Funny story: I couldn’t use the original French poster for Anatomie de l’enfer (2004), because it shows a topless Amira Casar, and I put all NSFW images below a cut. Less funny: I became physically ill while watching this film. But let me back up a bit. Ever since I read about Anatomie de l’enfer in The X List, I’ve been determined to watch it—despite the fact that I was sure I would absolutely hate it. And, of course, I did. It’s pretentious. It’s revolting. It succeeds in shocking the viewer, but to what end? If you read this blog, you know that I’m not exactly prude when it comes to my viewing tastes. I’m not made uncomfortable by explicit material, but I’m annoyed when it’s thoughtless—gross for the sake of being gross. Anyway, my point isn’t, shame on Catherine Breillat for making such a morally reprehensible film. It’s, shame on Catherine Breillat for making such a piece of shit.
Before I show you what I mean, allow me to explain the, uh, plot. Casar is the woman. Italian porn star Rocco Siffredi—who looks like the love child of Hugh Laurie and Jean-Claude Van Damme—plays the man. For vague reasons involving women being totally mysterious and men being total dicks, the woman pays the man to watch her for four nights. At first, he’s repulsed by her scary vagina, but then he grows to love it. There are endless voiceovers explaining the meaning behind this, except … there isn’t any. And so, we get a series of shocking events, culminating in the moment that actually made me gag. I’m not going to wax philosophical about Anatomie de l’enfer, because there’s really nothing there. Instead, I’ll give you a chance to suffer with me, as I present the ten most shocking scenes in chronological order. You’re in for a real treat.
Warnings: extremely NSFW (including images of self-mutilation), minor spoilers for Anatomie de l’enfer.