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France 2002
produced by
Edouard Weil, Xavier Giannoli, Jean Coulon (executive), Claude Davy (executive) for Elizabeth Films, M6 Films, Citizen films, Vertigo Films, TPS Cinéma, Cofimage, Gimages, CNC, Procirep, Group Dataciné
directed by Olivier Assayas
starring Connie Nielsen, Charles Berling, Chloe Sevigny, Gina Gershon, Jean-Baptiste Malartre, Dominique Reymond, Thomas M. Pollard, Abi Sakamoto, Julie Brochen, Jorgen Doering, Jean-Charles Dumay, Jean-Pierre Gos, Randal Holden, Alexandre Lachaux, Mathias Mlekuz, Nao Omori, Naoko Yamazaki, Gilles Masson
written by Olivier Assayas, music by Sonic Youth

review by
Mike Haberfelner

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Diane (Connie Nielsen) puts drugs in her colleague Kare's (Dominique Reymond) drink on a flight home from a business trip. Arriving on solid ground, the out-of-it Karen is kidnapped by 2 men ... days later she is found, seriously injured.

Diane meanwhile has taken over her job, & is working on an important assignement, buying the rights to Japanese animated porn & selling it to the American company Demonlover.. & she works together with Hervé (Charles Berling), someone the icecold Diane always had a soft spot for ... & noone suspects her having drugged Karen, noone but maybe KAren's (& now Diane's) assistant Elise (Chloe Sevigny), with whom she only agrees about hatin each other.

But why did Diane drug Karen, just to boost ther own career ?

No, Diane is a spy for Animetronix, Demonlover's chief competition in the distributin of Japanese animated porn, & if Demonlover would make the deal with Diane's company, it woulod blow Animetronix out of the market. So Diane has to do everything to sabotage the deal, but she soon finds out sabotaging a perfect deal in her position proves much more difficult than it might sound like, & soon Diane is left with no other choice but to personally break into Demonlover's chief negotiator Elaine (Gina Gershon) & steal her labtop ... but she is caught by Elaine, & in the fight that ensues, Diane almost kills her, but in the end, Elaine knocks her out ...

The next day´, Diane wakes up in the hotelroom, but Elaine is gone, & so are all traces of the fight.

A few days later, Karen, the woman she druged, gives her a videotape that shows her what has happened ... some anonymous people have cleaned up the room & brought the injured Elaine away ... but now they have her in their hands, & they are not just someone, they are from the Hellfire Club, an extreme S/M porn site that just happens to be a subsidiary of Demonlover.

Soon Elise, her assistant that has more & more become her master for all the things she knows about her, comes to pick her up & give gher a tour through the Hellfire Club, but this time, Elise lets her off easily ...

Later Diane has a date with Hervé, the man she almost loves ... but he tells her that he is working together with Elise ... for Demonlover/Hellfire Club. Still, she goes to bed with him (for the first time), but in the next morning shoots him in the head.

It's not long before she is picked up by the Hellfire Club again, & locked into a dirty hotelroom. An attempted escape leads to nothing & in the end she becomes the subject, the star of the Hellfire club, for the next session ... a session she (like many other Hellfire Club models before her, might not survive.


What sounds like a sensationalistic blend of cyberpunk & erotica, somewhat similar to David Cronenberg's Videodrome, actually turns out to be a fine mystery, driven by characters rather than shiney surfaces, that paints a rather grim but fascinating picture of today's businessworld, where wearing a clean suit doesn't keep onefrom selling sleaze to the world & openly admitting to enjoy extreme S/M porn, while still claiming to be a respectable businessman.


review © by Mike Haberfelner


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Robots and rats,
demons and potholes,
cuddly toys and
shopping mall Santas,
love and death and everything in between,
Tales to Chill
Your Bones to

is all of that.


Tales to Chill
Your Bones to
a collection of short stories and mini-plays
ranging from the horrific to the darkly humourous,
from the post-apocalyptic
to the weirdly romantic,
tales that will give you a chill and maybe a chuckle, all thought up by
the twisted mind of
screenwriter and film reviewer
Michael Haberfelner.


Tales to Chill
Your Bones to

the new anthology by
Michael Haberfelner


Out now from




On the same day
a Burglar wants to kill you
and your Ex wants
to make up ...
... and for the life of it,
you can't decide


A Killer Conversation

produced by and starring
Melanie Denholme
directed by
David V.G. Davies
written by
Michael Haberfelner
Ryan Hunter and
Rudy Barrow

out now on DVD