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François Ozon: Loving Provocation

MUBI Special

Prolific filmmaker François Ozon has established himself in contemporary French cinema as a master of twisting genres in provocative ways. This selection focuses on his transgressive first features, all made in quick succession during the three year period from 1998-2000, and culminating with the masterful Under the Sand.

Under the Sand

François Ozon France, 2000


We draw our series on François Ozon to a close with his break-out hit which re-introduced the world to the austere enchantment of actress Charlotte Rampling. A psychological mystery as gripping and elusive as Repulsion and The Vanishing, it remains one of the great arthouse films of the 2000s.

Water Drops on Burning Rocks

François Ozon France, 2000


Working from an unproduced play by Rainer Werner Fassbinder, Ozon made one of his most inventive films of his career with this 70s period piece. A synthesis of subversive genres: part musical, part sex farce, a little melodrama, Water Drops on Burning Rocks is a remarkably sardonic love story.

Criminal Lovers

François Ozon France, 1999


We continue our series highlighting the provocative early features of François Ozon with one of his most extreme tales. The lovers on the run genre mixes with fairy tales made in the era of Larry Clark’s Kids and Bully—yet starring Dardennes actor Jérémie Rénier!—and is by turns harsh and sexy.


François Ozon France, 1998


In 1968’s Teorema, a man causes a bourgeois family to question every facet of themselves—in the provocative debut of François Ozon, whom we offer a four-film retrospective of, a pet rat (!) inspires a similar reevaluation amongst a French family. This satire is absurd as much as it’s unforgettable.

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