François Ozon

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François Ozon
François Ozon avp 2012.jpg
François Ozon in 2012
Born (1967-11-15) 15 November 1967 (age 48)
Paris, France
Occupation Film director, screenwriter, film editor, producer
Years active 1988–present
Website www.francois-ozon.com

François Ozon (French: [fʁɑ̃.swa o.zɔ̃]; born 15 November 1967) is a French film director and screenwriter whose films are usually characterized by sharp satirical wit and a freewheeling view on human sexuality.

He has achieved international acclaim for his films 8 femmes (2002) and Swimming Pool (2003). Ozon is considered to be one of the most important French film directors in the new “New Wave” in French cinema such as Jean-Paul Civeyrac, Philippe Ramos, and Yves Caumon, as well as a group of French filmmakers associated with a "cinema du corps/cinema of the body".[1]

Life and career[edit]

Ozon was born in Paris, France. Having studied directing at the French film school La Femis, Ozon made several short films such as 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 by both critics and audiences.

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

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

In 2004 he directed the film 5x2. In 2005 his film Time To Leave was screened at various film festivals worldwide.

Ozon's first full English-language production Angel starring Romola Garai (I Capture the Castle, Vanity Fair) was released in early 2007. The film, based on a novel by British writer Elizabeth Taylor, follows the story of a poor girl who climbs Edwardian England's social ladder by becoming a romance writer. The film was shot at Tyntesfield House and Estate near Bristol, at other UK locations and in Belgium.

While filming Angel, Ozon developed a strong friendship with Romola Garai and now calls her his 'muse.'

His film The Refuge had its world premiere at the Toronto International Film Festival in September 2009.

On 19 December 2011 he was announced as being on the jury for the 62nd Berlin International Film Festival, which was held in February 2012.[2]

His 2013 film Jeune & Jolie was nominated for the Palme d'Or at the 2013 Cannes Film Festival.[3] Ozon was elected as best screenwriter at the 2013 European Film Awards for his 2012 film In the House.[4]

His 2014 film, The New Girlfriend, premiered at the Toronto International Film Festival in September 2014.[5]

Gay themes and characters[edit]

Ozon often features gay people in his films. Some examples include:

  • Une robe d'été: a young gay man strengthens his relationship with his boyfriend through a brief encounter with a woman and how her summer dress changed his sex drive.
  • Scènes de lit: this features a lesbian couple and a gay couple.
  • La petite mort: a gay man's relationship with his estranged father.
  • Sitcom: this spoof comedy has numerous lesbian and gay references. The family's son comes out, engages in sexual orgies and begins an affair with the maid's husband, a sports teacher. The maid, herself, finds out she's a lesbian and seems to have a relationship with the mother, who has tried to cure her son's homosexuality by sleeping with him - she, of course, fails.
  • Les amants criminels: the main male character is gay and in the closet; he kills his (male) object of desire out of jealousy and enjoys his relationship with an ogre-like man who's kidnapped him and his female friend who was, more or less, his beard
  • Gouttes d'eau sur pierres brûlantes: the two male characters, Léopold and Franz, are lovers - they are either gay or bisexual, while Véra, a former boyfriend of Léopold's, is now an M2F transsexual/trans woman.
  • 8 femmes: one woman is lesbian and two others are bisexuals; the maid is ambiguous towards her female boss all the while she is her male boss's mistress. This film presents a lesbian kiss between Catherine Deneuve and Fanny Ardant. It's a gay cult movie in France.
  • 5x2: a happy gay couple is used to highlight the unhappiness of the heterosexual couple in the film.
  • Le temps qui reste: this deals with the end of life of a young gay man dying of cancer.
  • Le Refuge: this film explores the relationship between a homosexual man and the pregnant girlfriend of his deceased brother.

