François Ozon – Une nouvelle amie AKA The New Girlfriend (2014)

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From the visionary mind of François Ozon (8 WOMEN, SWIMMING POOL) comes this one-of-a-kind gender-bending melodrama, which both shocks and delights in equal measure. Steeped in suspense and indebted to the eye-popping visuals of Pedro Almodóvar, Alfred Hitchcock and Brian De Palma, THE NEW GIRLFRIEND blends the macabre with a heartfelt romance in the tale of soft-spoken Claire and her love affair with a mysterious stranger. After mourning the loss of Laura, Claire comes across Laura’s husband David (Romain Duris) dressed head-to-toe in his wife’s clothes. Unsure whether his new guise is the result of foul play, she threatens to reveal David to Laura’s family. But the more time she spends with him, the more Claire becomes seduced by his beautiful new incarnation. As the two become inseparable, Claire wonders whether she is falling for David’s alter ego, or perhaps a part of Laura’s resurrected soul. THE NEW GIRLFRIEND pays homage to classic cinema – from REBECCA to ALL ABOUT MY MOTHER – while injecting its own brand of sensual, sometimes sinister, eroticism. Continue reading

François Ozon – Jeune et jolie aka Young and pretty (2013)

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Isabelle is on summer holidays with her family in the in the south of France. She decides to lose her virginity to a German boy called Felix, but the experience leaves her cold. By autumn she is exploring her sexuality further by working as a prostitute under the name Lea and meeting an older man called George, and various other clients. During one encounter with George he dies from a heart attack, Isabelle leaves the scene, and quits prostitution. The police eventually track her down and reveal her secret life to her mother. Continue reading

François Ozon – Regarde La Mer AKA See the Sea (1997)

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A young mother of a ten month old baby (Sacha Hails) spends much time on her own, with her husband away on the mainland for an unspecified period of time. When a backpacker knocks at her door, asking if she can pitch her tent in the garden as the camping site is full, it provides some welcome relief from her solitude. Pretty soon, however, the backpacker (Marina De Van) is shown to have a sinister side to her….. Continue reading

François Ozon – Sitcom (1998)

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When an unsuspecting businessman brings home a pet white mouse – which had been used for “lab experiments” – every member of his family, and visitor, who’s bitten by the rodent begins acting out their most taboo fantasies. Very strange, very funny, and gorgeously designed and shot; if “lemon chiffon” is your favorite color, this just might become your favorite film (although the subject matter could prove a stumbling block). Although not nearly as rich as the two best mysterious stranger brings liberating anarchy to a repressed middle class family pictures I know – Renoir’s fabulous Boudu Saved from Drowning (1932) and Pasolini’s seductively unnerving Teorema (Theorem) (1968) – I think this is an interesting addition to Ozon’s often impressive filmography. Besides, how can a little white mouse hope to compare to those other enigmatic liberators, Jean Gabin or Terence Stamp? Continue reading

François Ozon – Action vérité aka Truth or Dare (1994)

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Innocence gives way to experience. Two girls and two boys, probably about 14 or 15 years old, play a game of truth or dare. The questions and the challenges deal with sex; it’s innocent and harmless, but at each turn, each youth tries to raise the ante. Then, Paul gives a dare to Rose, and the result brings on a sudden and complete silence. Continue reading

François Ozon – 5×2 (2004)

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synopsis

The rise and fall of one couple’s marriage goes under the microscope in this drama from French filmmaker François Ozon. Gilles (Stephane Freis) and Marion (Valeria Bruni-Tedeschi) have filed for divorce following several years of marriage, and after the judge declares their union is over, the film follows the couple through five lengthy flashbacks, presented in reverse chronological order, in which glimpses of their lives together are shown, ending with the couple meeting for the first time. As the film follows the peaks and valleys of Gilles and Marion’s relationship, viewers witness a few of the many small events that make up a marriage.by Mark Deming
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