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Animatrice is the feminine form of a frustratingly un-translatable word. And somehow, it also came to mean what Jean Marc did with his nights for a couple of months in the mid-nineties.
Jean Marc worked on the seventeenth floor of a tall building in Paris.
CARLA: During the day, the boss would breathe over the animatrices’ shoulders, pressuring them to finish up with each partner more quickly so they could move onto the next.
There was such a disconnect between me and the commuters, who were half-asleep.
And I wondered if the people I’d been talking with all night were there, among the commuters, right in front of me.
And, perhaps unsurprisingly, the chatrooms French people most loved were the sex chatrooms.
They were called Minitel rose – French for “Pink Minitel”.
[AD SOUNDS, A WOMAN SPEAKING IN FRENCH] CARLA: This is a TV ad for a chat room called Le Diable au Corps, or “The Devil Inside.” It’s just a still photo of a woman looking suggestively over her shoulder, and the phone number for the server. JEAN-MARC MANACH: My name is Jean Marc Manach, when I was a student, to pay my bills, I used to tell people I was a beautiful girl on Minitel CARLA: Jean Marc, as you can probably tell, is a man.