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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.

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Concluding remarks
Andrew Asibong

With Angel, released in France in March 2007, François Ozon’s cinema has clearly shifted in a new direction, the exact nature and implications of which it is hard to pinpoint. As Ozon himself put it in an interview with French film journal Positif, ‘Il est vrai qu’avec ce film j’ai eu le sentiment d’être allé au bout de quelque chose. Je ne saurais pas trop dire quoi, mais j’ai senti qu

in François Ozon
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An introduction to François Ozon
Andrew Asibong

If one thing can be said with certainty about François Ozon’s career in filmmaking, it is this: it has moved with a lightning rapidity. The fact that between the ages of 30 and 40 – from 1997 to 2007 – he wrote and directed no fewer than nine feature films, all of which gained international distribution, widespread controversy (often accompanied by prizes and great acclaim), and not inconsiderable

in François Ozon
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Sexualities on the move?
Andrew Asibong

Alongside filmmakers such as Catherine Breillat (Romance, 1999), Virginie Despentes (Baise-moi, 2000), Bruno Dumont (Twentynine Palms, 2003) Christophe Honoré (Ma mère, 2004) and Gaspar Noé (Irréversible, 2002), François Ozon has often been marketed and discussed – his surname serving the purpose particularly well – as one of a new breed of provocative French film directors emerging in the

in François Ozon
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Society, spectacle and sadomasochistic cinema
Andrew Asibong

François Ozon’s films frequently employ household servants among their cast of characters. In Ozon’s cinema, these domestic figures seem designed not merely to illustrate the bourgeois status of the other protagonists, but rather as crucial players in their own right, catalysts for the main action in the narrative, the location of the very possibility for the subversion of the social world contained

in François Ozon
Cinema beyond relation?
Andrew Asibong

François Ozon’s cinema experiments wildly, as we have seen, with both the representation of forms of sexuality and the representation of forms of power. Neither type of experimentation on its own generates lasting or significant change in the worlds of his protagonists, however, since Ozon’s films gravitate towards the idea that a spectre beyond both sexuality and power haunts humans, that it is this

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

François Ozon’s early short film Action Vérité (1994) shows us four minutes in the lives of four young teenagers: two girls, Hélène (Farida Rahmatoullah) and Rose (Aylin Argun), and two boys, Rémy (Fabien Billet) and Paul (Adrien Pastor). The group are playing a game of ‘Truth or Dare’, all the interrogations or dares hinging, predictably enough, on issues of a sexual nature. Rose asks Paul if he

in François Ozon
Kate Ince

By the age of thirty-seven François Ozon had seven features and a clutch of admired short films to his credit. But in France, his reputation has taken a very different course from the one it is now starting to get from Anglophone critics, whose familiarity with (or at least exposure to) the academic discourses of cultural studies, gender and queer theory attunes them to the centrality of sexuality to

in Five directors
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Andrew Asibong
in François Ozon
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Auteurism from Assayas to Ozon
Editor: Kate Ince

There have been vigorous debates about the condition and prospects of auteur cinema in France over the last decade, debates that seem mostly to have gone unreported in anglophone criticism of francophone cinema. But these have been paralleled by a revival of international debate about the status of the auteur: in their extended chapter on auteur cinema added to the second edition of Cook's The Cinema Book, Pam Cook and Mieke Bernink observe that this was definitely underway by 1995. This book summarises the development of auteurism as a field up to the 1990s, drawing particularly on Wright Wexman's historical overview. Georges Méliès was the first auteur. Following the advent of structuralism and structuralist approaches to narrative and communication in the mid 1960s, a type of auteurism was born that preserved a focus on authorship. The book presents an account of the development of Olivier Assayas' career, and explores this idea of what one might call 'catastrophe cinema'. Jacques Audiard's work reflects several dominant preoccupations of contemporary French cinema, such as an engagement with realism (the phenomenon of the 'new new wave') and the interrogation of the construction of (cultural) memory. The book then discusses the films of the Dardenne brothers and their documentaries. Michael Haneke's films can be read as a series of polemical correctives to the morally questionable viewing practices. An introduction to Ozon's films that revolve around the centrality of queer desire to his cinema, and the continual performative transformations of identity worked within it, is presented.