEN by Roman Polanski, SECRETS SHARED WITH A STRANGER by Georges

Bardawil, JANE EYRE by Franco Zeffirelli, UNPREDICTABLE NATURE OF THE RIVER by

Bernard Giraudeau, TONKA by Jean-Hugues Anglade, HOSTILE WATERS by David

Drury, BANDITS by Katja von Garnier, MARTHE by Jean-Loup Hubert, FOOLISH HEART

by Hector Babenco, HÖLDERLIN LE CAVALIER DE FEU by Nina Grosse, TGV by

Moussa Touré, ROMANCE by Catherine Breillat, BLAME IT ON VOLTAIRE by Abdel

Kechiche, FAT GIRL by Catherine Breillat, CONFESSION D'UN DRAGEUR by Alain Soral,

SEX IS COMEDY by Catherine Breillat, ANATOMY OF HELL by Catherine Breillat.

Jean-François Lepetit has executive-produced for Walt Disney in the USA:

- THREE MEN AND A BABY (remake of THREE MEN AND A CRADLE) directed by

Leonard Nimoy

- THREE MEN AND A LITTLE LADY (sequel to the remake) directed by Emile Ardolino,

- PARADISE (remake of LE GRAND CHEMIN) directed by Mary Agnes Donoghue.

And a first IMAX-OMNIMAX feature entitled I WRITE IN SPACE by Pierre Etaix.

JEAN-FRANÇOIS LEPETIT

Jean-François Lepetit founded Flach Film in 1983 and has produced or coproduced many feature films, TV movies and documentaries.

TV DRAMA

YOUTH SERIES SECONDE B (104X26MN), C'EST COOL (91X26 MN) AIRED ON FRANCE

2,LA MADONE ET LE DRAGON BY SAMUEL FULLER, LES MOUETTES BY JEAN CHAPOT,

UN BALLON DANS LA TETE BY MICHAËLA WATTEAUX, URGENCE D'AIMER BY PHILLIPE

LE GUAY, ARMEN ET BULLIK BY ALAN COOKE, UN OTAGE DE TROP BY PHILIPPE

GALLAND, LA REGLE DE L'HOMME BY JEAN DANIEL VERHAEGHE, LE VENT DE L'OU-

BLI BY CHANTAL PICAULT, LES MOTS QUI DECHIRENT BY MARCO PAULY, PARENTS A

MI-TEMPS BY ALAIN TASMA, UN GARCON SUR LA COLLINE BY DOMINIQUE BARON,

JE M'APPELLE REGINE BY PIERRE AKNINE, TOUS LES HOMMES SONT MENTEURS BY

ALAIN WERMUS, L'AMOUR A L'OMBRE BY PHILIPPE VENAULT, L'HUILE SUR LE FEU BY

JEAN-DANIEL VERHAEGHE, LA DISGRACE BY DOMINIQUE BARON, TOUT CE QUI

BRILLE BY LOU JEUNET, LA BASTIDE BLANCHE BY MIGUEL COURTOIS, LA COURSE

DE L'ESCARGOT BY JÉRÔME BOIVIN, BOB LE MAGNIFIQUE BY MARC ANGELO, UNE

FEMME A LA DERIVE BY JÉRÔME ENRICO, LA TRESSE D'AMINATA BY DOMINIQUE

BARON, A BICYCLETTE BY MERZAK ALLOUACHE, PARENTS A MI-TEMPS II BY

CAROLINE HUPPERT, L'INCONNUE DU VAL PERDU BY SERGE MEYNARD, DE TOUTE

URGENCE BY PHILIPPE TRIBOIT, L'AUBE INSOLITE BY CLAUDE GRINBERG, HOPITAL

SOUTERRAIN BY SERGE MEYNARD, LE HASARD FAIT BIEN LES CHOSES BY LORENZO

GABRIELE, LES FEMMES ONT TOUJOURS RAISON BY ELISABETH RAPPENEAU, VOUS

ETES DE LA REGION ? BY LIONEL EPP, DEMAIN NOUS APPARTIENT BY PATRICK

POUBEL, LE PAYS DES ENFANTS PERDUS BY FRANCIS GIROD.

DOCUMENTARIES

L'AMOUR EN FRANCE by Daniel Karlin, UNE FEMME CONTRE LA MAFIA by Irène

Richard, BENAZIR BHUTTO by Omar Amiralai, REMINISCENCE ou LA SECTION

ANDERSON 20 ANS APRES by Pierre Schoendoerffer, LE SOULEVEMENT DU GHETTO

DE VARSOVIE by Willy Lindwer, PIN UP by Jérôme Camuzat, PHOOLAN DEVI by Irène

Richard, COLLECTION LES ECRIVAINS DU XXEME SIECLE, LES ANNEES ARRUZA by

Emilio Maillé, UN 8 JUILLET A SEVILLE by Emilio Maillé, UN PARCOURS ALGERIEN a

documentary by Hervé Bourges, directed by Alain Ferrari.


