François Ozon: Potiche & co.
One of the most provocative filmmakers to
emerge during the 1990s, French director François Ozon has
distinguished himself with dark psychological films that owe their
impact to his frank explorations of transgression and
"I do films to be behind the camera, not in
front of the camera. I'm sure I say very intimate things about
myself in all my films, but it's better to say it not too directly,
to be hidden behind a woman."
Ozon's most notorious films include:
2000: Water Drops on Burning
Rocks, starring Bernard Giraudeau, Malik Zidi, Ludivine
Sagnier and Anna Thomson
Ozon's adaptation of a Rainer Werner
Fassbinder play (Tropfen
Auf Heisse Steine) is a chamber piece about the impossibility
of human relationships. For obvious reasons, the movie shares some
thematic obsessions with Fassbinder's cinema.
2000: Under the Sand, starring
Charlotte Rampling and Bruno Cremer
A striking drama about personal loss and
resilience, Under the
Sand belongs to Charlotte Rampling. Delivering a commanding
and nuanced performance, Rampling portrays a middle-aged professor
who goes through an emotional rollercoaster after the disappearance
of her husband.
2002: 8 Women, starring
Danielle Darrieux, Catherine Deneuve, Fanny Ardant, Isabelle
Huppert, Virginie Ledoyen…
Partly inspired by George Cukor's 1939
classic The Women, a
host of mothers, wives, daughters, maids and mistresses gather for
a holiday homecoming at their country mansion, and end up having to
solve a murder-mystery.
2003: Swimming Pool, starring
Charlotte Rampling and Ludivine Sagnier
Psychological thriller Swimming Pool stars
Charlotte Rampling as a mystery writer who is offered the use of
her publisher's vacation home. The conservative, repressed Sarah
clashes with the house's other inhabitant, Julie (Ludivine
Sagnier), the uninhibited daughter of the publisher.
2004: 5x2, starring Valeria
Bruni-Tedeschi and Stéphane Freiss
5x2 follows the rise and
fall of one couple's marriage 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.
2005: Time to Leave, starring
Melvil Poupaud, Valeria Bruni-Tedeschi, and Jeanne Moreau
Diagnosed with terminal cancer and given
only a short while to live, a successful fashion photographer
embarks on one final journey, in Ozon's second of three films in a
trilogy about death and mourning.
2007: Angel starring Romola
Garai, Charlotte Rampling and Sam Neill
A destitute but determined young woman
living in late 19th century England ascends the social
ranks after writing a series of successful romantic