Recurring actors[edit]

A number of actors have appeared more than once in Ozon's films. They include :

  • Sébastien Charles, who plays the lover of the main character in Robe d'été has appeared in numerous other Ozon movies (Scènes de lit/Les puceaux, Sitcom) and choreographed 5x2, 8 femmes, Gouttes d'eau sur pierres brûlantes and Robe d'été.
  • Sasha Hails, who appears Ozon's short films Une rose entre nous and Regarde la mer (along with her real-life daughter Samantha).
  • François Delaive appears in three Ozon's short films Thomas reconstituté, La petite mort, and in one of the segments of Scènes de lit.
  • Camille Japy in Le petit mort and Scènes de lit.
  • Évelyne Dandry in Sitcom and Potiche.
  • Marina de Van plays in Sitcom, Regarde la mer and has co-written Sous le sable and 8 femmes, as well as the poem "Bouche de Saïd" from Les amants criminels.
  • Charlotte Rampling plays in Swimming Pool, Sous le sable, Angel and Jeune & Jolie.
  • Ludivine Sagnier plays in three movies: Gouttes d'eau sur pierres brûlantes, 8 femmes, Swimming Pool.
  • Lucia Sanchez plays in three movies: Une robe d'été, Scènes de lit, Sitcom.
  • Valeria Bruni Tedeschi, who is in both Le Temps qui reste and 5x2.
  • Catherine Deneuve, who is in both 8 femmes and Potiche
  • Melvil Poupaud, who is in both Le Temps qui reste and Le Refuge.
  • Jérémie Renier in Les amants criminels and Potiche.
  • Fabrice Luchini is in Potiche and Dans la maison.
  • Sergi López appears both in Ricky, and briefly in Potiche

Filmography[edit]

Year Title Credited as Notes
Director Screenwriter
1988 Photo de famille Yes Yes Short film (also as editor and cinematographer)
1988 Les Doigts dans le ventre Yes Yes Short film (also as editor, cinematographer and producer)
1990 Mes parents un jour d'été Yes Yes Short film (also as producer)
1991 Une goutte de sang Yes Short film
1991 Peau contre peau (les risques inutiles) Yes Documentary short
1991 Le Trou madame Yes Documentary short
1991 Deux plus un Yes Short film
1992 Thomas reconstitué Yes Yes Short film
1993 Victor Yes Yes Short film
1994 Une rose entre nous Yes Yes Short film (also as actor)
1994 Truth or Dare Yes Yes Short film (also as editor)
French Syndicate of Cinema Critics - Best Short Film
1995 Little Death Yes Yes Short film
1995 Jospin s'éclaire Yes Documentary film (also as editor)
1996 L'Homme idéal Yes Yes Short film
1996 Une robe d'été Yes Yes Short film
L.A. Outfest - Audience Award for Outstanding Narrative Short Film
Nominated—César Award for Best Short Film
1997 Regarde la mer Yes Yes Medium-length film
1998 Sitcom Yes Yes
1998 Scènes de lit Yes Yes Short film (also as editor)
Avignon Film Festival - Prix Panavision
1998 X2000 Yes Yes Short film
Clermont-Ferrand International Short Film Festival - Special Mention of the Jury
1999 Criminal Lovers Yes Yes L.A. Outfest - Grand Jury Award
Sitges Film Festival - Best Screenplay
2000 Water Drops on Burning Rocks Yes Yes 50th Berlin International Film Festival - Teddy Award for Best Feature Film
New York Lesbian and Gay Film Festival - Best Feature Film
Nominated—50th Berlin International Film Festival - Golden Bear
2000 Under the Sand Yes Yes Nominated—César Award for Best Film
Nominated—César Award for Best Director
Nominated—European Film Award for Best Director
2002 8 Women Yes Yes Lumières Award for Best Director
52nd Berlin International Film Festival - Berliner Morgenpost Readers' Jury Award
Nominated—52nd Berlin International Film Festival - Golden Bear
Nominated—César Award for Best Film
Nominated—César Award for Best Director
Nominated—César Award for Best Writing
Nominated—European Film Award for Best Film
Nominated—European Film Award for Best Screenwriter
2003 Swimming Pool Yes Yes Nominated—2003 Cannes Film Festival - Palme d'Or
Nominated—Critics' Choice Movie Award for Best Foreign Language Film
Nominated—European Film Award for Best Film
Nominated—European Film Academy People's Choice Award for Best European Film
2004 5x2 Yes Yes Nominated—61st Venice International Film Festival - Golden Lion
2005 Time to Leave Yes Yes Valladolid International Film Festival - Silver Spike
Nominated—2005 Cannes Film Festival - Prix Un certain regard
2006 A Curtain Raiser Yes Yes Short film
2007 Quand la peur dévore l'âme Yes Short film (also as editor)
2007 Angel Yes Yes Nominated—57th Berlin International Film Festival - Golden Bear
2009 Ricky Yes Yes Nominated—59th Berlin International Film Festival - Golden Bear
2009 The Refuge Yes Yes San Sebastián International Film Festival - Special Jury Prize
2010 Potiche Yes Yes Nominated—BAFTA Award for Best Film Not in the English Language
Nominated—César Award for Best Adaptation
Nominated—European Film Academy People's Choice Award for Best European Film
Nominated—Globes de Cristal Award for Best Film
Nominated—Magritte Award for Best Foreign Film in Coproduction
Nominated—67th Venice International Film Festival - Golden Lion
2012 In the House Yes Yes European Film Award for Best Screenwriter
RiverRun International Film Festival - Best Narrative Feature
RiverRun International Film Festival - Best Screenplay
San Sebastián International Film Festival - Golden Shell
San Sebastián International Film Festival - Best Screenplay
2012 Toronto International Film Festival - FIPRESCI Prize (Special Presentations)
Nominated—César Award for Best Film
Nominated—César Award for Best Director
Nominated—César Award for Best Adaptation
Nominated—European Film Award for Best Director
Nominated—Gaudí Award for Best European Film
Nominated—Goya Award for Best European Film
Nominated—Online Film Critics Society Award for Best Adapted Screenplay
2013 Young & Beautiful Yes Yes San Sebastián International Film Festival - TVE-Another Look Award
Nominated—2013 Cannes Film Festival - Palme d'Or
2014 The New Girlfriend Yes Yes San Sebastián International Film Festival - Sebastiane Award
Prix Jacques Prévert du Scénario
2016 Frantz Yes Yes

