Director: Frédérick Maheux
Screenplay: Frédérick Maheux
Cast: Rémy Couture, Robert Morin, Patrick Senécal, Mario Dumont, Nacho Cerda, Eric Falardeau
Producers: Frédérick Maheux
Print Source: Lamashtu
October, 2009. Following a complaint from Germany, the Sureté du Quebec begins an investigation into suspicious images put online by a local website. Named Inner Depravity, it consists, according to the accuser, of a database giving access to audiovisual files depicting authentic brutal crimes. The man behind the deranged document dump is quickly identified and located. Sequestered in his home by the local authorities, special-effects make-up artist Rémy Couture sees his workshop thoroughly searched while several of his possessions are confiscated. Behind bars, Rémy learns that he is being charged with moral corruption through propagation of obscene material. He is even suspected of committing the violent acts his work depicts. Which is false. For as real and shocking as Couture’s films may be, they remain works of fiction. This argument, however, is seemingly insufficient proof of his innocence. So begins a lengthy judicial saga that, as of today, has yet to reach a conclusion. Accused far and wide of the worst atrocities possible, a target for loathing and prejudice, Rémy Couture quickly understood that he must tell his own version of the facts if certain points are to be demystified. And who better to tell his tale than Frédérick Maheux, an experimental filmmaker more than passingly familiar with cinema of the extreme (his first feature THÉORIE DE LA RELIGION surprised more than a few at Fantasia last year).
The case of Rémy Couture caused controversy within the Quebec artistic community, with reason, whether or not one approves of his work’s undeniably brutal nature. An urgent documentary, ART/CRIME confronts us with the various issues surrounding the case. It takes us backstage at Inner Depravity, allowing us to witness Couture at work, and it offers a somewhat disquieting picture of the state’s control over artistic production and, analogously, freedom of speech. It also sheds some light on the difficulties experienced by law enforcement authorities in their engagement with the internet, a medium that ignores the law only to impose its own. Punctuated by interviews with the artist’s collaborators, but also with eloquent contributors such as Robert Morin, Nacho Cerda and Mario Dumont, ART/CRIME is ultimately more than a mere portrait of Rémy Couture. It is a warning cry. For those who believe in artistic freedom and fear for the loss of this moral right, this film is unmissable. For, should art, no matter what its form, ever be considered a crime?