As French film devotees are well aware, writer-director Jean-Claude Brisseau was found guilty in 2005 of sexually harassing a pair of young actresses who had been persuaded to masturbate while auditioning for parts in Secret Things, his film about female pleasure and transgressing taboos. The filmmaker did receive a stiff fine, but a one-year prison sentence was suspended, and the bulk of charges against him were dropped -- in other words, he got off. Around the same time, Brisseau was putting the finishing touches, so to speak, on Exterminating Angels, in which a writer-director is accused of . . . uh, sexually harassing a pair of young actresses who had been persuaded to masturbate while auditioning for parts in his film about "female pleasure and transgressing taboos." Risible material in more ways than one (and hilarious from the get-go), the film begins by suggesting that its emotionally abusive filmmaker (Frédéric van den Driessche) was the victim of sexual entrapment -- snared by two extremely hot young apparitions in tight black tank tops. Other babes soon head in rapid succession to the auteur's casting couch, confessing their erotic secrets and making him uncomfortably hot, with worse to follow. Brisseau may imagine himself an emasculated martyr for the cause of sexual liberation in le cinéma, but somehow the women in his distinctly male fantasy have the last laugh.
Jean-Claude BrisseauFrederic van den Driessche, Maroussia Dubreuil, Lise Bellynck, Marie Allan, Sophie BonnetJean-Claude BrisseauMilena PoyloIFC First Take