Je T'Aime Moi Non Plus | Chicago Reader
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Je T'Aime Moi Non Plus

Serge Gainsbourg dedicated this 1976 feature, his first as writer-director, to the surrealist author Boris Vian, though the film doesn’t really bear the influence of his playful writing; rather, it’s a dark, sexually charged provocation in keeping with many of Gainsbourg’s recordings. Set in a small town in the middle of nowhere, it concerns the relationship between a dump-truck driver (Joe Dallesandro, from Paul Morrissey’s Flesh, Trash, and Heat) and a young woman who works in the town’s gas station and restaurant (Jane Birkin, Gainsbourg’s partner at the time). He’s into men, but she desires him sexually; eventually he agrees to let their friendship transform into a sexual affair, and she agrees to let him sodomize her because it’s the only way he can get off. Gainsbourg presents the story in a matter-of-fact style that befits the stark settings and forces one to consider the sexual content head-on. This certainly isn’t for everyone, but it nonetheless conveys a weird creative integrity. In French with subtitles.

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