VG, 2023-04-02

Ville stanse sin egen pornofilm – tapte

Kyrre Lien, VG, 2023 April 2

Original in Norwegian

Translation to English

Wanted to stop his own porn film – lost

WARSZAWA (VG) This week, controversial author Michel Houellebecq lost a court case in which he tried to have a porn film he participated in stopped. VG has spoken to the female co-actor.

– “For me, sex is a way of exploring different themes, not just the act itself, but rather the desires people have,” Jini Jane, the 23-year-old philosophy student and porn actress, told VG via text message.

She and Houellebecq met in December in Paris to shoot the film.

The French author has been hailed as one of the country’s greatest living writers and millions of his books have been sold worldwide.

But he is also highly controversial.

Both for the way Islam is referred to in his books, his far-right ideas and the misogynistic nature of his books.

But the author continues to sell huge amounts of books, also in Norway.

That’s why it caused such a stir when it became known that the 67-year-old man had made a pornographic film.

In a trailer for the film, the star author lies topless in bed while kissing the 23-year-old actress, who goes by the stage name Jini Jane. VG knows her real identity.

But he has since regretted it.

The author has fought in court and has tried to have the film stopped. On Tuesday this week, he lost.

The author claimed in court that the film damaged his reputation and that he had signed an unfair contract.

“It is incomprehensible why Houellebecq participated in the filming if he found the agreement truly problematic,” the judge said in the ruling.

Houellebecq was also ordered to pay €1,393 in legal costs.

The involuntary porn actor and author, through his Dutch lawyer, Jacqueline Schaap, said the judgement was “very disappointing” and that he is considering an appeal.

Also in February, the author lost a similar trial in France.

– I was tired
It all started in December last year.

Houellebecq’s wife, Lysis, met with the director and had told the director that her husband “wanted to make a porn film to counteract his dark mind”, according to court documents.

Via email, Houellebecq and the director Stefan Ruitenbeek then discussed plans to make “a work of art, in which the distinction between fiction and reality takes shape as a game of the horrific paranoia of their enemies”.

The AFP news agency has seen the documents, which reveal that Mr Houellebecq fell out with the director after the filming.

The author also claims that he was drunk when the contract was signed.

“I was tired, the day had been long and the necessary wine had already been drunk,” the writer says in the court documents.

“I have no ambition to become a porn star at my age”.

When the trailer for the film was released, relations between the writer and director soured further.

The Dutch woman who stars in the film told VG that she was fascinated by the Houellebecq couple and that he is the only living writer she admires.

– “I was driven by my curiosity to have sex with them,” she says.

Now she feels disappointed by the author’s reaction to the film and feels used.

– “I admire his books as much as I used to, but his lack of interest in other people in real life kind of mirrors the same lack of interest in his books. It annoys me.

The film is part of a series by director Ruitenbeek, in what is the Kirac artists’ collective, a rebellious and experimental artists’ collective that is also responsible for a number of controversial films, often featuring sexual scenes.

Their films often play between fiction and reality.

But the porn film is at least becoming a reality, and will be released in May.

“It has always been my intention to make a work of art with integrity,” director Ruitenbeek said in a statement. “Hopefully Michel is happy with the result”.

– Houllebecq is a troublemaker in European literature, or the author who sits in a corner of the party and throws out unpopular and controversial statements that create a bad atmosphere, says author and literary critic Hilde Østby.

And follows up:

– “He also has beautiful and existential literature that goes straight into people’s loneliness and longing for love, the impossibility of reaching each other in a cynical world. So he’s a writer I admire and am fascinated by.

However, she was not surprised to see that the author has made a porn film

– “His writing depicts the longing of older men for younger beautiful women in a rather semi-misogynistic way, the porn film is just an extension of that, I think. I was not disappointed by him, because I honestly had no expectations of him in this respect.

Houellebecq has several times been a favourite to win the Nobel Prize in Literature.

– I think the odds are stacked against him after this,” Østby points out.

VG has contacted the publisher of Houellebecq’s books without receiving a reply. The French author is widely recognised as someone who never gives interviews.