Michel Houellebecq’s request to prevent the broadcast of a film with pornographic content rejected


The writer Michel Houellebecq, in November 2014.

He sees, he explains, Michel Houellebecq, a writer he venerates, as “pathetic and perfectly aware of being”. It is not known whether the author ofAnnihilate (Flammarion, 2022) shares the point of view of Dutch filmmaker Stefan Ruitenbeek, but the conflict which now opposes the two men does have a side ” pathetic “.

On March 28, the Amsterdam court rejected the writer’s request to have the film banned. Kirac 27, which he claims to have been trained in and which he says violates his honor and privacy, as well as that of his wife, Qianyum Lysis Li.

“It is incomprehensible that Mr. Houellebecq participated in the recordings, if he found the contract really problematic”, explained the Dutch judge, rejecting the idea that the author was too drunk and depressed when signing a contract prior to the shooting. During this one, which would have lasted six days between Amsterdam and Paris, according to Mr. Ruitenbeek, Michel Houellebecq was filmed having sex with young women. And the contract he initialed mentioned the possibility that the work might or might not include “explicit content”.

A trailer posted online by the Kirac collective (Keeping It Real Art Critics), by Mr. Ruitenbeek, has had a lot of response for a few weeks. We see, among other things, the shirtless writer kissing a young woman in bed. In a hotel room in Amsterdam, he would have met other young women, “admirers” of his work, according to Kirac.

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A collective that wants to be “rebellious, perverse and funny”

posing as “rebellious, perverse and funny”, the collective, already the author of smoking guns on the art world, has it trapped the writer? This is what the latter implies in an open letter to the director, as well as in a text he recently published in Point. He thought, he explains, to participate in the casting of an upcoming film, not in a shoot. On December 23, 2022, at the end of a dispute which would have opposed him to the director, he deplored on his site the “radically opposed artistic conceptions” of Mr. Ruitenbeek and himself.

The two parties differ just as radically as to the genesis of the film, the Dutchman publicly claiming that it was Michel Houellebecq’s wife who asked him to” help “ her husband by transforming him into “porn star”.

Only one certainty: deprogrammed when it was originally supposed to take place on March 11 (the day of the publication in the Netherlands of the translated version ofAnnihilate), the broadcast of the film will mobilize all the attention. Mr. Ruitenbeek, who intends to proceed with a new assembly, promises that it will now take place in May.

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