Blood, tears and song
Genre and the shock of over-stimulation
in François Ozon
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François Ozon's frequently unexpected recourse to generic tricks and tropes such as suddenly gushing blood, tears or melodies may be understood as an attempt to inflict a far from gratuitous wound on the brain and senses of the spectator. Throughout his career, Ozon uses tools borrowed from the toolbox of three genres, namely, horror, melodrama and musical, in order to bring about 'hinge moments' of this kind for both characters and spectator. Ozon's use of various melodramatic aesthetics shifts between the orchestration of the potentially liberating 'explosions' that sometimes emerge from the genre's very excesses and the sealing-in of character and spectator into melodrama's most rigid familial structures. It seems appropriate to close the survey of Ozon's various excursions into cinematic 'over-stimulation' with a brief consideration of his most excessive film to date, 2006's English-language production Angel, based on the 1957 novel by obscure British writer Elizabeth Taylor.


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