Abstract only
Author: Andrew Asibong

François Ozon was born in Paris to René and Anne-Marie Ozon on November 15, 1967. This book takes as one of its points of departure the idea that Ozon has consciously styled his œuvre thus far around a number of recurring tropes and themes, one of the most striking of which has been the emergence of adult sexualities and relations from out of the spectral carcasses of real or fantasised family members. Kinship, desire and violence thus structure the narratives of all the films under discussion, and can be seen to stamp Ozon's repertoire of images firmly with the mark of a self-styled auteur. The book discusses considers the majority of Ozon's short films together with his first feature Sitcom through the lens of desire, and demonstrates the extent to which Ozon's vision of human sexuality can be described as a fundamentally 'queer' and 'post-modern' one. It focuses on four of Ozon's simultaneously most accomplished and misunderstood films and approaches them via the perspective of the power relations they depict. They are Regarde la mer, Les Amants criminels, and 8 femmes. The book surveys a number of Ozon's films from the 2000s: Sous le sable, Swimming Pool, 5x2, and Le Temps qui reste. Sexual desire as represented by Ozon is almost always multidimensional and consistently astonishing in its capacity for boundless reinvention. His films frequently employ household servants among their cast of characters. Ozon uses tools borrowed from the toolbox of three genres: namely, horror, melodrama and musical.

Kate Ince

Ozon’s oeuvre. Ozon’s films to date have oscillated between the exuberant and satirical send-ups of bourgeois family life Sitcom (1998) and 8 Femmes (8 Women, 2001), and the contrastingly sober Sous le sable (Under the Sand, 2000) and 5 x 2 (2004), both of which address that staple theme of French drama ‘le couple’ – an oscillation that sets Ozon apart from the kind of stylistic unity usually associated with being

in Five directors
Abstract only
An introduction to François Ozon
Andrew Asibong

amounts of money (his 2001 film 8 femmes has made over $3 million dollars to date at the American box office alone) is not merely anecdotal. 1 It is not enough simply to proceed from a statement of these facts towards a platitudinous enunciation of Ozon’s often-repeated status as ‘boy wonder’ or enfant terrible of turn-of-the-millennium French cinema: we ought, perhaps, to linger on the significance of this speed

in François Ozon
Abstract only
Felicity Chaplin

myth of Paris as a city of spectacle and foregrounds the Parisienne type as the epitome of taste and style. Transformation in Frantic (1988) and 8 femmes (2001) Fashion in film can also serve a symbolic or mythical function, and can signify narrative tropes such as metamorphosis or transformation. Jill Nelmes includes costume as an integral part of the mise en scène, a ‘variant of the prop but … , of course, tightly connected to the character’ (67). Costume often operates as a code and a change in costume can signify a ‘change of status, attitude and even the passing

in La Parisienne in cinema
Abstract only
Andrew Asibong

) 6 Master of the house Leopold (Bernard Giraudeau) shows little Franz (Malik Zidi) his place in Gouttes d’eau sur pierres brûlantes (1999) 7 The stars and actresses of 8 femmes (2001) bathe in ephemeral equality for a publicity still

in François Ozon
Cristina Johnston

. Her performance as 1950s grande bourgeoise Gaby in François Ozon’s 8 femmes/8 Women (2002) plays on lesbian motifs already accrued in the course of her career, from Gaby’s bristling (though unconsummated) relationship with her lasciviously worshipful maid Louise (Emmanuelle Béart) to her celebrated sexual tussle with her sister-in-law Pierrette (Fanny Ardant). Even Deneuve’s literary turns as Odette Swann in Raúl Ruiz

in From perversion to purity
Abstract only
Kate Ince

able to master generic conventions and manipulate them to their own ends, while still respecting the power of genre as a means of communicating with the audience. (The most notable films here are Assayas’ demonlover, Audiard’s Sur mes lèvres, Haneke’s Caché and Ozon’s 8 Femmes.) Several of the directors are visibly interested in materiality and corporeality: for Assayas this is mediated by the prominence

in Five directors
Abstract only
Society, spectacle and sadomasochistic cinema
Andrew Asibong

her first week of domestic employment, and aggressively masturbating the fiancé of the household in her first month, by Sitcom ’s finale the maid Maria appears to have become her mistress Hélène’s authoritative lesbian partner.) By the time Emmanuelle Béart, as the maid Louise in 8 femmes (2001), belligerently, contemptuously and seductively sings the song ‘Pile ou face’ (‘Heads or Tails’) to the

in François Ozon
Genre and the shock of over-stimulation
Andrew Asibong

par excellence Jacques Demy, a director Ozon cites as a key aesthetic influence on 8 femmes (but whose bittersweet general sensibility in fact filters down – albeit in crueller form – to much of Ozon’s other work) serves as an excellent example of the way in which the modern European musical so often uses its song-and-dance routines to present social fracture in new terms. A number like ‘Marins, Amis, Amants ou Maris’ in

in François Ozon
Cinema beyond relation?
Andrew Asibong

beyond the neuroses of the patriarchal nuclear family. In the cases of both Sitcom and 8 femmes, for example, this new group formation constitutes the film’s final sequence, and the viewer is left simply wondering to what degree he or she can take seriously such a cinematic blueprint for a radically postmodern kinship. In both cases, the films’ denouements reveal the variously over-feminised and hystericised family members

in François Ozon