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François Ozon (1967 - )

Lifespan: 1967 -

Related: French cinema - gay cinema - director

Influenced by: Fassbinder - Douglas Sirk

Films: Sitcom (1998) - Swimming Pool (2003)

Water Drops On Burning Rocks (2000) - François Ozon
[FR] [DE] [UK]

French director François Ozon directed a film based on Fassbinder's play. Ozon's work is in general very reminiscent of Fassbinder's.


François Ozon (born November 15th, 1967) is a French writer and director whose films are usually characterized by sharp satirical wit and a freewheeling view on human sexuality. He has recently achieved international acclaim for his films 8 femmes (2002) and Swimming Pool (2003).

Having studied directing at the French film school La Femis, Ozon made several short movies like Une robe d'été (1996) and Scènes de lit (1998) that already display his defining style. His motion picture directing debut was Sitcom (also 1998), which was well-received both critically and by audiences.

After the Fassbinder adaption Gouttes d'eau sur pierres brûlantes (2000) came the movie which made him a name outside of France, 8 femmes, starring a dream team of such icons of French cinema as Catherine Deneuve, Fanny Ardant, Isabelle Huppert, and Emmanuelle Béart. With its quirky mix of musical numbers and murder mystery and a production design harkening back to 1950s Hollywood melodramas such as the ones directed by Douglas Sirk, this film became a huge commercial success.

In 2003, Swimming Pool starring Charlotte Rampling and Ludivine Sagnier was released, considered by Ozon a very personal film that gives insight into the difficult process of writing a novel or screenplay.

François Ozon is not particularly eager to label his sexuality, but he is generally considered to be gay. At any rate, gay or lesbian characters and plot elements are featured frequently in his works. --http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Fran%E7ois_Ozon [Oct 2004]

5x2 (2004) - François Ozon

Valeria Bruni-Tedeschi in Ozon's film 5x2.
Foto: Jean-Claude Moireau/Francois Ozon
image sourced here.

5x2 is a 2004 French movie directed by François Ozon. The film has been compared to Memento and Irréversible, since it is shown in reverse chronology.

The story focuses on a young couple, Gilles and Marion in their 30's, filmed in five crucial moments of their life together- the meeting, marriage, birth of their first child, arguments and divorce. However, those are told in reverse order. Each moments is separated by an Italian song with evocative lyrics. Overall, it is a pessimistic life lesson about the difficulties of living as a couple. --http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/5x2 [Mar 2005]

8 Women (2002) - François Ozon

8 Women (2002) - François Ozon
[FR] [DE] [UK]

I saw this on Belgian TV yesterday evening, for about 20 minutes before I fell asleep (not out of boredom). I liked what I saw (but I like nearly everything by Ozon) and it reminded me of Agatha Christie (see quote below) and Todd Haynes's Far From Heaven (the clothes and general fifties styling).

As for the influences of the movie, they are numerous. Of course, this film is an adaptation from a play that evokes the Agatha Christie universe but Ozon felt like scattering his movie with all kinds of allusions: Vincente Minelli, Douglas Sirk (the deer in the garden). These allusions are especially linked to French culture: the French TV program "au théâtre ce soir" but also Jacques Demy (the bright colors, the songs) and French cinema before the "new wave". More than allusions, they are tributes from a director who once said "I don't care about new-wave". --dbdumonteil via http://www.imdb.com/title/tt0283832/usercomments [Oct 2006]

Wikipedia: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/8_femmes

See also: Ozon - film - 2002 films - French cinema

Regarde la Mer/See the Sea (1997) - François Ozon

Regarde la Mer/See the Sea (1998) - François Ozon [Amazon.com]
See the Sea is less than an hour long, but offers a full study in quiet menace. A mother and her infant daughter are vacationing at a lonely seaside resort. As they doze on the beach, backpacker Tatiana silently watches them from a cliff top and soon the trouble begins. See the Sea is all the creepier because it never leaves the realm of reality. Director François Ozon is beautifully restrained--he keeps the tension rising without ever going overboard or driving his characters into caricature. It's the tiny things that Tatiana does that give you the shivers. This edition of See the Sea, which is in French with English subtitles, also includes "A Summer Dress," a short film by Ozon. It also has a seaside theme, but is much lighter fare. --Ali Davis, Amazon.com

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