The experimental movie is about a motorcycle racer (Gallo) who is haunted by tragic memories of a former girlfriend (Sevigny), but it's most known for that scene and its reception at the Cannes Film festival (more on that later).
Gallo, who also wrote and directed the movie, told Film Freak Central that he pitched the project to Sevigny (with whom he'd had a previous relationship of sorts) by saying, "Remember that night in Paris when I did that thing to you but you didn't do it to me because you weren't so into it? Well, you might have to do that. On film." He went on to say that, to his eyes, the scene was needed to demonstrate the connection between male sexuality and self-loathing.
That Sevigny agreed to be in a sure-to-be-notorious scene was surprising, considering that she was a well-known, Academy Award–nominated actor, but she stood by her decision over a decade later.
“I’d probably still do it today. I believe in Vincent as an artist, and I stand by the film,” she told Variety in 2016, adding, “It was a subversive act. It was a risk."
Unfortunately, the risk didn't quite pay off. The debut screening of the film at the Cannes Film Festival ended in massive boos, with famed film critic Roger Ebert calling it the worst film ever shown at the festival.