François Ozon is one of France's most interesting filmmaker of what I'm tempted to call the Second New Wave. It's not so much that a new style is born, but more of a new cohort of extremely gifted movie makers, such as Anne Fontaine, Jacques Audiard, Agnès Jaoui, Cédric Kahn and of course Ozon. Each is in its 30's or 40's, each started out as a (sceen)writer, and, most importantly, each is pursuing a coherent auteur line; each is exploring its own themes, movies after movies.
For me, Ozon and Fontaine follow very similar paths, that is, when Ozon goes for the "serious" entertainment, such as See the Sea, 5X2, Sous le sable and Swimming Pool. This last movie is, like most of the young director's movies, flawlessly executed, at least from a formal standpoint. What makes it fascinating, well for me that is, is the overt "mise en abîme" device used via Charlotte(The Goddess)Rampling's character. She's a writer. She's stuck. She must get away. She does. And so do we.
What follows, depending on your taste and sensibility, is a slightly twisted tale of repressed eroticism, daydreaming dangers and, mostly, creative process gone awry... or is it?
Like Sous le sable, Ozon doesn't seem so much interested with an air-tight screenplay as he is with suggested impressions and brilliantly build atmospheres of almost abstract dread.
One can call it cold manipulation, self-satisfied film-making... I call it wit, talent and vision. All these new filmmakers go for the craft, but a craft serving as canvas for sometimes very personal storytelling. These guys here are more interested in lies, dreams and unexpected twists, twists that are always relevant considering the characters involved. And even then, one doesn't feel too far from real life. A gorgeously twisted real life, that is.
Since movies are after all about escapism, at some degree at least, I kind of like that attitude. Lie to me baby, but make it beautiful.
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