The story seems to be taken from a novel by Michel Houellebecq.
Nothing is missing: sleaze galore, existential angst, pornography and contemporary art.
Although perhaps it is something more prosaic: the story of an aging man who, in the midst of a bad life period, gets into a situation that does not suit him.
The truth about the 'Houellebecq case'
The experimental film in which Houellebecq (Saint Pierre, Reunion Island, 67 years old) appears having sexual relations with one or several women has overcome a decisive judicial obstacle, despite the French writer's attempts to stop the project.
The Dutch collective Kirac has won Houellebecq in court, whose lawyer has announced that she will appeal the decision, according to
The author of novels such as
published by Anagrama in Spanish, had asked a court of first instance in Amsterdam to prohibit the distribution of the film.
He claimed that this violates his privacy.
This is the second lawsuit Houellebecq has filed, and lost, against the Kirac collective.
The French judges already ruled a few weeks ago that the advances in the trailer did not violate his privacy.
The premiere was scheduled for March 11 and was postponed due to the two lawsuits.
Houellebecq, in 'Kirac 27'.
What began as an artistic crush between a renowned polemicist and a filmmaker with a similar taste for provocation has ended with a disagreement between the two and between accusations of deceit and disloyalty.
It is a drama, or a comedy in three acts.
Paris, early November 2022. Houellebecq's wife, Qianyum Lysis Li, dined with visual artist Stefan Ruitenbeek, one of the people behind Kirac, and a friend of hers, Jini van Rooijen, known as Jini Jane.
The writer recounts, in an article in the weekly
that he stayed at home that day because he felt depressed.
At dinner the idea of shooting a threesome sexual sequence with Houellebecq, Lysis Li and Van Rooijen came up.
It would be broadcast on the channel that the latter has on the adult content platform OnlyFans.
“My wife accepted, telling herself that she would pleasantly change my mind,” writes Houellebecq, who accepted on the condition that he preserve his anonymity.
The couple donned masks and Ruitenbeek filmed the sequence.
Amsterdam, end of December 2022. After the meeting in Paris, the writer and his wife kept in touch with Ruitenbeek and agreed to film a film.
Houellebecq was willing to participate as an actor, but, again, on the condition that he not be recognized, "for reasons of personal tranquility."
article , he recounts that he traveled with his wife to Amsterdam to do a
with several women.
As soon as we arrived at the station, things began to go wrong.
She was uncomfortable that Ruitenbeek filmed them from the beginning and without asking permission.
At night, he appeared with the cameraman in the hotel room and presented him with a contract, which the writer signed.
The next day, the filmmaker returned with a woman identified as Isa, with whom Houellebecq exchanged a few kisses.
That moment could be seen in the trailer of the film, suppressed a few weeks ago by the judicial dispute.
At that time there was a first dispute between the writer and the filmmaker.
Two days later, they finally fell out.
Paris-Amsterdam, March 2023. When Ruitenbeek posted the trailer online, Houellebecq was surprised to appear in a film whose release, he says, he had not authorized.
He took the case to the French and Dutch Justice to stop the project.
On March 3, the Paris court rejected his claim.
The past Tuesday, the one of Ámsterdam did the same.
The judges verified the existence of a contract and concluded that Houellebecq had sufficient time "to review the content of the agreement and reject his cooperation."
They also considered it "incomprehensible" that he would participate in the recordings "if the pact seemed problematic to him", and they gave the filmmakers the green light.
controversy after controversy
“Today I pay for the deflagration of violence caused by your trailer, which irremediably threatens my private life,” says Houellebecq in an open letter to Ruitenbeek.
“I am formally opposed to the plans that you have obtained through deception (because, I repeat, they were obtained before the signing of the contract and because, until then, it was only an account on OnlyFans) being used in your films, this or others”.
In the same issue of
however, Houellebecq claims that what is shown in the trailer was shot in Amsterdam after signing the contract.
Not so that of OnlyFans, in Paris.
In defending his case in the Netherlands, Houellebecq claimed that he "was depressed and drunk" when he signed the contract, and "didn't know what he was agreeing to."
On the contrary, Ruitenbeek assured that the writer gave him permission to film "with full knowledge of the facts."
Ruitenbeek has not answered the questionnaire sent by EL PAÍS, at his request.
The French writer, at one point in 'Kirac 27'
The clash between Houellebecq and Ruitenbeek goes beyond the inclusion of erotic passages in one city or the other.
The young woman with whom she was in Amsterdam felt used to learn that she intended to ban the film, since she hoped to publish the video of the part corresponding to the Parisian moment on OnlyFans.
Houellebecq has not stopped chaining controversies.
At the end of 2022, the Grand Mosque of Paris denounced him for inciting hatred against Muslims.
The writer told Front Populaire
that "the pure-blooded French population" wants "Muslims (...) to stop stealing and assaulting (...), or, another good solution, to leave."
A few days later, he agreed to qualify his words and the rector of the Grand Mosque, Chems-Eddine Hafiz, withdrew the complaint.
Everything ended more or less well on that occasion.
It is not certain that this time the writer and his Dutch adversary will end up signing peace.
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