new-french-extremity

Trouble Every Day is a 2001 film by French director Claire Denis. The film was written by Denis and Jean-Pol Fargeau. Starring Vincent Gallo, Tricia Vessey, Béatrice Dalle and Alex Descas with a soundtrack provided by Tindersticks.

The film received mixed reactions from critics. Variety wrote that it is “over-long, under-written and needlessly obscure instead of genuinely atmospheric”. The Boston Globe was more positive, but concludes by calling the film “a success in some sense, but it’s hard to like a film so cold and dead”.

Later, the film developed a small following who admire it for its themes of existentialism and its unique take on the horror genre as well as gender roles. It was given an in depth analysis by Salon.com which looked at the intricacies of the film, particularly the metaphorical nature of the narrative.

At Film Freak Central, Walter Chaw calls it “Plaintive and sad, Claire Denis’ Trouble Every Day is a rare combination of honesty, beauty, and maybe even genius.” The film has been associated with the New French Extremity.

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New French Extremity (or New French Extremism) is the originally-derisive term created by Artforum magazine critic James Quandt to denote a certain raw, nihilistic, transgressive style of French filmmaking adopted by various filmmakers beginning in the late 1990′s. 

“Cinema suddenly determined to break every taboo, to wade in rivers of viscera and spumes of sperm, to fill each frame with flesh, nubile or gnarled, and subject it to all manner of penetration, mutilation, and defilement.” – James Quandt, Artforum

While most of these films are ground in horror–choosing to shock the audience with excessive amounts of gore, violence, or graphic sexual content–a chosen few dramas have managed to squeeze their way into the subgenre out of sheer obscenity or taboo subject matter.  WARNING: Many of these films are absolutely not for the faint of heart or easily disturbed, and some contain harrowing depictions of rape and brutality.  If you are unsure of whether or not you can handle a title’s content (or whether or not it is horror, or drama), I highly encourage seeking out further information beforehand (this list is a good place to start).  Keep in mind that these are also not all masterpieces, but are included for the sake of being thorough.

Examples of New French Extremity (permanent link availability not guaranteed):

Here’s an Intro To New French Extremity list for @redneckkungfu and also for me because I’ll probably forget some of these in the future. (I know you said that you didn’t want too much of the sex-stuff but sadly that’s like 90% of the genre, I’ll just be listing the ones with some of my favorite gore/disgusting/creepy stuff). I’m excluding Martyrs because everyone has seen it and Irreversible because I dont really like it that much.

SHEITAN

One of the few (good) comedies in the genre, its about backwoods satanists luring stupid city-folk into their depravity. Its fun and also a nightmare.


HIGH TENSION

This one is really fun and has a neat twist, so be careful looking into a synopsis. It is also one of the most early-2000′s movies I’ve ever seen and Cécile de France is so good in this.


TROUBLE EVERY DAY

There are only a few erotic-horrors that have really done it for me, but the love triangle between Vincent Gallo, Tricia Vessey and Béatrice Dalle becomes so alien and disgusting that I couldn’t watch any movie with intimacy in it for a week. Its really good.


BAISE-MOI

Nadine is a prostitute who is tired of her current career path and Manu is just bored with rural France. So they decide to go on a nationwide crime spree that turns into a string of brutal spree killings very quickly. Did I mention that the title translates to “Fuck Me”? So expect that.



SOMBRE

The meet-cute story between a serial killer who’s following the Tour de France for his victims and a psychologically unstable woman who falls for him. This movies visuals are so grimy and unnerving that Harmony Corine fans will burn their copies of Trash Humpers.


DANS MA PEAU

Cannibalism is usually something that is understandably used for shock-value, because of how alien it is from anything normal people would do. But this movie goes to great lengths to make it an incredibly intimate experience that causes the film to feel really relatable. Especially considering the fact that the cannibal and victim are the same person. Probably my favorite.


HIDDEN

  Everyone’s favorite misanthropic German Michael Haneke directed this film. A family finds tapes that are simply recordings of their houses exterior. Things happen after that. Its not the classic example of the genre, but the dread is enough.


LA VIE NOUVELLE

In some semi-ruined European country an American man falls for a local prostitute, his love turns to infatuation and later into something worse. This is probably one of the most visceral movies I’ve ever seen, some scenes feel as close to Hell as we’ll ever capture on film. Fun!