Wednesday, 5 September 2007

focus on françois ozon

To celebrate the release of his new film, Angel, ACMI pays tribute to the stylish, sexually charged and multifaceted works of François Ozon. 

Once considered the enfant terrible of French cinema, Ozon continues to engage audiences with his unique brand of storytelling in which cool contemporary dramas sit seamlessly alongside epic baroque melodramas.

As well as the director's own work, Focus on François Ozon will include four films by other directors (Rainer Werner Fassbinder, Ingmar Bergman, Luis Buñuel and Douglas Sirk) that have been personally selected by the director to screen as part of this season.

The season will open with the Melbourne premiere screening of Angel (France / UK, 2007), a sweeping epic that charts the radiant rise and devastating fall of florid romance writer, Angel Deverel (Romola Garai). Beautiful, precocious, talented and above all, burningly ambitious for fame, love and a life, far beyond her humble beginnings, Ozon's adaptation of Elizabeth Taylor's novel bares all the hallmarks of classic Hollywood productions of the 30s and 40s. With an excellent supporting cast including Sam Neill, Charlotte Rampling, Lucy Russell and Michael Fassbender, Angel is full of drama, subversive sexuality and humour; an engrossing fantasy that finds Ozon at the height of his directorial powers. Angel releases nationally in cinemas 1 November 2007.

In addition to Angel, Focus on François Ozon will feature all of the director's previous features and many of his short films, with many sessions featuring imported prints brought in especially for the season. Films include: Water Drops on Burning Rocks  / Gouttes d'eau sur pierres brulantes (1999), a captivating study of erotically-charged power struggles, full of sex, dancing and high-wire melodrama; 8 Women / 8 Femmes (2002), a Douglas Sirk-inspired high-fashion who-dunnit featuring the crème of French international actresses including Catherine Deneuve, Fanny Ardant and Isabelle Huppert; Under The Sand / Sous Le Sable  (2002), a thought provoking and deeply moving film starring Charlotte Rampling as a middle aged woman grappling with the mysterious disappearance of her husband;  5 x 2 (2003) an exquisitely crafted drama, conjuring the spirit of Bergman's relationship films, that charts the inner workings of a marriage; and Time to Leave / Un lever de rideau (2005), the story of a young, self obsessed fashion photographer in Paris who is confronted with terminal illness.

Four of Ozon's films will screen as double bills, each being teamed with a feature personally selected by Ozon himself as an inspiration or ideal screening companion.

Water Drops on Burning Rocks will screen with Rainer Werner Fassbinder's Fear Eats the Soul (1973)
8 Women will screen with Douglas Sirk's Imitation of Life (1959)
Swimming Pool will screen with Ingmar Bergman's Persona (1966)
5 x 2 will screen with brand new imported print of Luis Buñuel's Belle De Jour (1967) starring Catherine Deneuve

Focus on François Ozon will give fans an opportunity to view the director's rarely seen earlier work including his first two features Sitcom (1998), a black comedy that takes the family sitcom to its darkest (and campest) extreme; Criminal Lovers/Les Amants Criminels (1999) a sexy thriller that is part Blair Witch and part Hansel and Gretel, and a selection of Ozon's early shorts including Action Verite (1994), Summer Dress (1996), Le Petite Morte (1995), Bed Scenes (1994), as well as his unforgettable featurette of menace, See The Sea (1998).

Further information

Claire Butler
Communications Coordinator
[direct phone] 61 3 8663 2415 [fax] 61 3 8663 2498 [mobile] 0434 603 654
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