The Girl

The Guy

Wasteland lovers

Barfly

Boy with bird

Young girl

Boys playing doctor

Pharmacists

Amira Casar's Body Double

Voice

Camera

Assistant directors

Film editing

Sound

Sound editing

Sound mixer

Casting

Script supervisor

SFX make-up

Key make-up artist

Key hair design

Costumes

Amira CASAR

Rocco SIFFREDI

Alexandre BELIN

Manuel TAGLANG

Jacques MONGE

Claudio CARVALHO

Carolina LOPES

Diogo RODRIGUES

João MARQUES

Bruno FERNANDES

Maria Edite MOREIRA

Maria João SANTOS

Pauline HUNT

Catherine BREILLAT

Yorgos ARVANITIS

Guillaume SCHIFFMAN

Miguel MALHEIROS

Susana GOMES

Michäel WEILL

Rita BENIS

Pascale CHAVANCE

Frédéric BARBE

Carlos PINTO

Filipe GONÇALVES

Sylvain LASSEUR

Bertrand LENCLOS

Emmanuel CROSET

Michaël WEILL

David SANTINI

Valente Produções

Fátima RIBEIRO

Dominique COLLADANT

Fabien TUIZAT

Ana LORENA

Ana FERREIRA

Valérie GUEGAN

Betty MARTINS

Catherine MEILLAN

ANATOMY OF HELL

Adapted by Catherine Breillat from her book

"PORNOCRACY"

Editions Denoël

Production Design

Steadycam

Lighting

Grips

Unit management

Foley artist

Re-recording engineer

Catering

Sanine SCHLUMBERGER

Pedro Sá SANTOS

Jean-Marie MILON

Paula SZABO

Pedro GARCIA

Jacques MONGE

Paulo Jorge ANTUNES

Arnaldo JUNIOR

João PEQUENO

Jorge CABRITA

Joaquim AMARAL

Alfredo RAMALHO

António FURTADO

Vicente COENTRO

Miguel STOCKER

Luis GONÇALVES

Christophe BOURREAU

Jean-Max MORISE

Dina SERQUEIRA

Tó CAMPOS

Crew backup:

Joana Alcazar, Orlando Alegria, Suzete Pires

Maria João Scherek, Atílio Silva, Flor Hernandez

Jean-Yves Delignere, Rui Brizida, Francisco Piscina

Paulo Dias, Telma de Jerusalem, José Ramalho

Nuno Cunha, Eduardo Piteira, Jorge Rocha

Aires Dias, Manuela Osorio

Graphic design

Grading

Post-production supervisorr

Production administrator

Production assistant

Administration

Eric MONTORO

Christophe BOUSQUET

Pascale CHAVANCE

Marie-Agnès BROSSAUD

Héléna MENDES

Jean-Pierre BILLARD

Hugo RIBEIRO

Natércia FONSECA


A film by

Catherine BREILLAT

Produced by

Jean-François LEPETIT

Executive Production Portugal

ANIMATOGRAFO II

António da Cunha Telles

Production Managers

Philippe DELEST

Catherine LEROUX

A

Flach Film – CB Films

production

With the participation of Canal +

and the Centre National de la Cinématographie

Music

D’julz "Timeless Bass"

(c) 20:20 vision records

composed and produced by D'julz Sigle studio

Music coordinator

Mathias BERNARD

Promotion, Publicity

LABEL COM

Press

AS COMMUNICATION

Ventes à l'étranger

FLACH PYRAMIDE INTERNATIONAL – FPI

www.anatomiedelenfer.com

www.flachfilm.com

With thanks to

FREDERIC MITTERRAND

NINA RICCI

MAC

PRADA

CÃMARA MUNICIPAL DE LISBOA

INSTITUTO SUPERIOR DE AGRONOMIA

UNIVERSIDADE TÉCNICA DE LISBOA

Film lab GTC

Film stock FUJI

Sound equipment DCA

Post production AUDITEL - TELETOTA

Auditorium AUDITEL - TELETOTA

Re-recording AUDITEL-TELETOTA

Titles MICROFILMS

Insurance LES ASSURANCES CONTINENTALES

Dépôt légal 2003

Copyright 2003 - Flach Film - CB FILMS

All rights reserved - visa d’exploitation 106655

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