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Ziad Doueiri, Lila Says

Lebanese-born, American-trained (but now considered a French filmmaker) Ziad Doueiri's film Lila Says, his French-language adaptation of a controversial erotic novel, proves that sex, teenage lust (or love) and a stunning new star are all you really need to score with your second feature film. Intense, friendly and a bundle of energy - exactly what you'd expect from someone who spent years with Quentin Tarantino as a camera operator on his movies - Doueiri wasn't fazed by the sexually explicit talk of his provocative heroine. Lila, a 16-year-old blonde who has moved into an Arab neighborhood in Marseille, entrances the virginal teenage youth who will eventually write his memoir of their encounter, called, naturally enough, Lila Says. But Doveiri was stymied trying to find the actress to play Lila - until literally weeks before filming he discovered Vahina Giocante whose sultry performance has drawn favorable comparisons to Brigitte Bardot's memorable breakthrough a half-century ago in And God Created Woman.


Beyond the Subtitles


Stephen Schaefer hosts candid conversations with actors, filmmakers, producers and movie people near and far. Schaefer has over three decades of writing and talking about movies behind him. He is the author of the Hollywood spoof The Autobiography of Marla Del Marr as told to Stephen Schaefer  and is currently a film critic and entertainment writer for The Boston Herald; and a contributor to USA Today and Entertainment Weekly.