Other awards[edit]

Further reading[edit]

  • Asibong, Andrew, François Ozon, Manchester University Press (2008) ISBN 0-7190-7423-1
  • Cavitch, Max, "Sex After Death: François Ozon's Libidinal Invasions," Screen 48.3 (2007), 313-26
  • Padva, Gilad. "Undressed Masculinities and Disrupted Sexualities in Une Robe d’été" in Grandena, Florian and Johnston, Cristina (Eds.). Cinematic Queerness: Gay and Lesbian Hypervisibility in Contemporary Francophone Feature Films, vol. 2 (Modern French Identities 98) (pp. 215-225). Oxford and New York: Peter Lang (2011).
  • Palmer, Tim, "Style and Sensation in the Contemporary French Cinema of the Body," Journal of Film and Video 58.3 (2006), 22-32
  • Rees-Roberts, Nick. French Queer Cinema, Edinburgh University Press (2008) ISBN 0-7486-3418-5
  • Schilt, Thibaut. François Ozon, University of Illinois Press (2011) ISBN 0-252-07794-6

References[edit]

  1. ^ Palmer, Tim "Style and Sensation in the Contemporary French Cinema of the Body", Journal of Film and Video, Fall 2006 [1] Access date: 14 May 2010.
  2. ^ "Berlinale 2012: International Jury". berlinale.de. 2011-12-19. Retrieved 2011-12-21. 
  3. ^ "2013 Official Selection". Cannes. 18 April 2013. Retrieved 18 April 2013. 
  4. ^ "Winners 2013". European Film Awards. European Film Academy. Retrieved 9 December 2013. 
  5. ^ "Toronto film festival 2014 unveils first wave; Little Chaos to close". Screendaily. Retrieved 22 July 2014. 

External links[edit]