François Ozon  

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Train wreck at Montparnasse (October 22, 1895) by Studio Lévy and Sons.
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Train wreck at Montparnasse (October 22, 1895) by Studio Lévy and Sons.

François Ozon (born November 15, 1967) is a French writer and director whose films are usually characterized by sharp satirical wit and a freewheeling view on human sexuality. He has recently achieved international acclaim for his films 8 femmes (2002) and Swimming Pool (2003). François Ozon is considered to be one of the most important European film directors in the new “New Wave” of European cinema such as Michael Winterbottom, Catherine Breillat, Patrice Leconte.

Having studied directing at the French film school La Femis, Ozon made several short movies like Une robe d'été (1996) and Scènes de lit (1998) that already display his defining style. His motion picture directing debut was Sitcom (also 1998), which was well-received both critically and by audiences.

After the Fassbinder adaptation Gouttes d'eau sur pierres brûlantes (2000) came the movie which made him a name outside of France, 8 femmes, starring a dream team of such icons of French cinema as Catherine Deneuve, Fanny Ardant, Isabelle Huppert, and Emmanuelle Béart. With its quirky mix of musical numbers and murder mystery and a production design harkening back to 1950s Hollywood melodramas such as the ones directed by Douglas Sirk, this film became a huge commercial success.

In 2003, Swimming Pool starring Charlotte Rampling and Ludivine Sagnier was released, considered by Ozon a very personal film that gives insight into the difficult process of writing a novel or screenplay.

François Ozon is not particularly eager to label his sexuality, but he is generally considered to be gay. At any rate, gay or lesbian characters and plot elements are featured frequently in his works.

In 2004, he directed the movie 5x2. In 2005, he debuted his latest film Time To Leave at various worldwide film festivals.

Ozon's first full English-language production "Angel," starring Romola Garai (I Capture the Castle, Vanity Fair), is currently in post-production, and will be released in early 2007. The film, based on a novel by British writer Elizabeth Taylor, follows the story of a poor girl who climbs the social ladder by becoming a romance novel writer (according to Screen Cannes edition, May 2006).

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Unless indicated otherwise, the text in this article is either based on Wikipedia article "François Ozon" or another language Wikipedia page thereof used under the terms of the GNU Free Documentation License; or on original research by Jahsonic and friends. See Art and Popular Culture's copyright notice.

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